Nathan Crow hoping for career as Indigenous relations manager in oil and gas industry

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Writer

Nathan Crow

Though he was making a decent living, Nathan Crow decided it was time for a change.

The 29-year-old Blackfoot, a member of Kainai Nation in Alberta, now finds himself back in school furthering his education.

Crow is a second-year student in the Indigenous Governance and Business Management program at the University of Lethbridge.

He’s also one of the four National Indigenous Economic Education Fund (NIEEF) scholarship winners this year.

NIEEF funding is provided through a charitable foundation set up by Cando, the national organization that promotes economic development in Indigenous communities throughout Canada.

The four NIEEF scholarship winners received $2,000 each.

“It helps with lightening my financial load,” Crow said of the money he received through the scholarship. “I’m going to be using it for living expenses for this semester and next semester.”

While Crow was officially one of the four NIEEF scholarship recipients this year, he was presented with the Plains Midstream Canada award as he was the winning Alberta-based applicant.

Crow had been in the workforce for almost a decade before he decided to continue his education.

From 2012-18 he worked for a powerline company, which took him away from his Lethbridge home to various remote communities in the province.

“It was really good money because I was a foreman for the company,” he said. “But it was a feast or famine lifestyle.”

Crow said there would be periods when he would be laid off work for 3-4 months at a time.

That convinced him to try to eventually find an alternate career with steadier, year-round employment.

While he did enjoy his work with the powerline company, Crow also felt he should seek a job that he’ll be able to do for a long time.

“I know my mind will take me a lot further than my body will,” he said.

Since he had graduated high school in 2011, Crow decided he need to ease back into the lifestyle of a student.

That’s why in September of 2019 he enrolled in the First Nations transition program offered through the University of Lethbridge. He completed a pair of semesters in this program before starting his current course work.

This past summer Crow worked as an intern in the Indigenous field sector for a Calgary-based oil and gas company.

He now aspires to do similar work on a full-time basis.

“Currently my plan is to be an Indigenous relations manager for the oil and gas industry,” he said.

Crow is excelling in his current school program. He’s been on the Dean’s Honours list each semester.

He’s been able to maintain his high marks even though he is currently working three part-time jobs at the school.

Crow is a student assistant at the university library and also a student mentor with enrolment services.

He was also recently elected to the paid position of being the Indigenous student representative with the university’s student union council.