If you attended the annual MK Sports Summit banquet this past November, you may remember a row of glossy, colourful posters lining the back wall of the room. These posters, ten in total, profiled each of the ten students from Shubenacadie Band participating in this year’s Summit.
A long-time vision of Education Director, Velvet Paul, the posters were created to recognize and honour the community’s students for their love and dedication to their respective sports. The ten posters featured a photo and favourite quote of Tasha MacKenzie, Kreshia Robinson-Paul, Chase Nicholas, Michael Sack Jr., Bryson Knockwood, Connor Dennis, Therin Nevin, Mile Willis, Roman Sack, and Cory Knockwood.
Paul says she approached the team at Eastern Woodland Publishing with her idea near the beginning of the year, and they immediately got to work.
“I wanted the posters to embody the spirit of the students and the theme “Dream, Believe, Achieve,” says Paul. “And I worked with Carol and Evangeline to make sure the posters reflected that.”
She says the First Nation communities need role models to inspire other students to know that if you believe in your dreams, you can achieve anything.
“Each of the students on the posters has played and represented our community on a provincial level,” says Paul. “It is important to celebrate what accomplishments our Mi’kmaq students are making.”
She said the final product was kept a secret until they arrived in Dartmouth at the Sports Summit, along with a Role Model award; and the reaction from students, teachers and parents when they saw them was a mix of proud smiles and tears.
“I have to say the students and parents were pretty tired of my constant phone calls,” jokes Paul. “But, once they saw the final product, I think they were very pleased.”
The posters are now hung in the main entrance to L’nu Sipuk Kina’muokuom, the Shubenacadie Band Office, and the community centre. Paul says they have received excellent feedback from everyone in the community, and beyond.
“People keep asking, “Who did these? Where can we get a copy?,” says Paul. “So, are we going to make these an annual project? Definitely.”
Velvet thanks the students for their continuous inspiration, and she hopes the project will be an inspiration to other communities to do the same.