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Archive - 2009

  1. Climbing their way to the top!
  2. Crime Prevention Awards Presented…
  3. Spreading the words…
  4. John Soosaar

Climbing their way to the top!

Community members from Chapel Island are enjoying their new rock climbing wall. The rock climbing wall arrived on May 11, 2009 and the community has been a buzz ever since. The community holds after school sessions on Monday, Tuesday Thursday and Friday. It has been a great success and the community is grateful for the support given by the Department of Health Promotion and Protection.

Crime Prevention Awards Presented…

On April 2, 2009 Paula Marshall, Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network (MLSN), along with a number of other Nova Scotians were honoured for their efforts to prevent crime and make communities safer.

The Minister of Justice and the Attorney General presented the inaugural Justice Minister’s Award for Leadership and Crime Prevention at crime symposium in Halifax.

The awards were presented in six categories including individual, youth, community group or organization, community policing, media and business community.

The individual award was presented to Paula. Paula took the MLSN from a pilot project to a province wide multi –service legal support program for Aboriginal persons in Nova Scotia.

Congratulations Paula!!

Spreading the words…

You may have noticed a new addition to the Mi’kmaq Maliseet Nations News (MMNN). The Tripartite Forum Language Committee has been busy working submitting a page every month to the paper. The page focuses on different Mi’kmaq words every month, a Mi’kmaw calendar, a coloring contest, and a Mi’kmaq word search. “The page is a great way to interact with communities and hopefully increase the use of Mi’kmaq words,” stated Shannon Googoo, committee co-chair.

Pictou Landing First Nation is one community that is really enjoying the language page in the paper every month. Every student at the Pictou Landing First Nation Elementary School submitted his or her entry for the coloring contest. “We were thrilled when we received a submission from all the grade levels at the school. The teachers really encouraged the students to enter the contest, and as a committee we think this is fantastic,” stated Mary Ellen Googoo, committee member.

The sub-committee was formed through the work of the Tripartite Forums Education and Culture & Heritage working committees. “Our mandate is to work on increasing and promoting Mi’kmaq language within Nova Scotia, with the results from our language page contests, we feel that we are really reaching the communities,” stated Shannon.

Be sure to look in every edition of the MMNN for the latest language page. There will be new words, sentences and plenty of contests to enter.

The Mi’kmaq – Nova Scotia – Canada Tripartite Forum was formed in 1997 as a partnership between the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada, to strengthen relationships and resolve issues of mutual concern affecting Mi’kmaw communities. To learn more about the Tripartite Forum or to see the language page online, visit www.tripartiteforum.com.

John Soosaar

Friend and colleague John Soosaar is stepping down from his role as communications director for the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs. Officially, he is retiring but we know that his many interests will keep him from slowing down too much.

Since joining this department in 2002, John has made a significant contribution towards building awareness of the Mi’kmaq' contribution to the province’s history, culture and economy. In conjunction with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, he initiated a series of video documentaries entitled Wabanaki: People of the Dawn - the first of which featured a major archeological site in the Mersey River in Queen's County.

In the summer of 2004, over 20,000 artifacts were discovered on the river bottom dating back 8,000 years. John immediately saw this historic find as having huge potential for the Mi’kmaq community – historically, culturally and economically. The video was distributed to high schools throughout the province along with a companion curriculum guide – and received a Canadian Public Relations Society (Nova Scotia Chapter) Gemstone Award of Excellence.

“My involvement with John Soosaar has been very interesting. It has a great experience to have a professional person with his communications background involved with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq and other Mi'kmaq organizations. His wealth of knowledge and his influence in the media world has helped tremendously to promote Mi’kmaq culture and heritage here in Nova Scotia. This applies especially with his work relating to the four DVD’s he helped create about Mi’kmaq people, to be shared with the rest of society,” stated Don Julien Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq.

Wabanaki: People of the Dawn Part II profiles the Mi’kmaq as they are today - a vigorous community meeting the challenges of the 21st century, but struggling to retain the culture, history and language of their ancestors. It features interviews with Mi’kmaq role models Viola Robinson, Joe B. Marshall and Sister Dorothy Moore.

The third video in the series - Dreamcatchers - profiles four young Mi’kmaq who have overcome adversity in order to achieve their goals. It serves as an inspiration for both aboriginal and non-aboriginal youth. Each of these videos serves as an important step in building the bridge between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Nova Scotians. “I always welcomed a call from John. He was very good at this job, and I knew anything he wrote would be great. He took the time to thoroughly research his topic and always made sure he had the proper background information before moving ahead. He always made sure to get our view across in his work, but at the same time, being objective. Overall I would have to say that John helped promote the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia in every way he saw possible,” Chief Terry Paul.

John provided ongoing communications counsel and support to the Tripartite Forum. He feels privileged to have participated in the Forum and for the opportunity to contribute to its common cause of improving the lives of individuals in communities throughout the province.

We will miss his ability to always listen, ask questions and draw people together.

“Thank you John for being such a great person to talk to and work with. We are going to miss you, but we know that you probably won't be to far to give us a helping hand when required. Thank you very much my friend,” Don Julien.

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