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The Role Model ceremony, which honours elders for their hard work and dedication to their community, has been taking place for many years at Allison Bernard Memorial

High School(ABMHS). Each year, the students get together and decide who they would like to honour. This year, they chose Helen Sylliboy. 

 

 

Helen is the daughter of Tana’s and Theresa Sylliboy and the mother of Duma, Crystal, Clifford and Logan. For the ceremony, PR George made a video and wrote a beautiful biography. Helen was overwhelmed with tears of joy for being recognized for all her work in the community of Eskasoni. 

 

Helen holds a very impressive educational resume, including a Counsellor Diploma from the University of Toronto, a Diploma in Adult Education from StFX, a Bachelor of Education Degree from UNB, and a Certificate in Immersion Teaching from St Thomas University. 

 

Helen’s career involved working for organizations such as Indian Affairs and the Eskasoni School Board as a counsellor. She also helped create the ladies club, the Native Women’s Association and the Young Christian Student Club. Helen began to work as a Language Technician and Program Developer for the Eskasoni School Board in 1999. Helen has been involved in many translation projects such as the Hieroglyphic book, Mi’kmaq creation stories to published books, the Good News readings in Mi’kmaq (which had 150 readings and took six years to finish), and she has been hired by publishers and government to translate numerous articles and projects. Currently Helen is working on translating the bible.

 

Helen’s advice to students is to never stop learning and pray every day. Take pride in who you are, a Mi’kmaq, and work hard to fulfill your dreams.

 

 

Congratulations Helen!

 

Close to 80 students from across Nova Scotia attended the fourth annual Aboriginal Youth Trades fair in Halifax from November 6th - 8th.

   The activities began on Sunday evening with a banquet where students had the opportunity to sit with trades people and ask questions about their trade. They also heard from Austin Christmas, a business owner from Membertou who is a strong advocate for the Apprenticeship Program and the trades.  

   On day two, students were separated into two groups. One group attended sessions with Skills Canada while the other group went to the Trades Hall. The following day, they switched locations so that all students who attended the fair had the opportunity to explore the trades and participate in the hands-on sessions requiring problem solving and teamwork.

   During the evenings, students were entertained by going to the movies, shopping and doing cultural activities such as ornament making, basket making, and story telling.

   “We’ve had another successful year with a great group of kid at our Trades Fair” said Ann Sylliboy, Post Secondary Consultant. “I am looking forward to the next one!”

 

 

 

Inspired by the stories in the Living Treaties book, the idea of having a gathering to bring together Gaelic and Mi’kmaw Communities to begin the process of reconciliation was born. On October 25, 2016, a symposium was held in Wagmatcook which highlighted the similarities to the shared stories of the Gaelic-speaking settlers and the Mi’kmaq.  

The symposium allowed participants to hear the shared stories of being displaced by military might, by the loss of lands and tradition, by starvation, by economic and political and cultural hegemony—in effect, cultural genocide—people resigned themselves to new realities and, in the process, nearly lost their language in order to survive.

 

The loss of land, language and life by the Mi’kmaq continues to be both misunderstood and ignored by the dominant society, yet with great effort, the language is being spoken by a new generation. The loss of land and language by Highland Gaels is well documented, both in Scotland and throughout the Scots diaspora, and great strides have been taken to recover the language, as well, and to make it relevant to a new generation of learners. 

 

“The process of reconciliation is going to be a long journey; However when we have events where people from different backgrounds and culture can come to gather in the spirit of peace and friendship, we are on the right path,” said Jaime Battiste, Treaty Education Coordinator. “It was great to see the sharing of culture, learning about how both the Mi’kmaw and Gaels have struggled with displacement and language loss, and how they are trying to revitalize it. “

 

Attendees of the symposium spent the day sharing their experiences. Speakers shared their knowledge on topics such as language revitalization and the importance of the land. There was also opportunity for reflection on the past and a look ahead to a bright future. Music, dancing and the sharing of a meal made for an excellent day. 

 

 

 

In mid October, Adeva and Aveda Googoo, 8 year old girls who attend ESK in Eskasoni, had the opportunity to visit a school in England while their family was on vacation there. During the planning stages of their vacation, the girls were curious about what schools were like in England. Arrangements were made in advance of the trip to visit Hampton Hill Primary School. 

 

When they arrived at the school, the girls were able to join the other children for break time in the playground followed by the school assembly, which is a daily normal event in their school where all classes get together for notices and celebrations.

 

The girls father, Craig Paul helped with the presentation with the girls. Sharon Paul, the girls' kiju, obtained 27 hand made little dream catchers which the girls gave to each of the class members. The children loved them and Craig explained what they should do with them and how they dispel nightmares. Craig also talked about hunting and fishing and history of the Mi'kmaw people and about the arrival of the white people and how it impacted the Mi'kmaq. 

 

At the end he asked the class for questions and the children were full of them. The first one was "Do you have cars?" They also asked if Craig and the girls lived in a teepee, how deep the snow is in Canada, how many eels Craig would catch when he went eel fishing and what the girls wear to school.  

 

After the presentation to the class called Year 5 which has 9-10 year olds, the family met with the school principal who asked if the ESK immersion class or school could keep up contact with his school through pictures and/or letters.

 

 

As they were leaving the school, one little girl practiced the first Mi'kmaw word she had ever heard saying “namultes"!

 

On October 7, 2016, students, community members, leaders and Mi’kmaw language advocates gathered at Essissoqnikewey Siawa’sik-l’nuey Kina’matinewo’kuo’m (ESK) in Eskasoni to celebrate the Grand Opening of their Immersion School. ESK is the realization of a distant dream of what Mi'kmaq education could look like when Eskasoni took local control of their education in 1980. Determination and foresight led their

former director the late Marian Paul and a handful of educators to start up the immersion program in the elementary school sixteen years ago. Since then, the immersion program has expanded, succeeded and grown into this historic standalone school.

 

“I am filled with pride at what the Eskasoni School Board has created today. Every time I enter this building, I feel the sense of home, comfort and ease that come from being surrounded by the language,” expressed Elizabeth Cremo, Eskasoni Education Director. “I think the immersion school is a living breathing tribute to honour our people who attended the residential school; a place where our language and culture are treasured and passed on to the next generation with pride. “ Attendees of the grand opening were delighted to be given a guided tour of the building by students who showed great pride in their school. This was followed by performances by the school drum group and dancers. They also heard from several speakers who spoke about the importance of having a school where students have the opportunity to hear Mi’kmaw being spoken all day.

 

Students have been attending school in the old TEC building since last fall. The school accommodates over 120 students from K4 - Grade 4. They have a small gym, music classes, a kitchen, and complete immersion in all subjects.

 

 

Congratulations Eskasoni!!

What is your name, age, school, and what community are you from?

My name is Jane Riley Basque I am eighteen years old and I was born and raised in Potlotek.

 

 

What’s your favorite subject in school?

Law 12! This class was my favorite because I like to be informed and aware of my rights. I believe this is important because we need to know how to protect and practice our treaty rights. I enjoyed discussing and debating controversial issues. I have also always been fascinated with criminal justice issues and could see myself furthering my education in this area.

 

 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

I would like to visit Texas or Tennessee. I grew up on country music and would love the opportunity to go to see some local and lesser known bands and artists. 

 

 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Pretty much anything outdoors; I really enjoy being surrounded by nature. I like to fish, hunt, and I especially enjoy photography. I also like to spend time with my sister. She is a big part of why I have made it this far; I try to set a good example for her and show her education is key. 

 

 

Do you have a role model? If so, who? And why?

My role models are my parents and my teachers. They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. They encouraged me through some of my hardest days to keep trying. 

 

What is your best memory from your high school years? 

Some of my best memories from my high school years were spent outside at the basketball court with my best friend Matt. Everyone makes me laugh at my school. We’re like a family because we spend so much time together and we always try to make the best of it . 

 

What is the best thing about your school?

The best thing about my school is the staff. They are always there for you. If you go to school having a bad day they don’t try and make it worse. They let you be and let you know that they are always there for you. The teachers always encourage us to do the best we can. They let us come in early for extra help if we need (which has definitely helped me bring my marks up). We recently got a brand new building! For the last 5 years we have been in the Education Office and Mi’kmawey School. We shared the buildings and always made it work. We’re very appreciative of our new building; it’s a thirty second walk to our sweat lodge and our trail in the woods. Elders and community members have come in to teach us about our culture, history, and traditions throughout these years. We had pipe/naming ceremonies, drum and basket making workshops, eeling and fishing trips, and canoeing/kayaking to the Island. We take time to learn about our culture, history and take part in community events (like the new Canal design meeting). My favourite thing about my school is our relationships with each other.  

 

Who has made an impact on you?

My parents had a huge impact on me. They always encouraged me to stay in school and work hard for my education because nobody else is going to do it for you. You’re responsible for the life you live. 

 

Is there something you'd like to see in your school or community that isn't there now?

If anything, I would like to see more funding for sports and activities for the youth to help people be more physically active. I would also like to see more places for teens and kids to hang out and socialize. I think a gym would be an amazing thing to have here in Potlotek.

 

Words of advice, a personal favorite quote, or a thank-you?

 

 “It's the oldest story in the world. One day you're 17 and planning for someday...and then, quietly, and without you ever really noticing...someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” - Nathan Scott

On Wednesday June 8, 2016, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey held its second annual awards banquet in celebration of the success of both students and staff. The awards presented at the banquet were the Chief Noel Doucette Award, the Mi’kmaw Language Award, The Kji Keptin Alex Denny Memorial Sports/Ed Award, and Employee Service Awards.

The Chief Noel Doucette award was created by the Board of Directors in memory of Chief Noel Doucette, the first Chairperson of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and a strong advocate for Mi’kmaw education and the preservation of the Mi’kmaw language and culture. This award goes to a student who does their best to promote and celebrate Mi’kmaw language and culture.

The Mi’kmaw Language Award goes to a student who has the highest mark in their Mi’kmaw language class OR to a student who uses and promotes the use of Mi’kmaw both inside and outside of their class.

The Kji Keptin Alex Denny Memorial Sports/Ed Award goes to a graduating student who best combines sports and academics during the school year.

 

The Employee Awards recognize the staff that have worked at Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey for 10 years or more as well as staff who have completed a degree program or designation in the past year.

 

Chief Noel Doucette Award Recipients

Jayson Surette - Acadia

Samantha Brown - Annapolis Valley

Alexander Denny - ABMHS Eskasoni

Bella Paul - Eskasoni Immersion

Jada Paul - Membertou

Ethan Francis - Pictou Landing

Nolan Marshall -Potlotek

Michael Willis - Sipekne’katik

Ryan Martin- Wagmatcook

Kendra Phillips - We’koqma’q

 

Mi’kmaw Language Award Recipients

Angus Stevens - Acadia

Rose Meuse - Bear River

Nolan Denny- ABMHS Eskasoni

Elle Taylor Gould - Eskasoni Immersion

Neve Nicholas - Membertou

Riley Logan Prosper - Pictou Landing

Henry Isaac - Potlotek

Riley Howe- Sipekne’katik

Brylen Cremo - We’koqma’q

 

Gavin Michael - Wagmatcook

 

Kji Keptin Alex Denny Memorial Sports/Ed Award Recipients

Breagh Laing -  Acadia 

Levi Denny Jr. - Eskasoni

 

Employee Award Recipients

 

Lauretta Welsh - 20 years

 

Banners for 2016 Wow Reading Challenge 

 

Total number of participating schools : 78

Total number of participating Students : 13,862

Total Number of Books Read : 959,658 at the Elementary level.

Total number of Pages Read : 1,793,449 at the Middle School and High School Level.

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

Richmond County Elementary

Fiddler’s Division Champs

Mi’kmawey Elementary School

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations Fiddler’s Elementary Division

Gold Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Champions

L’nu Sipuk Kinamuokuom Elementary School

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations Fiddler’s Elementary Division

Silver Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Champions

Wagmatcook Elementary School

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations Fiddler’s Elementary Division

Bronze Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Champions

 

Mi’kmawey Elementary School

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations Tartan Elementary Division

Gold Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Champions

Eskasoni Elementary and Middle School 

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nation Middle School Division

Gold Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Champions

Wagmatcookewey Middle School

 

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations Middle School Division

Silver Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Championship

L’nu Sipuk Kina’muokuom Middle School

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations High School Division

Gold Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Champions

 Wagmatcookewey Senior High School

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations High School Division

Silver Medalists

Nova Scotia / Canadian and World Championship

L nu Sipuk Kina’muokuom Senior High School

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations Past Champions Elementary Division

World Literacy Champions

Gold Medalists

Membertou Elementary 

 

2016

Wow Reading Challenge

First Nations Past Champions Elementary Division

World Literacy Champions

Silver Medalists

Pictou Landing Elementary School

 

 

 

 

 

Teams from several N.S. Mi’kmaw communities turned out for this year’s N.S. Schools’ Aboriginal Track & Field Championship on May 24 & 25 in Sydney. 

Students raced in the 60m, 100m, 200m, 1500m and relay races. They also took part in the long jump, softball throw and shot put. 

The weather cooperated with us this year and the students had two very successful days of competition! The students gave 100% effort to all of the events and it definitely showed. They just keep getting faster and faster! 

 

Thanks to our coaches, teachers, volunteers and students for their hard work and dedication to the sport all year!

Day 1 Results

Category

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Atom Boys

60m

Chris Gould

EMS 8:60

Dominick Gale

EMS 9:36

Nolan Basque

Waycobah 9:56

Atom Girls

60m

Kaiden Laporte

MB2 9:63

Dana Christmas

MB2 10:00

Vada Googoo

Waycobah 10:38

Peewee Boys

60m

Arlen Denny

EMS 8:81

Tyrell Isaac

MB2 9:22

Alex Christmas

MB2 9:38

Peewee Girls

60m

Lanissa Sylliboy

EMS 9:12

Lexi Paul

EMS 9:50

Dakota Isaac

Potlotek 9:87

Atom Boys

100m

Scott S Denny

EMS 17:90

Nolan Basque

Waycobah 18:84

Dex Johnson

Paqtnkek 19:02

Atom Girls

100m

Maya Johnson

Potlotek 16:88

Kaiden Laporte

MB2 17:12

Dana Christmas

MB2 17:75

Peewee Boys

100m

Loukas Claire

EMS 14:94

Nathaniel Johnson

Potlotek 16:06

Tyrell Isaac

MB2 16:37

Peewee Girls

100m

Lanissa Sylliboy

EMS 16:78

Ainsley Denny

EMS 17:00

Stephanie Isaac

Potlotek 17:47

Atom Boys

Relay

EMS

MB2

POTLOTEK

Atom Girls

Relay

POTLOTEK

WAGMATCOOK

PAQTNKEK

Peewee Boys

Relay

EMS

MB2

POTLOTEK

Peewee Girls

Relay

EMS

POTLOTEK

WAGMATCOOK

Atom Boys

Long Jump

Chris Gould

EMS 2.71

Carlson Marshall

Potlotek 2.49

Nolan Basque

Waycobah 2.47

Atom Girls

Long Jump

Vanessa Johnson

Potlotek 2.87

Dana Christmas

MB2 2.50

Faith Peck

WAG 2.28

Peewee Boys

Long Jump

Loukas Claire

EMS 3.48

Arlen Denny

EMS 3.24

Tyrell Isaac

MB2 3.23

Peewee Girls

Long Jump

Ainsley Denny

EMS 3.18

Stephanie Isaac

Potlotek 2.93

Miracle Johnson

Potlotek 2.84

Atom Boys

Softball

Keigan Basque

Potlotek 109.0

Lucky Basque

Waycobah 89.1

Phoenix Pierro

WAG 85.8

Atom Girls

Softball

Caroline Phillips

Waycobah 62.9

Maya Johnson

Potlotek 57.3

Jordan Paul

Paqtnkek 55.1

Peewee Boys

Softball

Cole Stevens

EMS 127.1

Ethan Bernard

Potlotek 120.6

Joe Phillips

Waycobah 105.3

Peewee Girls

Softball

Kerrigan Sylliboy

EMS 90.1

Abby Johnson

Potlotek 76.2

Dakota Isaac

Potlotek 68.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Olympians ALL GOLD: 

 

Annie Peck Wagmatcook 

 

Jody Pierro Wagmatcook

 

Cameron Burton Membertou

 

Kolton Marshall EMS

 

Dawson Johnson EMS

 

Greg Francis Membertou

 

Nolan Denny 

EMS

 

Blaze Johnson 

Potlotek

 

Day 2 Results

 

Category

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Bantam Boys

100m

Sonny Kabatay

MB2 13:06

Keonte Isadore

WAG 13:90

Logan Johnson

Paqtnkek 14:25

Bantam Girls

100m

Ney Stevens

EMS 15:40

Siri Christmas

MB2 17:03

Grace Julian

Potlotek 17:28

Midget Boys

100m

Leon Denny

ABMHS 12:65

Ky Christmas

ABMHS 13:07

Antle Denny

ABMHS 13:35

Midget Girls

100m

Skye Young

EMS 14:91

Arianna Denny

ABMHS 15:47

Sarah Prosper

ABMHS 15:75

Junior Boys

100m

Hobbie Dennis

Waycobah 12:69

Arden Bernard

ABMHS 12:71

Richard Bernard

ABMHS 13:56

Junior Girls

100m

Raven Stephens

ABMHS 15:41

Nikki Thomas

ABMHS 16:06

Shara Denny

Waycobah 17:22

Bantam Boys

200m

Sonny Kabatay

MB2 30:41

Tyler Pictou

Paqtnkek 32:32

Emerson Peck

EMS 33:47

Bantam Girls

200m

Maureen Paul

EMS 34:81

Sierra Johnson

Paqtnkek 34:87

Haley Denny

Waycobah 37:96

Midget Boys

200m

Derek Lewis

EMS 28:72

Angelo Bernard

ABMHS 29:31

Omar Gould

EMS 29:33

Midget Girls

200m

Al Jeddore

EMS 33:50

Kylie Francis

ABMHS 34:69

T Ashwasagai

Paqtnkek 35:47

Junior Boys

200m

Alex Denny

ABMHS 26:15

Dan K Stevens

ABMHS 27:28

 

Junior Girls

200m

Kalo Johnson

ABMHS 32:06

Nikki Thomas

ABMHS 36:75

Serena Young

Waycobah 37:72

Midget Boys

1500m

Angelo Bernard ABMHS 5:08

Leon Denny

ABMHS 5:41

Rylan Bernard

ABMHS 5:44

Midget Girls

1500m

Sarah Prosper

ABMHS 6:47

Kylie Francis

ABMHS 7:14

 

Junior Boys

1500m

Kevin Christmas

ABMHS 5:22

Seth Dennis

ABMHS 5:49

Dwight Francis

ABMHS 6:36

Junior Girls

1500m

Raven Stevens

ABMHS 8:01

Tayla Paul

ABMHS 8:26

Jewel Peters

Waycobah 9:26

Midget Boys

Relay

EMS

ABMHS

WAGMATCOOK

Midget Girls

Relay

EMS1

EMS2

PAQTNKEK

Junior Boys

Relay

ABMHS

WAY

EMS

 

Category

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Bantam Boys

Long Jump

Tyler Pictou

Paqtnkek 4.32

Dante Basque

MB2 4.30

Sonny Kabatay

MB2 4.09

Bantam Girls

Long Jump

Sierra Johnson

Paqtnkek 3.49

Ney Stevens

EMS 3.48

Erin Denny

EMS 3.21

Midget Boys

Long Jump

Leon Denny

ABMHS 5.45

Rylan Bernard

EMS 5.05

Angelo Bernard

ABMHS 4.87

Midget Girls

Long Jump

Sarah Prosper

ABMHS 3.68

Arianna Denny

ABMHS 3.59

T. Ashawasagai

Paqtnkek 3.41

Junior Boys

Long Jump

Alex Denny

ABMHS 4.97

Hobbie Dennis

Waycobah 4.91

K. Christmas

EMS 4.61

Junior Girls

Long Jump

Raven Stephens

ABMHS 3.49

Tayla Paul

ABMHS 3.39

Shara Denny

Waycobah 3.08

Bantam Boys

Shotput

Mason Sylliboy

Potlotek 29.1

Logan Prosper

Waycobah 29.0

Emerson Peck

EMS 22.2

Bantam Girls

Shotput

Ahnyss Denny

EMS 22.2

Joyce Julian

Potlotek 17.11

Faith Battiste

Potlotek 17.0

Midget Boys

Shotput

Leon Denny

ABMHS 38.9

Antle Denny

ABMHS 30.1

Rylan Bernard

EMS 27.4

Midget Girls

Shotput

Arianna Denny

ABMHS 27.9

T. Ashawasagai

Paqtnkek 23.1

Al. Jeddore

EMS 22.7

Junior Boys

Shotput

Hobbie Dennis

Waycobah 40.0

Arden Bernard

ABMHS 38.9

Dwight Francis

ABMHS 38.8

Junior Girls

Shotput

Kalo Johnson

ABMHS 28.3

Tayla Paul

ABMHS 26.4

Jewel Peters

Waycobah 21.8

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday May 30, Potlotek Education held their very first Mi’kmaw Language night. We had the opportunity to sit down with Jasmine Marshall to discuss how it went. 

Where did the idea for the Language night come from? 

A couple months ago, I was approached by one of the Co-Education Directors about trying to work together with the other Mi'kmaw Language teachers and the Language Department to start to develop a language plan. From that conversation, we began having meetings with the other language teachers and the Language Department regarding our own plan of action. We needed to decide what goals we wanted our students to meet and how we could help them to achieve these goals. The first few meetings ended up being a lot of discussions about why the language wasn't used anymore and what obstacles we have noticed that our students were facing that were preventing them from becoming speakers. 

 

One of the suggestions to help to get the community involved would be to have a "Language Appreciation Night". This would be a big celebration where the community could come to honor the language with our students so that hopefully the students would see the language being important to their parents/guardians and having the parents/guardians see how much language the students knew based on their level of participation. We hoped that this would inspire families to make language more of a priority at home to help those of us trying to teach language within the school setting. 

 

Who was involved in making the event happen?

 

The meetings included the following: Education Directors - Noelle and Amanda, Rosemary Marshall, Anne Landry, Lorena Tracey, Anne Marie Marchard, Beverly Johnson, Nicole Campbell and myself. The actual event included other teachers in the school, TA’s and some student volunteers. 

 

What is the hope for the future? 

 

Personally, my hope is that this event becomes huge for Potlotek. I hope this becomes, at least, an annual thing. I hope that the community realizes that the school needs help with language revitalization and that it could be made fun! Speakers can realize their worth coming to these events once they realize that they can be a part of bringing the language back for the younger ones. 

 

This was just a pilot and I hadn't seen one done or heard of anything similar anywhere. This created awareness. This was not only a celebration of language but a way for us to reel families into the school to let them know that their help with language would be greatly appreciated. 

 

 

Great Job Potlotek!

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