Marci Lyon teaches heavy equipment operation at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology. She has dealt with unusual circumstances in her life, but has always managed to triumph in situations that might have prevented someone with less survival instincts. She was born in northern Saskatchewan.
“My family on both my mother’s side and father’s side are all integrated in the construction industry, from drilling, mining, road building, cooking in camps, etc. It’s in my blood and desire to become involved one way or another,” asserts Lyon. “One day my mother had become ill. Her heart was troubling her, and she asked if I’d come to cook in the camp with her up near Sandy Bay. After 18 hours a day working weeks alongside her, cooking and preparing meals for up to 75-150 men, I realized I wanted to be on the other side of the buffet table. These men were working only 12 hours a day, and were paid three times more than my mother and I.”
Lyon’s moved on, taking up part time jobs while trying to find employment in order to start a career. “Now after praying, I landed a permanent full-time job, and take small semi-driving jobs like hauling up north, or driving across country. I continued to apply myself to jobs and careers that suited my skills and knowledge.”
She began teaching Essential Life Skills, and eventually she did find a job. It worked out for several years, but eventually Lyon’s was tempted by a more promising offer. A job at SIIT, which she thought she would never get.
“But I applied anyway, and got the dream job I never expected. Now I’m in a position where I help guide, mentor, encourage, empower, and inspire others to do whatever they dream and pray for. My position with SIIT construction careers here in Prince Albert gives me the ability to help others every day.”
Lyon’s experience in teaching, not only in heavy equipment, but also in essential life skills, has given her a reason to feel she has made a change. When asked what her personal goals are, she humbly replied, “My personal goals and dreams came true with the help of our creator as he guides us in all four directions. My children, Jonathan (26) and Christopher (23), my grandson, Liam (3), and my retirement shack at Denare Beach, Saskatechewan, awaits me. Til then, I have planted my seeds here at SIIT, and my roots are growing deep and strong.”
Lyon’s has no regrets, she loves her work and believes her decision to teach at SIIT was the true turning point in her career. “After having the opportunity to teach essential life skills to various groups (up to 25 students) throughout the industry in the central and western provinces, I was notified about an opportunity to teach for SIIT in 2014. I’ve never taught on a scale this large, it seemed. At the time, I was working in partnership with the city of Saskatoon as the city engineer, clearing and making the land ready for a new residential area. I was also the first female H.E.O. instructor for both SIIT and city of Saskatoon. On such a scale, the privilege was so uncomprehensive. To teach in an environment where everyone wants each, and every student to shine, engage, inspire, empower, and achieve was their motto! I was in awe in a surrounding filled with all the people and things I’ve been loving to do my entire life. Above and beyond my wildest dreams. Now it’s time to prove to others that they can do what ‘‘ve done with the backing, knowledge, and empowerment from the huge province wide institution of SIIT.”