Dean Debassige

Chippewa of the Thames
3-year mining engineering technology advance diploma, underground common core for mining and mining plants.

As a child, Dean always wanted to “work with really big equipment and blow stuff up.” Naturally, mining was the perfect fit!

However, what Dean didn’t expect to find when he chose to work in the mines was a community of people who are extremely hardworking, funny, and passionate about helping society.

“My favorite part of the job was working with the older people in the mines who have been there for a long time,” said Dean. “They have a lot of interesting stories and they’re some of the funniest people you’ll ever talk to. I think that makes it worthwhile, just the history of mining through their eyes.”

Dean also saw the benefit he was bringing back to his community, and First Nations people in general. “I think First Nations youth should pursue technical careers because you bring a lot of respect back to your community,” Dean said. “You show that Indigenous people can work really hard and accomplish big things. It will help our youth in the long run and in their futures.”

On sharing some advice for students attending school Dean emphasized the importance of going to class and studying something that you love. “Showing up to class is half the battle… attendance will bring you a long way in school.”


Mining is all about mineral extraction. The basics of mining include finding, extracting, and preparing minerals, metals and coal. These products are used by manufacturing in - dustries. Miners also supervise the construction of underground mine operations and create ways to transport the extracted minerals to processing plants. The engineering side involves finding new and innovative ways to access these materials and overcome difficult obstacles.


  • Math
  • Safety
  • Planning
  • Environment


  • $50,000 - $200,000+ ($80,000 Average)


  • Driller/Blaster
  • Geologist
  • Engineer
  • Surveyor


  • Science
  • English
  • Math
  • Technology
  • Construction
  • Design


  • Mining Engineering
  • Mining Engineering Technician/Technology (2year/3year)
  • Geology
  • Underground Common-core Course (1-month)
  • Technology
  • Engineering Ability
  • Problem Solving
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Technician
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Heavy Equipment Mechanic
  • Electrician
  • Bulk Fuel Handlers