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For Nahanni Olson, the best way of reaching Indigenous youth in our community is through meaningful relationships, and that’s why I think she is the perfect person to lead this new University of Saskatchewan mentorship program called BIRM. She is all about relationships! BIRM stands for Building Intercultural Resilience Mentorship. The program is i…
 
"In rural-speak: head out of the city on 22nd Street and stay on Highway 14 for about 10km." This is how Katie Suek started an email this summer when we were coordinating this podcast episode. Despite the fact that it's a short drive from Saskatoon to the Suek acreage, as soon as you step foot on Restoring 71, you do feel like you are light years a…
 
Welcome to Season Four of YXE Underground. I am very grateful for your support of this local, independent podcast and I am excited to be sharing another season of stories with you. We begin Season Four with an in-depth look at safe and affordable housing in Saskatoon. This is an issue that has come up time and time again throughout the podcast. Whe…
 
I’m very excited to share with you a conversation I had last month with a really insightful and caring person named Lisa Grieg. Lisa is a social worker by trade and has worked as a therapist in the past. Currently, she works as a Student Affairs Professional at the College of Dentistry at the University of Saskatchewan and is about to have her seco…
 
Welcome to a special summer bonus episode of YXE Underground. I hope you are having a great summer so far and are managing to stay cool in what has been a sweltering summer here in Saskatoon. I want to share with you a conversation I had a few weeks ago with a really amazing young man named John Langan. John is a member of the Canadian Military and…
 
When you walk into Saskatoon's Prince Philip School, a wave of hospitality and community hits you. It's a small elementary school tucked away in the city's south end and it holds a special place in Mindy's Macdonald's heart. Mindy attended Prince Philip as a child and now teaches kindergarten in a carefully classroom to ensure her students are kept…
 
Jordan Stovra's character cannot be contained behind a mask and a hairnet. For the past eight years, the 24 year-old former football player has worked pretty much every job you can imagine at the Varsity Common Sobeys on 8th Street and Cumberland in Saskatoon. Whether it's cutting halibut steaks in the seafood department, collecting carts in the pa…
 
On a December evening in 2017, Andrea Schick's life was thrown into chaos. The health of her four and a half year-old son, Sebastian, quickly took a turn for the worse. Doctors in Regina didn't know what was wrong and because Saskatchewan didn't have a children's hospital at the time, Andrea and her family were forced to travel to Edmonton so that …
 
Spend some time in the Ronald McDonald House here in Saskatoon and you will feel a lot of things. You will feel the kindness of staff as they work to serve the families that are calling the house home while going through extremely challenging times. You will feel creativity as you discover all the big and little things within the house designed to …
 
March 20th was the first day of spring and it felt like a day to be outside. I woke up early to go for a haircut and run a few errands, including picking up lunch for my wife who was at home participating in an all day zoom conference. I think seeing her sitting in front of her laptop inspired me to make the most of the afternoon and headed out for…
 
"If I allow praise to be why I do this job or get wrapped up in that life-saving mentality, I would worry about the job I'm doing. You have to keep some humility." Jen Rondeau is a very humble and wise woman. As a Critical Care Paramedic, her job is to help those who need immediate medical help. She works with Air Ambulance and Road Ambulance based…
 
How are you doing? It's a question I have asked my friends, my family, my colleagues and plenty of strangers during the last year. It's been a hard year for many in our community due to the pandemic. I think it's fair to say we've all had to deal with various mental health challenges. As we approach one year of the Covid-19 pandemic here in Saskato…
 
I love speaking with Scotty Dicks. In Season One of YXE Underground, Scotty appeared on the podcast to talk about his work in growing Saskatoon's culinary scene. A wonderful chef who loves collaborating, Scotty worked with different restaurants and pubs in the city developing their menus while teaching classes at The Local Kitchen and running his o…
 
I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Jodi Grant for the past four years. Jodi is a resident at Sherbrooke Community Centre, which is where I work, and her life has been full of challenges. However, one of her constant sources of joy has been reading stories out loud to students. At Sherbrooke, Jodi reads to grade six students as part of the iGen …
 
Yulissa Campos has a wonderful presence to her. It's a mix of confidence and conviction, fuelled by a lot of passion to tell and share stories on a stage before an audience. At the age of 26, Yulissa has accomplished a great deal in Saskatoon's local theatre scene. She has written and performed plays that are uniquely her own and has started her ow…
 
I was very excited and nervous for this interview. I mean, how often do you get to meet people who are literally trying to save the world? In my mind, Andrea Kroeker and Jill Van Kessel are superheroes and it was a real thrill to speak with them. Andrea and Jill are Research Technicians at Saskatoon's VIDO-InterVac, an organization located on the U…
 
The Broadway Theatre holds a lot of meaning for people in Saskatoon. Some people go to the Broadway for live theatre, others come for movies, and if you're like me, you buy a seat to one of the many of the great concerts hosted by the venue. It really is a hub for Saskatoon's artistic and creative community and like many other venues in our city, i…
 
About halfway through our conversation, Natalya Mason describes why she took part in this summer's Black Lives Matter protests in Saskatoon, and I love it when she says, "this wasn't my first protest." It offers you a hint of Natalya's character. She is passionate, caring, determined and not afraid to say what's on her mind and in her heart. Nataly…
 
You don't forget a person like Julia Holliday-Scott. Julia is Director of Support Services at Prairie Harm Reduction (formerly AIDS Saskatoon). She is caring, passionate, and is able to articulate her thoughts in a way that makes you think, "yeah, I can get behind that!" Julia first appeared on the podcast in December of 2019. That was when the saf…
 
There are so many moments from this episode that stand out to me, but one of my favourite is when Tara Janzen and Honey Constant walked up to the massive wire fence to see the bison. They both instinctively reached for the fence and wrapped their fingers around the wires in order to get as close to as possible to the bison. Or as Honey calls them, …
 
When Anita Smith pitches you an idea, it's pretty hard to say no! Anita is the Executive Director of Saskatoon's 25th Street Theatre Company. It is a company rich in history and best known for producing the Saskatoon Fringe Festival every year. This year, due to Covid-19, 25th Street was forced to switch gears and do something different than the Fr…
 
Candace Gabriel really is the perfect person to run Saskatoon's Summer Snack Program. For the past 33 years, this program has provided children and their families with free and nutritious meals in parks across the city during the summer months. Candace has been the program's coordinator for the last nine years and has seen the positive impact somet…
 
The first few days of the Covid-19 pandemic are a blur for Chris Randall. Chris is a housing advocate who has been working for years with Saskatoon's most vulnerable people. When the pandemic arrived in our city, he was working on a project that tracks the number of homeless people in Saskatoon. That quickly changed when it became clear how vulnera…
 
What does Saskatoon sound like during a global pandemic? For the first weeks of our city shut down due to Covid-19, I couldn't get over how quiet the city was. There were fewer cars on the road during my morning commute to work. The trails along the riverbank were sparse and neighbourhoods like Broadway and Riversdale were empty of people. Everythi…
 
This is probably the most personal episode of YXE Underground I have done. For the past three years, I have worked at Sherbrooke Community Centre, a long-term care home in Saskatoon's east side, as its Communications Leader. It is an incredible place to come every day because of the people who live in the home and the dedicated staff who care for i…
 
Begin a conversation with Julia Holliday-Scott and you'll quickly notice a few things: She is always looking to help people who need it the most, which makes her a perfect fit as Support Services Coordinator for AIDS Saskatoon. She is also very articulate and can raise several compelling arguments and opinions in the span of a few seconds. She defi…
 
In June, I received an email from Lauryn Kronick, who is the Education and Prevention Coordinator at AIDS Saskatoon. They asked if I wanted to take part in National HIV Testing Day, which is on June 27th. My first thought was yes, of course. HIV rates in Saskatchewan are incredibly high compared to the rest of the country. Maybe if I tweeted about …
 
Spend five minutes with Bayani Trinidad and Forrest Eaglespeaker and several things become clear. One, they are passionate about their work. Two, they thrive on seeing people change and grow when it comes to their thoughts on Truth and Reconciliation. Three, they have way too much fun together! Bayani and Forrest work for a non-profit organization …
 
Matt Ingrouille wants to see change in Saskatoon when it comes to drug and addiction issues, and he realizes the best way to bring about this change is at the grassroots level. It's one of the reasons why Matt, a Constable with the Saskatoon Police Service, started the non-profit organization, Say Know. Say Know is a drug education project that is …
 
Do you know where your food comes from? It’s a question Arlie LaRoche is very passionate in answering. Arlie and her family own and operator Farm One Forty, a holistically managed farm about twenty minutes southwest of Saskatoon. As Farm One Forty's website states, “we are a local, sustainable and natural choice for Saskatoon’s ethical eaters.” Wha…
 
Janelle and I were really excited to visit Arlie LaRoche at her farm, Farm One Forty, southwest of Saskatoon last Thursday. Arlie is doing some really great things for Saskatoon's food and culinary scenes and she is a fantastic talker. We were also excited because the skies were really dynamic last Thursday, which would make for some great photogra…
 
Constable Derek Chesney has a way of communicating that makes him perfect for his job with the Saskatoon Police Service. It’s direct, respectful, and full of empathy. He credits his style from growing up on a ranch in southeast Saskatchewan surrounded by cowboys. “I got to listen to a lot of old guys BS back in the day, and they tell stories of hum…
 
Michael McLachlan vividly remembers the moment he made the conscious decision to disconnect his mind and his body during his battle against cancer. It was two in the morning. He was on all fours on his hospital bed overlooking the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon. An aggressive form of cancer had invaded McLachlan’s central nervous system and …
 
Say the word CANCER and each of you will have something different come to mind. It might involve a loved one who had cancer or perhaps is going through treatments right now. When it comes to cancer care, there are gaps in the system, but there are also people in Saskatoon working hard to fill in those gaps. Part One of Episode 12 introduces you to …
 
When Carrie Hart got the call that her son Lucas was accepted into the Little Tots program, she didn’t know what to do. “I remember that day. I was with my friend at The Forestry Farm. I was in the car and I think I started crying and then I probably did laps in my car because I was so excited. It was an instant sense of relief.” Relief because her…
 
A veterinarian feeling overworked due to a difficult caseload. A student feeling overwhelmed with exams. A family feeling crushed because of the loss of their pet. All are scenarios Erin Wasson confronts at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Wasson is a social worker at the WCVM. She provides counselling servic…
 
“My name is Jessica Fisher and I am a cisgender, queer woman who is both Metis and a settler.” That is how Jessica Fisher introduces herself to elementary and high school students in Saskatoon and around the province. Fisher works with OUTSaskatoon, bringing gender and sexual diversity education to students, teachers and administrators. She does th…
 
Saskatoon's EcoQuest Program is a grade eight class that uses nature in place of a traditional classroom. This unique outdoor education program is full of incredible students who are learning to see the world around them in new ways. In Part Two of Episode Eight, Eric spends a very cold December day exploring Saskatoon with the 28 students that mak…
 
When you think of a typical grade 8 classroom, you probably envision a space filled with rows of desks and a blackboard at the front of the room. Saskatoon's EcoQuest class is definitely not your typical classroom. EcoQuest brings 28 grade 8 students together from across the city and allows them to learn in the natural world. It's an outdoor experi…
 
Scott Dicks is a very busy man. The Saskatoon chef has worked in some of the finest restaurants in Western Canada and learned from award winning chefs. Now, Chef Scotty is giving back to Saskatoon's food scene by consulting with local businesses like Collective Coffee and 9 Mile Brewery, teaching cooking classes at The Local Kitchen, and even cooki…
 
I take a lot of pride in being the most enthusiastic person in a room. But when I meet Erin McCormick for the first time in her riding arena, I quickly realize that I don’t hold a candle next to her. Erin owns Therapeutic Equilibrium Riding. Every week, she teaches 110 children and adults with varying degrees of physical and cognitive challenges th…
 
Kenton Lysak is a Senior Interpreter for Saskatoon's Meewasin Valley Authority and a lover of all things nature. All Kenton wants to do is teach you about the Meewasin Valley's natural beauty, and he will do it in a way that will inspire to go out and explore! He is also a brand new father. In this episode of YXE Underground, Kenton takes host Eric…
 
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