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Fort Simpson electrical apprentice earns top marks
Tyra Moses encourages others to enter the trades

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 17, 2011

LIIDLII KUE/FORT SIMPSON - Tyra Moses of Fort Simpson is making a mark for herself in a trade that has been traditionally dominated by men.

NNSL photo/graphic

Kevin Heron, right, a member of the NWT Trades Advisory Board, presents electrical apprentice Tyra Moses with three awards including the Top Mark Award for electrician level two and three during a ceremony in Fort Simpson on Feb. 11. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

Moses, 24, is about to enter the fourth and final year of an electrical apprenticeship. Moses' accomplishments over the last year were honoured during two ceremonies at the office of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment in the village on Feb. 11.

Moses was presented with two Top Mark Awards for receiving the highest marks in the territory for both electrician level two and three. She was also given the Keith Houghton Memorial Award, which goes to an electrical apprentice with the highest overall mark in their third level technical training.

With grades above 80 per cent Moses is also an honour roll student, a distinction that was also earned by Byron Blyth, a level 2 electrician and Clifford Antoine, a plumber/gasfitter B both from Fort Simpson.

In Fort Providence Jamie Lacorne-Tanche and Augustine Minoza-Lefoine, who are both carpentry level 1 apprentices, also made the honour roll.

Liidlii Kue First Nation honoured Moses with a breakfast and a cheque presentation. It was the first time the band had recognized a student in that way.

"We're very proud of you," band councillor Jonas Antoine said to Moses.

Moses said receiving the awards has given her a great sense of accomplishment and a faith in herself.

"I was so extremely happy and excited and thankful for the awards," she said.

Reaching this point, however, didn't happen by chance.

"I believe it took a lot of hard work on my end," she said.

While at school, Moses studied at least two hours a day and made flash cards so she could cram before tests. It took dedication, commitment and hard work to get the marks, she said.

Moses knows as a woman she's part of a minority among electricians but that was part of the allure of the field. Moses spent her summer breaks from high school working as an administrative assistant with Nogha Enterprises Ltd.'s fire operations. She also took the forest firefighter training.

Moses said it was her interest in working in non-traditional fields for women that in part led her to enter the Mineral Processing Operator Program in 2005.

After finishing the program with A marks Moses began her career at Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. as a metallurgical laboratory technician.

After more than a year of testing rock and slurry - a mixture of water and crushed rock - samples, analyzing results and proposing remedial actions if they were needed, Moses inquired about getting an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships provide both hands on and technical learning, which Moses says she enjoys, adding an electrical apprenticeship was the logical choice for her.

"I've always excelled in math and I wanted to enter a field that was always changing and challenging and world provide new experiences every day," she said.

"I love everything about my apprenticeship."

Moses enjoys the fact that one day she can be installing equipment at Diavik's processing plant and the next she can be troubleshooting to solve a problem.

Moses thanked Diavik for all the opportunities and support the company has given her. She also thanked the journeymen she's worked with for sharing their skills and their work experiences.

Moses also expressed her appreciation to her family, including parents Lorayne Menicoche-Moses and Floyd Moses.

"They're very supportive and loving," she said.

At the end of March, Moses will be taking 12 weeks of technical training at Lethbridge College before writing her fourth year exam and an inter-provincial exam that will allow her to work anywhere in Canada. She hopes to maintain her A-plus marks and continue building on her skills.

Moses said she'd encourage anyone, particularly First Nations and women, to consider joining the trades.

"There's endless opportunities for education right now for the Northern people," she said.

To succeed you just have to believe in yourself and love yourself as you are, she said.

"You're the one with the power to change your world."

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