Answering your call
Kari Hardisty directs phone calls and types away

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 12/99) - "Good afternoon, First Nation."

When you call the Liidlii Kue First Nation (LKFN) office between 1 and 5 p.m. there's a good chance the aforementioned phrase will be the first words you will hear. The pleasant voice on the other end will likely belong to receptionist Kari Hardisty.

Hardisty, 22, began working at the LKFN office in early January through the Youth Services Canada (YSC) program. YSC offers job placements for youths and young adults.

Sonny Lenoir, the band's social programs co-ordinator, made Hardisty aware that she'd be eligible for the YSC program again this year. Hardisty, who uses a wheelchair, enrolled last year, but office sites that were wheelchair accessible were scarce. With the recent renovations to the LKFN office, Lenoir and YSC director Gerry Antoine knew Hardisty now had a place where she could advance her skills.

Having her own computer at home, Hardisty already possesses adequate typing efficiency and is proving a good fit as a receptionist. Lenoir noted that she takes minutes during meetings as well. She said she hopes to go to school at Aurora College in Fort Smith in the future. She has a computer-based career in mind.

At the LKFN office, Hardisty also answers phones, re-directs calls and takes messages. The phone lines don't light up during most of the afternoon, except late in the day, said Hardisty.

"Close to 5 p.m., everybody calls," she said.

Since Hardisty wasn't familiar with all the computer programs at the office, she benefited from her sister Noleen's help when she started. Noleen, who has a desk next to Kari's, has been on the job for just over three months now.

The work environment is an aspect that Kari said she enjoys.

"I know everybody and I get along with them good," she said.

Others appreciate her demeanour as well, according to Lenoir.

"She's nice and polite, and very outgoing," he said. "It's great. We always knew she could do the job."