Native American History Month
DPR’s Be a Pillar series shares the unique viewpoints of employees and partners. Throughout the year, you’ve met individuals who have built great things, and you’ve learned about their backgrounds, motivations and experiences.
In November, we recognize and honor Native American History Month. We're elevating the voices of DPR employees who identify with the Native American community. Read below to learn more about how they started in construction and what their experiences within the industry and at DPR have been.
What has been your experience in the construction industry?
“Construction is not my background, and it had never been a goal to work in the industry, but since I started working in construction four years ago, what draws me in is the need for innovation. Not just in how we build but how we exist together as a workforce. I’ve seen us build incredible things when we come together as a team and work through challenges.
The industry can be intimidating for people who don’t fit into a traditional mold. It fills me with gratitude, inspiration and encouragement when I witness my coworkers being an ally for women, LGBTQIA+ communities, the environment, human rights, minority groups and individuals with different abilities.
Being Native American in modern America comes with challenges. Whether it’s mis-labeling, mascots, skewed historical narrative, Halloween costumes or navigating colonial-American holidays, my perspective is often much different than modern Americans. Navigating these traumas, while maintaining peace and balance within my own mind and relationships, has been a constant practice. In the construction industry, I would like to see more people asking questions, getting more involved in education and supporting individuals as they live authentically. Even if we have different perspectives, values or beliefs, we all want safety, acceptance and community.”
Rebekah Rafferty | Wellness Coordinator
“I came to work at DPR through a temporary agency to cover for a receptionist on maternity leave. I would greet everyone in the morning and people were so cheerful and genuinely happy to be at work. I thought to myself, ‘I want to be that person someday!’ After a month I was offered a permanent receptionist position and gladly accepted. After seven-and-a-half years, I moved into my current role as self-perform work field office coordinator.
Seeing how happy people were in my first few months made me think about how I could be in that place. When you get to be part of it and understand how we authentically live our core values, you can understand why people are so happy here. I want to make sure that anyone I interact with feels important and takes away something positive from our interaction.”
Mary Price | Craft Coordinator
Recognize Native American History Month?
the National Museum of the American Indian. If it’s not close, check out the website—there are still many online resources to read and events to participate in.
which Indigenous people lived in the location you live now. This tool allows you to search worldwide.
Posted on November 9, 2023
Last Updated November 6, 2023