Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

MEET THE TRIBE William Arquette, Facilities & Maintenance

Years of Service: 28 years and 11 months

 

William Arquette, SRMT Facilities & Maintenance with 28 years and 11 months of service.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is proud to highlight William "Bill" Arquette as this month's long-term service employee and share all the exceptional work he is doing on behalf of the Akwesasne community.

There are unsung heroes in every organization. They are typically the ones working behind the scenes - taking care of the facilities and ensuring they are well-maintained. More importantly, they are an integral part in making repairs and ensuring accidents and injuries are avoided at all times. The Tribe is proud to have a number of these unsung heroes on staff, including William "Bill" Arquette, who for the last thirty years has worked different positions in helping make the Tribe what it is today.

Bill was first introduced to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in 1979 while he was attending the Upward Bound Program in Canton, NY. Marie (Cree) Benedict, who started working for the Tribe just two years' prior, was overseeing the Tribal Council's CETA Program and was in need of someone to run the program's recreation program. It was a seasonal position, but Bill took on the job and it piqued his interest to seek other employment opportunities with the Tribe.

His next job came with the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) that was administered by the Tribe to provide summer work for Akwesasne teens. Joined by other local youth, Bill helped clear brush, made minor construction repairs and attended to other work projects. The position was only for a period of six months, but it provided him with valuable work experience and exposure to other job openings with tribal programs.

The next opportunity came with the Tribe's Weatherization Assistance Program, where Bill worked part-time for nearly five years. It was a personally rewarding experience; as he helped property owners make their homes more energy efficient through various weatherization measures such as caulking windows and doors, installing insulation and making repairs to their home heating system.

"It was a great learning experience," said Bill as he reflected back on the various jobs he held during his initial years with the Tribe. He added, "My favorite part was the challenge - it was never the same thing, so I never got bored."

With the experience of making home repairs, Bill took advantage of another opportunity to help local homeowners through seasonal employment with the Tribe's Home Improvement Program (HIP). Under the guidance of Brian Herne and Michael Conners, Sr.; he was able to continue helping community members with making home emergency repairs and needed improvements.

Determined to keep doing the work that he loves, Bill looked to remain with the Tribe and, in the late 1990s, was able to become full-time with the Facilities and Maintenance Department. Following a temporary six-week position with the Department, he was asked to join them full-time after becoming known as someone to call when you knew stuff had to get done. It was an opportunity he was waiting for and one that he continues to occupy and enjoy.

"I never thought I would have this job for so long," Bill said about his years with Facilities and Maintenance. Perhaps it is the personal satisfaction of projects being completed, the camaraderie of his co-workers, or the ability to keep expanding his skills and certifications; but his enthusiasm is as strong today as it was nearly thirty years ago.

"The people are great, as are the skills we learn and the work we do for the Tribe," remarked Bill about the personal satisfaction he has received from being a tribal employee.

Well, time with the Tribe is great from having great employees like Bill Arquette.

Niawen:kówa Bill for all your years of hard work.

 

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