Laity Pumpkin Patch

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Fall Family Fun

On the 9th of October, we took the kids to the Laity Pumpkin Patch here in Maple Ridge.  There was a corn maze, many puzzles and games, a parkour course, animals, and a tractor ride.  It is still too far away from Halloween to grab our pumpkins but Nugget had the perfect one picked out and he was quite disappointed that we would not let him bring it home with us that day.  I am sure that we will get an earful when we go back and his pumpkin is not there anymore.

I will be sure to take lots of photos at Halloween, see you then!

The Journey Begins – SFU EMBA

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SFU EMBA ABL 2017 – 2020 Cohort

On the 23rd of September, I began the Masters of Business Administration program at the SFU Beedie School of Business.  We began the program with 2 days of orientation which focused on team building exercises that were designed to help us get to know our classmates.

The first full week of classes was amazing.  We spent the entire week with Professor Gary Wagenheim and he led us through the Leadership and Teamwork course.  It was an intense week of discovery and self-reflection about who we are as leaders within our respective organizations.

The second week had 2 courses packed into it and it felt quite rushed, to be honest.  We had Professor Scott Powell for Business Communications and Professors Mark Selman and Joy Cramer for Indigenous Values and Governance.  The Business Communications had us examine negotiation techniques, effective meeting management strategies, presentation skills, and writing skills for professionals.  The Indigenous Values and Governance course took a look at how oral histories such as origin stories communicated the leadership values that a people hold dear and aspire to achieve today.

This is a minor point but I want to let you know that the program feeds us breakfast every morning.  I was quite rushed catching the train from Maple Ridge to downtown Vancouver every day and the morning breakfasts and coffee made a significant difference in my learning during the week.  It is a small touch, but so appreciated.

This will be a very short blog post as I have approximately 5 assignments that I need to be writing.  What I can say for certain is that I will not have enough time to update my website as regularly as I would like to.  The amount of reading and writing that we have to do over the next 2.5 years is fairly intense.

I am very excited about heading to the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona in Tucson for 2 weeks in January of 2018.  It sounds like it will be a very intense 2 weeks of learning!

The photo to the right features the beautiful class jackets that the program provided to us.  We also received coffee mugs, keychains, lanyards, and a few other swag items that everyone really appreciated.

SFU EMBA ABL Headshot

Adventures in Podcasting

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Adventures in Podcasting

I have been listening to podcasts for 4 years now.  My commute from Maple Ridge to Ruby Creek is 70 minutes each way, so I have a lot of time to listen to audio in the car and, as much as I love her, even Taylor Swift starts to get stale after a few years on repeat.

My podcast obsession started with Serial, a true crime story about a young man in prison when there is substantial doubt about whether he is the murderer or not.  The podcast was an amazing display of storytelling, the narrator drew me in and I simply could not wait to get back into the vehicle to listen to the next episode.  Good podcasts are like that, they are addictive.

Some of my current favourites are:

So here I am 4 years later and I thought I would try to make a podcast, as a hobby.  One of the first things that you need to decide when setting out to create a podcast is what it is that you will talk about.  I don’t have much expertise in anything, aside from being devilishly handsome and charming, so it took some time to figure out what my podcast should be about.  I have finally decided that I will talk about my job.  Economic Development in First Nations communities.  This will be a great way to connect with the members of the community that I work for and it will expand my network in the field by allowing me to interview successful Economic Development Officers, Consultants, Chief and Council members and grassroots Entrepreneurs.

So I am going to give it a go.  This is the first ever episode of Ruby Creek Radio.  In this episode, I interview Patrick Lucas from the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program about the trail network that we are currently building on the north side of Skawahlook I.R. #1.  This isn’t anything fancy.  There is no catchy theme music yet and I totally stumble through the interview but here it is.  Enjoy!

Click The Link Below To Listen
Episode 001 – Patrick Lucas

Greater Vancouver Zoo

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National Aboriginal Day 2017

This is being posted nearly 2 months after we went to the zoo.  I have been very busy at work and it took me a while before I could get around to editing the video footage together.

On June 21st, 2017, the Greater Vancouver Zoo offered free admission to Indigenous people to celebrate National Aboriginal Day.  It was a nice gesture; however, the execution was flawed.  When we got to the admission gate, we were told that we were required to have a status card in order to claim the offer of free entry.  This was not an issue for me, as I always carry mine in my wallet, but my children do not yet have status cards.  I had copies of letters from INAC on my phone, which indicated that the kids were indeed status, but that wasn’t good enough for the person at the kiosk.  We were finally allowed to enter after speaking with a manager.

This is ultimately a post about the great time that my family had at the zoo so I’ll leave the political rant for another time.

We Love Hippos!

Cleo’paw’tra Goes on an Adventure

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Rieboldt Park is a short drive from our house.  Cleo and I frequently go for morning walks through this serene little forest.  The park is always beautiful but this particular morning was especially enchanting as the fog was quite thick and heavy droplets of morning dew clung to the leaves of the trees.

An interesting fact is that this tiny park is home to 12 black bears, according to the park caretaker.  I have never personally seen any of the bears but I have been assured that they have seen me.  I am not too worried about it, there hasn’t been a black bear attack in Maple Ridge in as long as anyone can remember.  They appear to be more afraid of us than we are of them.