One of the main things about A Métis Man's Dream, From Traplines to Tugboats in Canada's North for me as the author is the sense of direction that Gordon Gill had, even as a kid. He knew he wanted to be a welder and a mechanic, and somebody who could make a difference in the lives of others.
I doubt Gordon knew how his goals would carry him to success but somehow he seemed to know that he had to try. Gordon kept his eyes open for opportunity and wasn't afraid to try new things. Some succeeded; some did not.
Even in discouraging times, Gordon received unsolicited help from others that pushed him in new directions or gave him new ideas about business. Gordon's explanation was that he always worked hard; he did more than he was paid for, and gave more than was expected of him. He always wanted to help others look good.
That may be the core lesson of A Métis Man's Dream and of Gordon's personal success.
My own sense is that Gordon's personal friendliness combined with his dedication to hard work and his focus on the success of others led to 'pay it forward' reactions from others. Gordon was positive and gracious enough to engender that from others and to do the same for others. He was able to decide to follow through on the opportunities made available to him.
I asked Gordon a number of times during the interviews we had if he had any advice, any wisdom to share with young people, Indigenous, Métis or otherwise.
Gordon's answer was always no; he didn't presume to advise others. He felt that his situation was not likely to be repeated, that for him the stars aligned in such a way that he was blessed with good friends, good advisors and good success.
The funny thing for me is that the harder Gordon worked, and the more he tried to help others, the more those stars aligned. Just coincidence I guess.