Aaron Pete is Now on Substack
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It has been about 2 years and 50 episodes of the Bigger Than Me Podcast and I felt it was time to start sharing my journey a bit more.
Many listeners don’t know why I started this, where my passion comes from, how I select guests, and what I hope to get out of each interview. Well… this is my tell all. In this newsletter I hope to elaborate on why I chose to have a certain guest on, what I learned from it, and what I hope you get out of the episode.
I started the Bigger Than Me Podcast for a lot of different reasons. The catalyst was when I was driving back and forth to UBC Law school, listening to hours worth of podcasts and realized there wasn’t a long-form podcast focused on people in British Columbia. As well, I knew that there were people I thought were inspirational who had an important story to tell, a passion to share or knowledge to pass on. My idea was to sit down with people for 2-3 hours, and really hear their journey in full.
From March 2020 to June 2020 I worked on buying equipment, turning our storage room into a studio, and planning how I would structure the podcast. I needed to learn about audio equipment, video equipment, types of comfortable chairs, lighting, social media and how to contact potential guests. Those initial episodes are rough to listen back on because I was monotone, nervous, intimidated, and I lacked confidence. That being said, I learned a lot during those first 15 episodes.
Of course, I’ve learned a lot recently. During a lot of the episodes, the video cameras were up high on the wall (the logic behind it was to avoid intimidating guests), but after meeting with Matej from Colla Films, he said I was making it seem like the audience was a fly on the wall. Yikes… That was not my goal. Matej was super helpful, and came into the studio, looked at my set-up and recommended spots for the video cameras. I still feel guilt about those fly-on-the-wall episodes, because I want each interview to be something the guest can be proud of.
I believe when we act in a way that is bigger than ourselves, it allows us to live a meaningful life and that is what I hope to highlight in each interview. I hope this newsletter and the podcast INSPIRE you. I hope each episode motivates you to follow your passion, chase your goals and realize your potential!
In Episode 50 with Keith Thor Carlson we talk about bad political actors in British Columbia including Richard Clement Moody and Joseph Trutch. Richard Moody (Port Moody was named after him) illegally land speculated and tried to downsize Indigenous reserves. Joseph Trutch was successful at reducing the size of the reserves. To learn more read the Fraser Valley Currents article on The Man Who Stole a Valley.
Dr. Dara Kelly, from episode 49, is an expert in Indigenous leadership, philosophy and economic systems. In a time where so many communities are looking to develop economically I was interested in her perspectives. We talk about leadership, responsibility, and Potlatches - but my biggest takeaway is that we need to be patient. Each community is dealing with past trauma, abuse, and will rise up in due time.
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Today, I am proud to announce episode 51 with Pepita Elena McKee. Mark Lalonde, a past guest and former professor of mine, connected us. Mark was a supporter of the podcast early on, episode 8 actually. We talked about his role as Chief Safety Officer at Simon Fraser University and teaching at the University of the Fraser Valley.
Pepita Elena McKee is the founder and CEO of Impact Resolutions. She acts as a director for the Enrichment League, a Community Liaison with the First Nation Education Foundation and works on a sub-committee with Women in Mining BC. Pepita is also the Co-Chair for the Technical Advisory Committee of the Indigenous Centre for Cumulative Effects.
In our conversation, we talk about her overcoming adversity in her youth, finding a career that is meaningful to you, and founding Impact Resolutions. Pepita is sort of a mediator between First Nation communities and corporations. I wanted to understand how those conversations work. Often, in my view, Indigenous people are described or stereotyped as being “anti-development”, but economic development is often the tool to raise communities out of poverty (at least that is what my research has found for my law school paper). How do we balance these two interests? What is going on behind the scenes during these negotiations? What could we do better to reduce the political nature of developments? These were the thoughts I went into my conversation with Pepita Elena McKee with, and she did not disappoint!