January 6, 2015 marked the opening ceremony of Alan Syliboy’s Thundermaker exhibit at the McConnell Library in Sydney. The exhibit ran for 10 days at the Sydney location and included not only work from the artist, but also showcased artwork created by students from Membertou, Eskasoni and Potlotek. 

The ceremony began with Syliboy joining the Sons of Membertou in a performance of the Honor Song, followed by welcoming remarks offered by Rosalie Gillis from the McConnell Library, and Darren Googoo on behalf of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. 

Googoo spoke about the importance of art for our youth in that “art is the medium that gives people voice.” He went on to share that “Alan is an inspiration to our young students. His interpretation of the world shows them that creativity and imagination are important traits to develop.” 

Syliboy spoke to the crowd about the development of Thundermaker as a continuation of the stories of the Stone Canoe and Little Thunder. He also spoke about his new book that will be released later this year.  

“School didn’t work out so well for me but I sure am making up for it by spending all this time in libraries and making books,” laughed Sylliboy. “The exhibit seems to be gaining momentum at each place we go and I am happy that Thundermaker is making camp here for a while.” 

Students from Membertou, Eskasoni and Potlotek had the opportunity to visit the exhibit while it was in Sydney.  

We’re excited and proud to share that MK Student Services Consultant, Janean Marshall, will be a panelist at Mount Saint Vincent University’s TEDX event on February 12!

‘Embracing Possibilities’ is the topic of discussion, and Janean will lend her personal and professional experiences.

The event takes place from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Rosaria Multi-Purpose Room on campus. The event is open to the public: $15 general admission and $10 with student ID. Can’t make it in person? Follow the discussion on Twitter via #tedxmsvu. For more information, visit the event website.

Pictou Landing will be the first MK school to benefit from Special Olympics Nova Scotia’s Active Start program.

Active Start was piloted by the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board in 2011 for children with an intellectual disability. The program aims to provide social, physical and cognitive interaction while engaging students in fundamental movement skills to increase physical literacy in the early grades. 

This is the first year the program will be implemented in an MK school. 

Tom Fahie, Youth Development Coordinator for Special Olympics Nova Scotia, says he’s pleased about the launch in Pictou Landing because it means they are now serving a Mi’kmaq population within their own community.

“I believe this program will become a template for other First Nation communities that wish to help bring fundamental movement skills to the children most affected by intellectual disabilities,” said Fahie.

MK Student Services Consultant, Janean Marshall, is excited to see youth in Pictou Landing engaging in higher levels of active and healthy living.

"Healthy minds, bodies and spirits allows all children to grow in immeasurable ways," said Marshall."This program is the start of exciting opportunities for all children to think beyond all the limits and labels."

Fahie predicts he will see success in Pictou Landing and he hopes it will lead to other MK schools adopting the program.

Active Start launches in Pictou Landing on February 11 at Pictou Landing Elementary School  beginning at 6 p.m. For more information about the program, please contact Janean Marshall at or Tom Fahie at  

Babies and Books, MK's newest literacy program, launched this past Fall in Membertou and Indian Brook with great success! In this six-week program, parents learn to stimulate their baby's language development and growing mind by reading books, singing songs, and reciting nursery rhymes.

The second session of Babies and Books will take place this Spring in several MK communities. For more information, contact Rebecca Scirocco-Paul at or 902-567-0336.

Attention Schools and Youth-Serving Groups!

Celebrate Winter Walk Day in your community! Winter is as good a time as any to walk. Schools, youth groups and others are invited to walk to school, have an intentional walk or go for a hike on Winter Walk Day. Don’t let cold, wind, snow or rain keep children and youth from heading out for a walk. If they dress properly and practice winter safety, they’re ready to go! Walking is fun when you walk together. The extra physical activity is good for our bodies. It’s good for the Earth if you walk as transportation because it cuts down on the number of polluting cars on our streets.

Be sure to do your part on Winter Walk Day, and everyday for that matter. If you are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of your home or business, please ensure you do so as soon as possible after a snow fall or freezing rain.

Winter Walk Day is a partnership of Take the Roof Off Winter, the Ecology Action Centre and the Heart&Stroke Walkabout. Take The Roof Off Winter is a winter active campaign coordinated by Recreation Nova Scotia designed to help Nova Scotians of all ages improve their health and quality of life by being outdoors and active this winter.

Register and download Winter Walk Day resources at

Learn more about Take The Roof Off Winter at 

As students settle into the new school year, the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) is hoping to inspire junior high and high schools to get creative – and win big.

MANS announced the launch of the “Mining ROCKS! Video Contest”.  The contest, which is open to all junior high and high school students in Nova Scotia, encourages kids to produce short videos about mining and quarrying.  The winners in four different categories will be awarded $1500, with $500 going to their school.

“The videos can be about virtually any aspect of mining and quarrying, including its economic importance, environment and reclamation, historical facts and beneficial end-uses of mining products,” said Sean Kirby, Executive Director.  “And we encourage students to have fun with it – to be creative and make their video stand out from the crowd.”

“I am very pleased to be a judge for the video contest and to work in partnership with the mining association on educating students about the industry,” said Membertou Chief Terry Paul.  “We all want to create more opportunities and a brighter future for our children, and the video contest is a good way to teach them about mining.”

Students will upload their video to the MANS website and a panel of judges, who are mainly independent of the industry, will pick the winners for the Best Junior High School Video, Best High School Video and Best 30-Second Commercial.  The fourth category, the CIM Foundation People’s Choice winner, will be decided by the public through an online vote. 

The judging panel includes Zach Churchill, Minister of Natural Resources, Membertou Chief Terry Paul, Cecil Clarke, Mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Anne Loi, Senior Vice President, DHX Media, Stephen Cooke, Chronicle Herald arts reporter, Jeff Parker, Viewfinders Manager, Atlantic Film Festival, Michael Amo, Screenwriter and creator of CTV’s “The Listener”, Stephen Melanson, Instructor, Radio and Television Arts Department, NSCC, Iain MacLeod, Marking Consultant, Pat Mills, Mining Association Past President

The contest will award over $9000 in prizes in its first year.  All prize money given to schools comes with no strings attached and can be spent on each school’s priorities.

The deadline for video entries is February 20, 2015.

To watch the movie trailer for the Mining ROCKS! Video Contest, go to


For more information, go to

The Mi’kmaq Project for Innovation and Collaboration (MPIC), under the direction of The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, developed the “Finding Your Inspiration” (FYI) program. 

FYI encourages youth from grades nine to twelve to become career minded prior to applying to and attending post secondary institutions. The Program provides education through skill building workshops, exposure to training institutions through post secondary visits, and work experience through on the job training. 

FYI was first administered in Pictou Landing last year, and this year was rolled out in Potlotek and Paqtnkek. Through engagement of youth in a classroom setting surrounded by their peers, FYI invoked discussions and thought processes in youth so they can begin thinking about what their future career may be. 

FYI assessed the youth’s employability skills (resume writing, job searching, interview skills) and matched them with careers that were of interest to them. At the end of the program, the youth had a greater skill set and knowledge base which will better prepare them in the transition from secondary to post secondary education. 

For more information about FYI, contact Ann Sylliboy at 

On November 17, 18 and 19, Mi’kmaw youth from all across Nova Scotia attended the second annual Nova Scotia Aboriginal Youth Skilled Trades Fair at the Comfort Inn in Halifax. Over three days, students explored skilled trades and learned about their apprenticeship processes, funding, education and training opportunities.

Students were separated into two groups with each group spending a day exploring the experiential skilled trades booths and a day taking their First Aid Certification. At the trades booths students spoke one-on-one with skilled tradespeople working in their respective fields. They learned about a typical workday on-the-job, and the necessary education and work experience required to build a career. 

Robert Labradore, a student from Glooscap First Nation, said he couldn’t wait to recommend this training opportunity to students in his community. 

“I’d tell them that if they want to make a difference in their career – do it! If you think you can’t do anything with your life without your grade 12, you’re wrong. This is another option to start a career.”  

Donnie Richards, a teacher and chaperone from TEC in Eskasoni, was very impressed with the experience.

“The kids had a great opportunity by coming here. They get to experience the trades first hand. It’s an experience they can’t get from reading about in a book.” 

The event was made possible with the help of ENCANA, the Nova Scotia Assembly of Chiefs, Nova Scotia Department of Education, Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Native Council of Nova Scotia, Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and its schools, Mi’kmaq Project for Innovation and Collaboration, and Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office of Nova Scotia.

The 9th Annual AFOA-PotashCorp Aboriginal Youth Financial Management Awards are open to Aboriginal youth in grades 11 and 12 across Canada.

3 Winners will be selected to travel to Winnipeg, MB for 4 days to attend the AFOA Canada National Conference on February 17-19, 2015 and to participate in a special Youth program designed to introduce them to careers in Aboriginal finance and management.

In addition, winners are eligible to receive:

A 5 year scholarship package valued at over $5000


Eligibility Criteria:

Aboriginal Ancestry (Proof of First Nation, Inuit or Métis status)

Pursuing post-secondary education and demonstrates an interest and is considering a career in the areas of finance and/or management/commerce (including financial management/planning, business administration, commerce, accounting and economics)

Completed Application Form and submit an essay

2 letters of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counsellor or educator, attesting to the student's performance and commitment

Academically successful

Students in Grades 11 and/or 12 may apply (maximum age 19)


How to Apply:

There are 3 ways to submit your application form and letters of recommendation.


Fax: (613)-722-3467


AFOA Canada Youth Awards Program

Suite 301-1066 Somerset St. West-

Ottawa, ON K1Y 4T3


For more details on this award and the application process, please read the Fact sheet, visit the AFOA website, call 1-866-722-2362 or email


Congratulations to Angelo Spinazzola and Eskasoni youth on winning Aboriginal Artist of the Year for the First Nations Songwriting Sessions at the 2014 Music Nova Scotia Awards! 

Download the album on iTunes here:


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