Role Model of the Year – Helen Sylliboy

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!