Aaron Paquette

Aaron Paquette

Add to list
First Nation Metis Writer, Politician, Artist and Keynote Speaker

Aaron Paquette is one of Canadaʼs best-known First Nations Metis personalities. He is a bestselling, award-winning author, an acclaimed painter and artist, an illustrator, goldsmith and cathedral stained glass artist.

Active in his community, Aaron sits on various civic, provincial and national Boards and Advisory Councils.  On October 16, 2017, Aaron was elected to the Edmonton City Counsel to represent Ward 4 in the City’s Northeast

He is also fortunate to be alive.  It was on an August night in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that Aaron found himself on the guardrails of the High Level Bridge. A moment of crisis. Over the intervening years, through ups and downs and many mistakes and learning opportunities, Aaron has found a way to voice his message. We all suffer, but none of us are alone. There is a strength within us and around us that we can constantly draw on, not only to get us through tough times, but to propel us into the life we always wanted.

Aaron’s public art and mural work is colourful, flowing and accessible, perfect for any community.  In great demand, Aaron is an engaging, exciting and inspiring speaker and gives generously of his spirit in laughter, joy and learning.

He has shared the stage with former and current politicians such as Phil Fontaine, Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, Dr. Marie Wilson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, former Auditor General of Canada Sheilah Fraser, Right Honorable Paul Martin, among others.

In early 2013 he coined the term #Ottawapiskat which helped disrupt the way we look at the relationship between Indigenous Reservations and the Canadian Government in a constructive and humorous way. It was a stark and paradigm shifting marriage of the words Ottawa (Canada’s capital city) and Attawapiskat, a northern community under the grip of extreme poverty and suffering. People immediately saw the potential and began creating their own highly charged, incisive, or just plain funny tweets around the new word. Making space for other’s creativity and inventiveness is something that inspires Aaron’s work and efforts.

His bestselling, award winning novel Lightfinder is taught across Canada in schools, colleges and universities. He was a candidate for Member of Parliament for the riding of Edmonton-Manning in 2015.

Add to list

Speaking topics

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is the New World

Organizations across North America are grappling with questions around Diversity and Inclusion. While most have a general understanding of what this may look like, and why it is important, very real questions remain.

Can we go further in our understanding and practice? What does that look like? What challenges might we be faced with and what are the benefits we can realize when we open our organization more fully to these concepts? The good news is the answers to these questions and more can be discovered along the way.

Aaron Paquette takes the audience on a journey of obstacle and triumph that is both deeply personal and universal. Through story and experience the societal, structural, and imaginary divisions that separate us are challenged, making way for a robust and resilient approach to bringing out the best in those around us and in our organizations.

Inspired Leadership: Navigating Adversity with Resilience and Possibility

In his keynote, ” Inspired Leadership” Aaron Paquette shares his remarkable journey from adversity to triumph. Drawing from his experiences as an artist, author, Edmonton city councillor, and former CEO, he integrates the transformative power of traditional knowledge and storytelling.

Through these rich narratives, Aaron offers compelling strategies for overcoming obstacles and embracing possibility.  Join Aaron Paquette as he energizes and empowers your audience with a message of personal strength, community,  well-being, and timeless wisdom.

My Mental Health Journey

Many years ago Aaron Paquette found himself on a bridge contemplating suicide but he didn’t jump.   This keynote is about his mental health journey and what led Aaron to not only surviving but flourishing.   He shares why and how he was able to shift from a life of despair to a life full of purpose and hope.

Video clips

Aaron Paquettte

Speaker testimonials

Aaron was outstanding.
Aaron was extremely engaging and very sincere in the stories he shared. We had the highest turnout for a non-mandatory speaker that we’ve ever had. And I was watching the numbers on webex and almost no one dropped off; which is amazing. I’ve had nothing but great comments from the highest parts of the organization.
I think Aaron did a great job of making an extremely difficult topic approachable in a way that people felt safe challenging their beliefs and their understanding of Canada’s past.

Air Miles Loyalty Program

Aaron was amazing. He actually did exceed my expectations… I would recommend him as a keynote. He’s a great speaker, very comfortable and genuine. He was especially well-received for his evening storytelling event. We had the attendees fill out an evaluation form. Every single form praised Aaron (not a single negative review). I wanted to share just a few of the comments with you: “Loved his author reading on Wednesday night. So Captivating!” … “Very powerful message” … “He did an amazing job” … “He was one of the best storytellers I have ever heard. Both times he spoke” … “Mr. Paquette was a perfect keynote, very engaging, very honest and entertaining” … “He was wonderful” … “Very inspiring” … “His stories were heartfelt” … “He was incredible. Very talented storyteller” … “He was awesome. Loved it” … “Inspiring and great way to lay the foundation for entire symposium” … “He was so engaging! His personal stories were amazing and his presentation was amazing” … “Very moving, enlightening, informative” … “Engaging, animated, real, touching. Stories were from the heart. Thank you” … Thanks again for working so hard to get us the perfect [speaker]. You have been really great to work with.

Alberta Municipal Affairs Public Library Services Branch

I wanted to let you know how amazing Aaron was. I have had so much positive feedback about his keynote at our conference. He was inspirational, engaging, and honest. Such a great morning for all of us.

Aurora School, Edmonton

Our event last week was a success and Aaron was a large part of that success. His talk was fantastic! Everyone was very engaged and what he spoke about was spot on with the theme of the day. Aaron exceeded our expectations and I would absolutely recommend Aaron as a keynote speaker. My only regret was that I wish we had more time to talk personally and get to know Aaron more. Thanks again for everything and please extend our thanks and appreciation to Aaron as well.

NORDIK Institute

Aaron did an amazing job with the presentation. He captivated the audience and had them wanting more. He was welcoming to everyone that came in by making a special effort to introduce himself personally to everyone. During book signing, he took time to talk and hear stories from each patron. He has a very important story to tell and I am glad he got to share it with the patrons at the Wood Buffalo Region.

Wood Buffalo Regional Library

Was totally different from what I was expecting but really liked the approach taken. Very personal and artistic, a great demonstration and model to follow, really illustrating his points. It was really inspiring, a great presentation. Thank you Aaron for sharing your story.

North East Teachers' Convention Assn

Great presentation, Aaron is a gifted and talented storyteller. His presentation about reconciliation was very accessible and practical. His personal stories touched my heart. I appreciate that he was given a bigger venue, educators need to hear stories like Aaron’s.

North East Teachers' Convention Assn

Request fees and availability for Aaron Paquette

Request information