Welcome to Indigenous Futures in Engineering, Queen's University

Cory Jones

Cory Jones

“My father worked very hard all of his life and he made sure our family a strong work ethic,” Cory Jones recounted, when asked about his love for engineering. “He gave me the chance to work on building things when I was young, and helped me develop an understanding of how things go together. He taught me how to be a problem solver."

Cory listened the advice of his parents, including when he was told he wasn’t ready for university.

He instead chose to take more classes to make his university applications successful.  He also matured to a point where he would be more comfortable away from home. That advice was key to a successful university career, as Cory would have had a difficult time adjusting, if not for his sister living close by while he was at university.

“In addition to that, the other big challenge once I got there was overcoming my own nature and simply making friends,” he said. Normally shy, Cory said his participation in intramural sports in university “helped me to grow as a person immensely.”

Cory currently works at Neegan Burnside Ltd., an Indigenous-owned engineering firm that focuses on “working for First Nation communities and on First Nation projects.”

He has been there since he graduated in 1997, and he has had the chance to design many buildingswhich are in First Nation communities, including recreation centres, water and wastewater treatment plants, and schools. 

To those who are interested in pursuing an engineering degree he gives this advice “The path is hard, but well worth it. No one starts out knowing everything there is to know about math, science and engineering. If it is really what you want, and you work at it, and pay attention in class, you’ll find you can do it."

Cory is a big hockey and baseball fan, volunteers as a hockey coach in his current hometown, and loves to attend his community powwow with his family each year. “I also like to geocache as a hobby, which gives me an excuse to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and visit places I might not otherwise have had the chance to,” he says.

An interesting tidbit about Cory is he recently helped in the construction of a new elementary school in his community, a project which basically replaced the school he attended until Grade 8.

“The big key to my success has always been my parents and their support, and I continue to rely on them today for their advice and understanding.”

Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada

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