Podcast #67: January 25, 2021
Edmonton Councillor Aaron Paquette joins me today in a lively and joyful conversation about how Edmonton might orient its decisions and budgeting process towards well-being.
Aaron exudes pure joy and hope when he speaks. His passion for life is infectious.
A gifted visual artist and father of four, Aaron’s indigenous roots gives Aaron a unique perspective in politics and his appreciation for my remarkable home of Edmonton, known to the Cree people as the great ‘pehonen’ or gathering place on Turtle Island (North America). In the word Edmonton is the Cree word ‘monto’ meaning ‘Great Spirit.’
Councillor Paquette is committed to building strong and diverse communities in northeast Edmonton.
Prior to his election to Council, Aaron worked as an award-winning Indigenous artist and author. His work can be viewed in museums, schools, hospitals and LRT stations across our city. His novel, Lightfinder, is taught in schools and post-secondary institutions across Canada. He has also worked with local schools in Edmonton’s north side to help create mural projects.
His passion for education also led him to work with Alberta Education, various school boards and teachers associations to help develop art curriculum and improve academic achievement. In 2012, he created an education conference to lay new ground for more effective approaches to creating healthy and respectful learning environments for students and teachers.
In his role as City Councillor for Ward 4, Aaron sits on Executive Committee, Utility Committee and the City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee. He has sponsored the Council Initiative on Food Security, and has also taken a leadership role working on the Child-Friendly Edmonton, End Poverty Edmonton, Multiculturalism and Urban Isolation/Mental Health initiatives.
Aaron lives in Brintnell with his wife Clarice and their four children.