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On Sunday, July 13, Team Mi'kmaw Nova Scotia will host a National Aboriginal Indigenous Games (NAIG) Team Rally in Paqtnkek First Nation. The rally will begin at 2 p.m. and be held at the Community Gymnasium.

This year's NAIG will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan, from July 20 - 27. A delegation of 185 athletes representing 13 Mi'kmaw bands in Nova Scotia will travel to compete in the sports of archery, athletics (Track and Field), basketball, golf, softball, swimming, volleybal, and for the first time ever, lacrosse. 

On Sunday, athletes will march into Mosaic Stadium (home of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders) carrying the Mi'kmaq and Nova Scotia flags. All are welcome to join and help send off the team to Nationals.

For more information, contact tex@kinu.ca or 902-567-0336. 

On June 20, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Bernard Valcourt, and Chief Sidney Peters of the Glooscap First Nation announced that members of the First Nation will now be part of the Mi’kmaq Education Agreement in Nova Scotia.

“First Nation students deserve the same access to a quality education as other Canadians. The addition of the Glooscap First Nation to the Mi’kmaq Education Partnership will improve support to students in the education system, and I am pleased to announce this great accomplishment today for the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey and its participating members,” said Valcourt.

The Agreement, in place since 1997, is a model for First Nation self-government in education which recognizes local decisions on education, including language, history, identity, and customs in the regular curriculum.

“Being part of self-government in education is definitely a move forward,” said Chief Peters. “Coming from a small community and lacking funding and capacity development has resulted in losing out on opportunities for our youth. 

“The opportunities that MK can offer will be beneficial to our youth and our community as a whole. We are excited and look forward to participating on the work to improve the quality of education for all our people.”

"Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey is committed to improving the quality of education for the Mi'kmaw students,” said MK Executive Director Eleanor Bernard. “This agreement affirms Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey and Glooscap First Nation's working relationship and mutual dedication to ensuring the students of Glooscap receive the best possible educational experience, and that they are comprehensively prepared to become confident, skilled, and educated individuals who will create a strong future for their community."

 

A new five-year agreement will help ensure Mi'kmaq students attending public schools continue to receive the programs and services they need to succeed. 

Karen Casey, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, joined members of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey today, June 12, for a signing ceremony for the Mi'kmaq Education Agreement.

"Improving educational outcomes for Mi'kmaq students in Nova Scotia is a high priority for both the province and the Mi'kmaq," said Ms. Casey. "This renewed agreement will continue to foster positive relations with the Mi'kmaq community, ensure a sound financial arrangement between school boards and Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey and provide stability for Mi'kmaq students in the public school system."

The agreement, which is in effect until July 2017, helps guide public school programs and services to support Mi'kmaq learners who are members of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey and normally served under Band schools. This includes payment procedures for tuition fees established by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. 

The agreement will also help ensure opportunities for First Nations to participate in decisions affecting Mi'kmaq students who attend public school, provide support for improved reporting of Mi'kmaq student outcomes, and help increase the knowledge and understanding of First Nations culture, language and history in public schools. 

"Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey is committed to providing quality education to Mi'kmaq students, both in our community schools as well as in public schools, in a way that our language, culture, and traditions are fostered in their lives thereafter and are embedded in their character," said Chief Leroy Denny, chair of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey.

"This agreement and continued working relationship with the province ensures that we achieve those goals for our students attending public schools, and that we prepare these students with the confidence, skills and educational opportunities they need to reach their full potential."

Glooscap First Nation recently joined the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, to make 12 First Nations communities participating in the agreement.

There are about 500 Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey students attending public schools.

Seven classic stories by renowned children's author Robert Munsch have been translated into Mi'kmaq as part of a three-year project by Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey. The translated titles are Thomas' Snowsuit, Andrew's Loose Tooth, Love You Forever, I Have to Go, Mud Puddle, A Promise is a Promise, and I'm So Embarrassed. 

The books were unveiled on Monday, June 9 during the first day of classes at the newly constructed Membertou School.

A representative from almost every MK community was present to accept a set of the books to bring back to their communities. The full collection of Mi'kmaq Munsch books will be distributed to MK's 12 communities and will be integrated into school curriculum in the fall.

The translated books will also be made available for purchase in the coming months. For more information, contact blaire@Kinu.ca or 902-567-0336. 

Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey is currently accepting applications for its Donald Marshall Sr. Memorial Scholarship.

The objective of the Donald Marshall Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund is to support Mi’kmaw post-secondary students at the diploma, certifi cate, bachelor and graduate level in their field of study. The Fund contributes two annual scholarships for one thousand dollars ($1,000) each on or before October 1 (Treaty Day) of each calendar year. One for undergraduate studies and one for graduate studies.

1. Applicants must be a registered Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia First Nations or be on the Nova Scotia General Band Registry.

2. Applicants must be a graduate or be continuing in their field of study.

3. Applicants must submit an official transcript of marks from institution.

4. Applicants must submit a two-page essay advising committee as to the following: Educational Goals; Career Plans; Volunteer Work; School Activities; Barriers student has had to overcome in order to do well in their field of study; Cultural/Community Activities; and Awards.

Please submit application and essay post marked no later than the deadline of August 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Send to:

Donald Marshall Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee

Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey

47 Maillard Street

Membertou, Nova Scotia B1S 2P5

Phone: (902) 567-0336

Fax: (902) 567-0337

Email: claire@kinu.ca

Please see and submit this application form: http://kinu.ca/sites/default/files/docres/2014/May/donald_marshall_scholarship-2013.pdf

For more information, email mkeducation@kinu.ca or phone 902-567-0336.

 

Mi’kmaw education in Nova Scotia marked another milestone today with the opening of a gymnasium at the Chief Allison M. Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni. The Mi’kmaw high school gymnasium is the first of its kind in the province.

“I am proud to celebrate the community’s investment in the health and wellness of our students,” said Eskasoni Education Director Elizabeth Cremo. “Healthy and active lifestyles are key to one’s self-esteem, academic performance, and self-actualization, and this gymnasium provides a safe, modern, and culturally-enriching facility for students of all interests and abilities to build these skills.”

Construction of the gymnasium began in early 2013 and employed 20 tradespeople from Eskasoni. The gymnasium will provide physical education programming for high school students, and will serve as a venue for sports, exercise, entertainment, arts, and culture for the community.

"Active lifestyles help prevent disease, improve mental health, and build positive habits within our youth," said Chief Leroy Denny, Chairman of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey and Chief of Eskasoni First Nation. "Their health and wellness is a priority for our Chiefs, and this new facility provides the youth of Eskasoni with new opportunities and better access to achieve these positive lifestyles."

Chief Allison M. Bernard Memorial High School opened in 1998 and educates over 200 grade ten, eleven and twelve students from Eskasoni and the surrounding area. The province’s only Mi’kmaw high school follows the Nova Scotia curriculum guide and supplements those with Mi’kmaq Language, Mi’kmaq Culture, and Mi’kmaq Studies courses. The first graduating class of the community’s Mi’kmaq Language Immersion Program will graduate this spring, and will see close to 30 students graduating fully bi-lingual in English and Mi’kmaq.

“The students and staff of Allison Bernard Memorial High School are thrilled about the new space and the opportunities it brings,” said Allison Bernard Memorial High School Principal Newell Johnson. “This new facility will have a significant impact in building these social and leadership skills.”

Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey invested $666,160 in the project. 

"My greatest wish is that there will be more writing from my people, and that our children will read it. I have said again and again that our history would be different if it had been expressed by us."  - Rita Joe

 

It was with this quote in mind that Allison Bernard Memorial High School staff decided to organize the first annual Rita Joe Memorial Literacy Day in the hope that students would be inspired to read, write, and create their own stories; and they were. Staff, presenters, and, most importantly, students all took away something positive from the event.

 

Since 2012, Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, NS has been hosting its annual Rita Joe Memorial Literacy Day to honour the Mi'kmaq poet and author and to celebrate the literary talents of Mi'kmaq youth who attend the school. Each year, authors, dramatists, illustrators, and song writers gather at the school to facilitate workshops for students, stressing the importance of literacy and the role it plays within our lives. 

 

This year, the event has expanded to include students from the nearby Mi’kmaq communities of We’koqma’q and Wagmatcook. In all, approximately 300 students are expected to attend.

 

This year’s lineup of guests is impressive, including several presenters who have won awards in their respective fields. Local authors including Frank MacDonald, Larry Gibbons, Jesse Ferguson, and Sherry D. Ramsey will facilitate writing workshops for students. Artists Terry MacDonald, Brianna Paul, and Gerald Gloade will work with students in the area of visual literacy. Drama workshops will be led by Mark Delaney, Bonnie MacLeod, and Nicole MacDougall. Gearl Francis of City Natives, Carmen Townsend, Alicia Penney, and Jocelyn Marshall will round out the day with song writing workshops.

 

The third annual Rita Joe Memorial Literacy Day takes place on Friday, May 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. For more information, contact Chris Gallant, Co-chair of the Rita Joe Memorial Literacy Day Committee, at chris.gallant@abmhseskasoni.ca, or 902-379-3000.

 

 

On behalf of the students, staff, and the community of Eskasoni, you are cordially invited to attend the grand opening of the Chief Allison Bernard Memorial High School Gymnasium.

Schedule of events:

10:00 am - 12:00 pm – Guided Tours

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm  - Music by Eskasoni Elementary and Middle School Senior Band

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm - Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies

 

ABMHS is located at 4673 Shore Road, Eskasoni Road, Eskasoni First Nation.

Pictou Landing Elementary School and Unama’ki Training and Education Centre in Eskasoni took home gold in their age groups during the 2013-14 WOW Words of Wonder Reading Challenge.

The Adopt-a-Library Program, founded by Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable John Kennedy, was established to prevent criminal behavior among youth through the promotion of literacy via libraries and schools. The Program’s WOW! Reading Challenge is an annual contest that encourages literacy development and healthy competition.

This year’s program saw record-breaking participation and reading results in Mi’kmaw schools across Nova Scotia. A total of 2,739 Aboriginal students and 13 schools took part.

Unama’ki TEC principal Vivian Basque says reading books is especially critical for First Nation students because it gives them exposure to words in different contexts, thus improving speaking and writing fluency. This is the second year students at Unama’ki TEC, an adult learning centre in Eskasoni, have participated in the program, earning gold both years.

“Things can be taken from you – your job, possessions, health – but you can never lose your knowledge,” said Basque. “We’re proud of our adult learners who invested in themselves and read hundreds of books.”

This is the fourth year that Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK) schools have participated in the reading challenge. Through the Adopt-a-Library program, MK aims to increase book collections, develop safe communities, and build programming surrounded by respect, sense of community, self-esteem and pride. Over the past year, MK’s literacy development efforts have put more than $300,000 worth of books into its schools.

“Since the Adopt-a-Library Program has come to MK communities we have seen not only an increase in our students’ academic reading levels, but more importantly, an increase in their love of reading,” says Rebecca Scirocco-Paul, Literacy Programs Coordinator at MK. “Our students are now realizing that reading is not just something that happens at schools; it also can happen at home.”

Wagmatcookewey School took Silver in the First Nation Elementary division. Also taking Silver was Eskasoni Elementary and Middle School in the First Nation Junior High division.

Mi’kmaw schools that were deemed champions in previous years competed this year in the Past Champions division. Membertou Elementary and We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School were gold and silver medal winners in this category. We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School and Wagmatcookewey School were gold and silver medal winners in the First Nation Junior High Past Champions Division. LSK Junior High School, We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School, and Mi’kmawey Elementary were also named First Nation winners in their respective Colchester, Inverness, and Richmond Counties.

 

Over 200 Mi’kmaw elementary, junior high and high school students from across Nova Scotia will come together in Potlotek First Nation May 7 to celebrate math and cultural heritage during the annual Show Me Your Math! Regional Fair.

Show Me Your Math! showcases school projects that detail the math inherent in the Mi’kmaw culture.  This year’s fair will be held at the Potlotekewey Mi’kmaw School from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Primary to Grade 12 students from Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK) schools, the Strait Regional School Board, and the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, will present individual and group math projects completed during the school year.

“The Fair was designed to get kids thinking about how math is a part of their own culture and heritage,” says Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at St. Francis Xavier University, and one of the fair’s organizers.

Since the fair’s launch in 2006, over 3,000 Mi’kmaw students in MK schools have participated. In recent years the fair expanded to include public schools in Nova Scotia that serve Mi’kmaw communities such as the Strait, Chignecto Central, and Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Boards.

As part of their course work, students partner with elders, community craftspeople, family members, and friends on projects that explore the role of math in their everyday lives. In the past, students have learned lessons such as the importance of Pi in crafting quill boxes, spatial reasoning inherent in traditional baking, and how math plays a role in constructing a canoe or traditional drums.

The annual fair began when Dr. Lunney Borden was pursuing doctoral studies at University of New Brunswick after teaching for ten years at an MK school as a high school math teacher. During her studies, Borden spoke with Aboriginal elders and collected stories on how they used math in their every day lives. She decided that this valuable sharing of information between generations - students and elders – ought to be an annual event.

“At this fair the roles switch for the students; they become the researchers,” says Borden. “When you see them sharing their discoveries and speaking passionately about math with Elders, it’s a heartwarming moment.”

More information about the Show Me Your Math! Fair can be found at www.showmeyourmath.ca

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