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On a chilly fall weekend in the middle of October, Red Road alumni along with several teachers from across Mi’kma’ki attended the first of many workshops as part of the Master Cultural Apprentice program. 

The goal of this Education Partnerships Program (EPP) is to help teachers from both MK schools and Provincial Public schools learning ways to infuse Mi’kmaq language and Culture into the classroom.  These teachers will learn along with our Red Road Alumni and elders how to make Netuklimk and Jenita’simk (Mi’kmaw Mindfulness) come alive in the classrooms.  The other focus of this EPP is to look at education in a holistic and inclusive matter to be able to adapt lessons to meet the needs and interests of students across this province.  It is to help break down the walls of the classroom and what curriculum can look like and how it can be inclusive to all.  

“My hope for this project is two fold, first I hope that every participant sees themselves as being a Treaty person and that they are called to bring Mi’kmaw teachings into their communities and classrooms,” Said Janean Marshall, Students Services Consultant. “The second is that the participants see themselves as a way to practice Netukllimk, Jenita’simk and inclusion of all learners is seamless.  Its a tall order but the potential in these participants is amazing and the willingness for our knowledge keepers to share has been the most humbling and rewarding work.  The first weekend was a powerful weekend of ceremony, sharing , learning, and laughter.”   

Over the weekend, the focus for the camp was on Harvesting or Netukulimk. Topics covered included harvesting, ceremonies, history, language, Mi’kmaq culture, trapping, tanning, furs, traditional medicines, traditional knowledge, waltes and much more. 

Many of our L’nu traditional knowledge holders such as Elder Lottie Johnson, Elder Lawrence Wells, Terry Denny, Luke Denny, Elder Danny Paul, Sugar Poulette, Michelle Marshall-Johnson (for Elder Albert Marshall), and Elders Ernest and Miney Johnson came out to share their knowledge and stories. They all led cultural workshops which left all of the participants with so much appreciation for our culture. “We all learned so much,” said Michael R Denny, Red Road Project Coordinator.  “We also know that this was only the surface of a part of our culture and we hope to learn so much more.”

Future camps are currently being planned and the next one will focus on the preparation for and creating of traditional Mi’kmaq baskets. 

The Board of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey is very pleased to announce the selection of Blaire Gould as the new Executive Director. Blaire has been working as acting Executive Director over the past 2 months and was chosen as the successful candidate for the position of Executive Director on October 25th, 2019. 

 A life long resident of Eskasoni and a fluent Mi’kmaw speaker, Blaire obtained her undergrad from Cape Breton University in 2008 and completed her Bachelor of Education from St. Francis Xavier University in 2010. She completed her Master of Education degree from St. Francis Xavier University in 2018. 

Ms. Gould brings to the position 10 years of experience in the educational field. She has worked as a Mi’kmaw language consultant at Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey for 8 years and has been instrumental in developing language programming across Mi’kmaki. She has also been a strong advocate for Mi’kmaw education on a National level and has presented at various conferences across the country and internationally. Over the past year, she held the position of the Director of Program Services at Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. In that capacity, she worked with Mi’kmaw communities and provincial partners to enhance educational programming for Mi’kmaq students across Nova Scotia. 

“Wela’lioq, welta’si. Elukewkik knijannaqq aqq elmi’knikewaq, etek nkamlamumn tli’sutiminu aqq siaw-mlkuktites ta’n L’nu’k mawi-mkite’temitij.” 

“I am very humbled to be chosen to represent the organization. It is a privilege to work for our children and future generations, I will work diligently with our communities to move education forward,” said Blaire. “Our language is sacred and it is in my heart to continue to work toward the reclamation of our language and culture with our people.”

Please join us in welcoming Blaire as our new Executive Director of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey!

Tiffany Gould of We’koqma’q, Sarah Doucette of Membertou, Nicole Johnson and Mary Elizabeth Denny of Eskasoni are the four recipients of this year’s Sister Dorothy Moore Mi’kmaq Education Scholarship.

The awards, valued at $1,500 each, were presented during the Treaty Day Celebration on Oct. 1st in Halifax, NS.  

As a gesture of reconciliation during the 2011 Truth and Reconciliation event held in Halifax, the Government of Nova Scotia announced the creation of the annual scholarship fund to assist Mi’kmaq persons studying full-time in a recognized teacher certification/education program. 

Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey named the scholarship program after Sister Dorothy Moore, an educator and respected elder who has devoted her life to enhancing educational opportunities for Mi’kmaq people.

Applicants must submit an essay describing how their education and career goals are linked to Mi’kmaw culture, language, and improving Mi’kmaq student outcomes in on-reserve schools as well as the public school system. The application also has to include a summary of non-academic attributes such as leadership, service to the community, volunteer experience, and extra-curricular activities.

The winners of the Donald Marshall Senior Memorial Scholarship were Christina Dykstra of Pictou Landing and Bertram Bernard Jr. of Eskasoni. 

 

One of our favourite parts of September is celebrating Nitap Day with all of our communities. This year, schools took part in some creative events to celebrate friendships. In Membertou school, the grade 8 students were paired up with the grade primary students for a digital scavenger hunt. The students had a list of tasks including everything from culturally based activities like drumming on the drum to technology based things like finding something or someone in the school and taking a picture of it with their group. They also had school wide activities in the afternoon.  We’koqma’q school spent the morning learning about being a good friend and celebrated with centres in the afternoon where students did many things together like puzzles, parachute games, and dancing. It was a great day for all of our students across the province!

The fall weather was beautiful in Orangedale for the first annual Mi’kmaw Language Teachers Networking Retreat. From September 20th to the 22nd, approximately 45 educators spent the weekend learning, planning, laughing, and sharing knowledge and great food at Camp Rod. 

 

Over the past few years, Mi’kmaw language teachers across the province have had the opportunity to take part in quarterly networking sessions. These sessions, held on a Saturday, generally focused on language or cultural teachings that the teachers were interested in. This year was the first time they were able to spend a weekend together.  

The theme for the weekend was “Mi’kmaw History Month” and the educators were given some time to plan their lessons for the month of October and beyond. The entire weekend was packed with opportunities to share and learn from each other and from invited elders and speakers. 

 

The first night was spent brainstorming possible lessons that could be developed from the books that have been provided by Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. They discussed any vocabulary that was of interest from the books and also worked on developing a timeline for the month of October, highlighting what to do and what to teach. 

Saturday was a busy day where educators spent the morning learning about the protocols for the Grand Council from Kji Saqamaw Norman Sylliboy, Kji Keptin Antle Denny and Wilma Simon. They learned about the different roles in the Grand Council, the reason behind the different colours for their sashes, the process for choosing Keptins and they also got to spend some time with the new Grand Chief. 

After lunch on Saturday, Joe and Judy Googoo shared their knowledge on medicines, harvesting, hunting, and preserving with the group. This was followed by some time spent with Terry and Luke Denny doing some traditional cooking. 

Morgan Toney came out to play some tunes on the fiddle for the group and the evening was filled with fun and laughter playing bingo. 

Sunday morning was spent planning for future retreats and professional development that they would like to receive throughout the year. 

 

“I thought the weekend was great,” said Alwyn Jeddore, Mi’kmaw Language Consultant for Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. “I think the teachers all enjoyed the weekend and got a lot out of it. I can’t wait to do it again.” 

 

All of the lessons that the teachers developed over the weekend will be uploaded onto google classroom so that they are able to share and access them at any time. It was a great weekend for everyone involved and everyone is looking forward to the next one!

     From May 15 – 17, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey hosted this year’s Mi’kmaw Language Conference in the community of Membertou for the first time, with over 500 participants in attendance. 

  L'nui'sultinej is a biennial conference which brings together Mi'kmaq people from across the Mi'kmaq Nation to look at education issues related to language preservation, enhancement and revitalization. 

  “I’m proud of how the L’nui’sultinej conference has grown. We had a record number of people participate this year, ” said Yolanda Denny, Mi’kmaw Language Consultant for Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. “Our theme L’nuita’sulti’kw, L’nui’sulti’kw, L’nuo’lti’kw Nike’ aq Elmi’knik captures the essence of how important speaking, learning and sharing our beautiful language is. By having this conference, we are able to share, learn and connect with educators from all over Mi’kma’ki so that we can ensure our language will survive into the future for our children and grandchildren.”

       The conference agenda was filled with sessions from language educators and specialists. There was a keynote to begin each day and entertainment both Wednesday and Thursday night. The favourite place for many was the Elders room, where stories were shared and Waltes was played. It was an enjoyable and educational event for all who attended. 

 

In early April, a language retreat was held in Kespukwitk to celebrate the completion of the language classes taught by Beverly Jeddore throughout the year. All participants were invited to attend along with any interested community members in the hopes that the group will continue to grow.

 

The entire community was very impressed with how much Mi’kmaw the language learners were able to learn over the course of the year.

During the event, Daniel Paul spoke to the group about his books and shared some of the knowledge he has learned and Jane Meader shared her knowledge on culture and traditions.

 

Each of the participants was presented with the Mi’kmaw verb flash cards with voice support. They also received a USB containing all of the lessons that were covered over the year, including the songs recorded by Beverly Jeddore.

 

Everyone is looking forward to the start of another round of classes!

The annual Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey

Regional Science Fair was held at We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School on April 11, 2019. There were many amazing projects and all of the students in attendance represented their schools and communities proudly. Judges evaluated for first, second and third in the categories of Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6, Grades 7-9, and Grades 10-12.

    

The judges for the Grades 3-4 category were Janice Basque and Ann Therese Doucette from CBU. Judges for the Grade 5-6 category were Mary Beth Doucette and Karen Foss from CBU. The Grade 7-9 category was judged by Helen Mersereau, Matthias Bierenstiel from CBU, along with Darlene Gillis and Jennifer MacDonald. 

 

Judges for the grade 10-12 category included Russell Wyeth from STFX, Brendan Grue from SMU, Martin Mkandawire and Ken Oake from CBU. They also evaluated the students to choose who will attend the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF) and receive scholarships.

 

Scholarships and bursaries were awarded to top placings from St. Mary’s University, Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, St Francis Xavier University. There was also an award this year called the  Public Health Scholarship which came from from CBU.

Results 2019

 

Category II

(Grade 3-4)

Judges: Janice Basque, Ann Terese Doucette

1st = Magnetic Cereal; Janel and Katalina, Pictou Landing

2nd = Taste the Difference; Jocelyn and Kashawnda, LSK

3rd = Salt Crystals; Kristen and Bryden, Pictou Landing

 

Category III

(Grade 5-6)

Judges: Mary Beth Doucette, Karen Foss

1st = Stressed Out; Camden Maloney, LSK

2nd = The Magnificent Robot; Max Johnson and Bryson Morrison, Potlotek

3rd = How Can Smell Affect Taste; Sophie Mills and Marley Paul, Pictou Landing

 

Category IV

(Grade 7-9)

Judges: Helen Mersereau, Matthias Bierenstiel, Darlene Gillis, Jennifer MacDonald

1st = Responding to my Language; Maria Alex, Eskasoni

2nd = Bacteria, Joy Johnson and Maria Young, Eskasoni

Public Health Scholarship  Joy Johnson and Maria Young CBU $ 500

3rd = Flow State; Chase Denny, Eskasoni

 

Category V

(Grade 10-12)

Judges: Russell Wyeth, Brendan Grue, Martin Mkandawire, Ken Oake

1st = Short Term Memory: Adolescence vs. Adulthood;

Lainee Johnson and Cameron Denny , Eskasoni

Scholarships Lainee Johnson CBU $ 2500 (up to $ 10,000)

Cameron Denny CBU $ 2500 + Dalhousie $ 1500

2nd = Strength of 3D Printed Chains; Ritchie Googoo, We'koqma'q

Scholarship Ritchie Googoo SMU, $ 2000

3rd = Does Colour Improve Memorization; Erin Denny, Eskasoni Scholarships Erin Denny StFXU, $ 2000 + CBU $ 500

On January 28th, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK) celebrated the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Language with an exciting event in We’koqmaq, Nova Scotia.  

A cultural gathering was held at the We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School that focussed on promoting language through the creative arts. There was drumming and dancing, a feast, and the official screening of Trevor Gould’s short film “Apajismk”. 

 

The event also featured the official launch of the L’nuta’ql Mi’kmaw Music Showcase Album, which is a live album that many have described as the greatest Mi’kmaw concert ever assembled.

 

L’nuta’ql is the largest collection of original songs in the Mi’kmaw language from songwriters across the Atlantic.

“This project was a collective effort by more than a dozen musicians and artists across Mi’kmaki’ to help revitalize the language and create new original music in the Mi’kmaw language,” explained Jaime Battiste, project coordinator and Treaty Education Nova Scotia Lead. “The burden has been on educators and students to revitalize the language and combat the declining number of Mi’kmaq speakers within the Atlantic for too long.”  

The L’nuta’ql live Album is collaborative effort between MK, Music Nova Scotia, Province of Nova Scotia, and FMP Matrix producer Scott Ferguson.  The Album features 20 musical tracks in the Mi’kmaw language and some classic songs re-mastered by FMP Matrix producer Scott Ferguson. The project was meant to create incentive for artists to sing and create songs in the Mi’kmaw language. Long time recording artists and East Coast Music nominees such as Kalolin Johnson, The Relatives, Hubert Francis and many more were part of the live show during Mi’kmaw history month in October 2018. 

 

It was an amazing day that was enjoyed by all! 

 

A 2 minute highlight video of the concert is available on YouTube at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9D_C-pS5_M

 

The 2018 Sport Summit and Awards Banquet was held in Halifax from November 13 - 15. The annual event brings together community sport representatives, coaches, and athletes. During the 3-day event, participants take part in workshops and are provided with information about sporting opportunities across the province. 

 

The highlight of the event is the awards banquet, which took place on November 13th. During this year's banquet, former olympian Andrew Russell was the Keynote speaker and he provided an inspirational speech about how dedication and hard work can take you to places you never imagined. 

Our coaches and athletes of the year were also recognized during the awards banquet. This years recipients are as follows:

 

Male coach of the year - Darren Prosper

Female coach of the year - Angie Gillis

Male athletes of the year - Diego Marshall/Levi Denny

Female athlete of the year - Erin Denny

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