Youth panelist successfully juggles work, school and athletic careers
By Sam Laskaris
Josh Montana certainly has a lot on his plate.
For starters, the 23-year-old member of George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, is working towards a Business degree at the University of Regina.
He’s also devoting a good chunk of his life to Wichetowak Limnos Consulting Services. He was recently named a vice-president of the company and is one of its three senior managers.
Montana is also an elite athlete. A centerfielder, he’s the only Indigenous player named to the Canadian men’s fastball squad that will participate at its world championships this October in Argentina.
Montana is also one of the six individuals that have been named to the National Youth Panel for this year’s Cando Conference.
This four-day event, which is scheduled for May 16-19, will be held at the Dakota Dunes Resort, located on Whitecap Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan.
“It means a lot,” Montana said of his inclusion on the national panel, which features Indigenous role models from across Canada aged 29 and under. “It’s been kind of a big year for me.”
Montana said being part of the Cando panel is rather meaningful for him.
“It really is important for me because nobody really sees the behind-the-scenes work I do,” he said.
Montana’s responsibilities with his company are rather extensive. He supervises all employees and oversees the day-to-day operations of the environmental firm, that primarily works in the oil, gas and potash industries in western and central Canada.
Montana’s work weeks are rather hectic.
“I can range from 40-60 hours per week,” he said.
His duties also include engaging with government officials, businesses, communities and cities about Indigenous inclusion and procurement.
Though his work prevents him from being a full-time university student, Montana for now continues to take one class per semester.
And he plans on finishing his degree requirements, hopefully within the next couple of years.
“My parents and my support system have made it a point that education is important,” he said. “So yes, I do plan to finish my degree.”
Before beginning his University of Regina studies, Montana had attended Canada College in California on an athletic scholarship. He spent two and a half years at the school earning an associate commerce degree.
He then returned home and started working towards his university degree.
When necessary, Montana is able to maintain his commitment with the national fastball program.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” he said. “But I can work from anywhere I am.”
At times, Montana said he wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to train or for work responsibilities.
And he doesn’t mind having his go-go-go lifestyle.
“I like to have structure and organization in my life,” he said.
Montana is also very comfortable working for his current company. He’d like to remain with the firm and continue moving up the corporate ladder.
“It’s really important for me because it’s an Indigenous-owned consulting firm,” he said. “I believe in this and I’m fully invested.”