Award-winning Métis author Aaron Paquette to speak at Red Deer fundraiser

Native Friendship Centre is raising donations for a new Asooahum Culture Centre

Métis storyteller, artist and award-winning author Aaron Paquette will speak at a fundraiser for a planned indigenous cultural centre for Red Deer.

Paquette won the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit literature in 2015 for his debut fantasy novel Lightfinder. As a painter, his best known work is a mural at Edmonton’s Grandin LRT Station. Paquette, who’s of Cree, Cherokee and Norwegian descent, is also the president of the Cree8 Success consulting firm.

He will be in Red Deer on Wednesday, March 22, to speak to school students during the day. That evening, he will address a benefit audience at the Red Deer Public Schools district office.

“We want to create a story circle, and Aaron will talk about his new book,” said Tanya Schur, who works at the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre and is director of the new Asooahum Crossing. She believes the event will be of particular interest to writers, teacher and librarians.

It’s being held to raise donations for the construction of the city’s first indigenous culture centre. It’s estimated to cost $4-million, and is planned for next to the Asooahum Crossing, which is under construction at 4615 Riverside Drive, next to the Lion’s Campground.

The residential complex is being built in two stages. The first phase of 16 affordable living suites for aboriginal and non-aboriginal residents is expected to be completed in May. Schur said 70 per cent of the $2.9 million cost was funded by the federal government. She hopes grants will be available for the second phase of another 16 suites, in 2018.

Meanwhile, the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre is raising public donations for the construction of a community culture centre the size of the Golden Circle. Schur said it would be a multi-purpose space that would bring aboriginal culture to the wider community.

When completed, Schur envisions moving some programs from the Native Friendship Centre to the new centre. “We would keep our outreach program downtown,” she added, but move others.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. fundraiser, featuring Paquette, are $20 from the Native Friendship Centre.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Influenza claims two more in Central Alberta

Since flu season began four months ago 16 have died in Central Alberta

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Ottawa vows legislation allowing firms to settle corporate corruption

OTTAWA — The Canadian government is vowing to introduce legislation for corporate… Continue reading

‘Lost Tapes’ series examines Malcolm X through rare footage

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Malcolm X was reviled and adored during his lifetime… Continue reading

Woe, Canada: Germany ousts Canada 4-3

GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of — Germany has knocked Canada out of the… Continue reading

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month