Aaron Pete, a Chawathil First Nation councillor and entrepreneur, will speak at the 20th annual Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards on March 9.
Tickets are now on sale for the dinner, which takes place at 6 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre.
Pete is a graduate of the Peter A. Allard School of Law and a native court worker. He sits on the board of directors of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and on the Chawathil economic development committee.
As the host of the Bigger Than Me Podcast, Pete has interviewed more than 50 guests, including Indigenous leaders, authors and law professors about how they make an impact that is bigger than themselves.
His keynote speech will share how he rose from humble beginnings in Chilliwack in a food-insecure household to finding his way to law school and his band council.
The Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards feature more than 40 nominees in six categories: inclusive environment, marketing, innovative initiative, Champion of Diversity (youth and adult), and effective human resources strategies.
Previous winners have been businesses, programs, initiatives, schools and leaders that work towards building an inclusive community, providing their clients and customers with accessible environments, and having workforces reflective of their community.
Past speakers have talked about various forms of cultural diversity, including abilities, ethnicity, gender, age, race, religion, sexual-orientation or socio-economic background.
The awards dinner featured an ethnically diverse dinner buffet, entertainment and remarks from MC Fred Lee, Vancouver’s “Man About Town.”
Archway Community Services presents the event in partnership with the Mission and Chilliwack Community Services as well as the Langley New Directions English Language School.
“Back in 2003, we weren’t sure if there was enough interest to host an event recognizing diversity and inclusion in our community,” said Manpreet Grewal, Archway director of multicultural and immigrant integration services. “But from the beginning, people bought into the concept and sponsors came on board.”
Organizer Jade Geleynse said they are looking forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary and are thankful “for all those who have helped this event have such longevity.”
Tickets are available online at diversityawards.ca or by calling 604-308-5673.