Aboriginal Ironworkers
Aboriginal Ironworkers

What is ironwork?

Ironworking is one of the oldest and proudest construction crafts. The tradition began hundreds of years ago and has produced some of the world’s most impressive structures and intricate ornamental moldings.

Ironworkers work with iron, steel and other metals to build, repair and maintain:

  • bridges
  • buildings and towers
  • manufacturing and power generating plants
  • oil refineries
  • mines
  • dams
  • highways
  • amusement equipment and rides

From the metal skeleton or concrete support beams, to the final trim, ironworkers have helped build the structures, roads and products we use every day.

Ironwork is a multi-faceted trade. Most ironworkers do more than one type of work, each with its own challenges and required skills. To learn more about the types of ironworking, visit On the job.

Spirit of ironworking

Being an ironworker means being a part of history. Many of the world’s greatest structures were built by ironworkers—the Confederation Bridge, the Hibernia oil platform, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, the Tokyo Tower and London Bridge.

Aboriginal ironworkers have had a huge impact on the industry. They have travelled across Canada and the United States to work on projects like the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center, the Distant Early Warning Line radar stations, and the CN Tower, and are known far and wide as some of the best ironworkers in the business.

Past generations of Aboriginal ironworkers have left a legacy for their children and grandchildren. Their spirit lives on in the buildings, towers and bridges they crafted.

Today’s young ironworkers can take pride in knowing that they are building a legacy for future generations.


Learn what these three ironworkers have to say about their adventures in the trade:

Jobriath Berbour, ironworker

Robyn Garlow, apprentice ironworker

Peter Hayden, journeyperson ironworker