2019 Distinguished Alumna
After several years in the pipeline industry, Deanna (Chemical Engineering Technology ’00) launched a unique engineering consulting firm, Indigenous Engineering Inclusion Inc., with a commitment to bridging the gaps between the energy industry, government and Indigenous communities. Deanna is a speaker with the International Indigenous Speakers Bureau and also partners with SAIT to develop curriculum designed to increase awareness of the oil, gas and pipeline industry. The efforts of her firm were recognized by the Canadian Senate in 2016.
Engineer, educator, mentor, musician, grandmother, cultural bridge.
What energizes you?
The possibility of creating environments, creating more inclusive companies, creating a more sustainable industry, creating a better working life for our children and our children’s children.
What’s your proudest professional moment?
Receiving the 2018 Blazing Flame Award from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Being recognized by this network of Indigenous science professionals was deeply meaningful to me as a Sixties Scoop adoptee who’s been on a journey of reconnecting with my heritage for the past 20 years.
Words to the wise?
As we go forward into new conversations about energy, be open minded and be gentle with yourself. We’re stepping into a lot of spaces where there is no right or wrong answer and no code of standards on how to do this.
Why is conversation key to the next 40 years?
So everyone — producers and consumers — moves beyond ‘energy companies vs. the world’ to a more connected understanding and awareness of the energy system. I’m ecstatic that we’re at a place where sustainability is a conversation that everyone is open to having, not just people in the environmental department of the company.
Photo by Kate Kunz