CFWE-FM speaks with Richard Piche, president of Cascade Projects of Calgary.
Cascade Projects Ltd.
2710, 700 – 9 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 3V4
Richard Piche spent most of his life working for others in the oil and gas industry before stepping forward into business life. He is passionate for the industry, and saw the disconnect between the engineering field and Indigenous communities.
Piche is a Metis man who is descended from Gabriel Dumont on his mother’s side, and, on his father’s side, Mountain Cree Chief Peechee (Louis Piche Peechee), guide to Sir George Simpson of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1800s.
“Engineers are typically people who put the blinders on and ‘give me a job to do and I’ll do it and I’ll get it all done.’ But we don’t always look up and see what the soft skills around us are required. I wanted to mix the engineering in with the soft skills.”
Soft skills, according to Piche, include getting into the community and doing Indigenous engagement, seeing what the capacity is in the community and helping connect people.
And Piche has never limited his engagement to domestic Indigenous communities. He’s been in the jungles, he says, working with Indigenous communities internationally.
“I’ve always had that skill to connect with people.”
His advice to people wishing to be in business is to find a niche market for yourself. He said the oil and gas industry is in a real downturn. People are hurting. Engineering companies are sitting idle.
“So, you kind of have to find that niche, and ours was being able to put Indigenous engagement and engineering and asset management together as one.”
Analysis is key—who you are, what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, and what the opportunities are.
“I can’t emphasize enough to not only look at weaknesses, but look at opportunities as well,” Piche said.