New Brunswick·Ann's Eye

These Indigenous students made their own graduation outfits

From gown collars to footwear, traditional knowledge was on full display at the Maliseet-language program graduation.

Immersion program graduation incorporated everything students had learned

A woman with two long braids wears a graduation gown and a brown headdress.
Mariah Deleavey is a graduate of the Maliseet language program. (Ann Paul/CBC)

This is part of a series called Ann's Eye, featuring the work of Ann Paul, a Wolastoqey content creator. You can see more Ann's Eye pieces by clicking here.

Every part of a graduation ceremony for students graduating from a Maliseet language program reflected what they'd learned over the past two years.

From graduation-gown collars to footwear, traditional knowledge was on full display. 

The program, which started in 2011, is available through St. Thomas University.

CBC contributor Ann Paul attended the ceremony. Scroll through the photos and watch the video to see what she experienced.

WATCH | Students graduate from Maliseet language program:

Graduates of a Maliseet language program share why they enrolled

4 months ago
Duration 4:03
The two-year immersion program was offered through St. Thomas University, but students did most of their learning on St. Mary’s First Nation.
A group of smiling people wearing graduation gowns stand outside a blue building.
The graduation ceremony took place on St. Mary’s First Nation, where the students did most of their learning. (Ann Paul/CBC)
Paddles lean against a wall.
Students carved and designed these paddles as part of the program. (Ann Paul/CBC)
A collection of items including hand drums and bags sit on a table.
The graduates made every object on this table. (Ann Paul/CBC)
Two women stand and sing at the front of a room full of people.
The ceremony included traditional singing. (Ann Paul/CBC)
Yellow moccasins with embroidered flowers on the trimming.
Students learned the Maliseet language while also learning lessons from elders, including how to make paddles and clothing that incorporates the language. (Ann Paul/CBC)
A woman with long brown hair stands at a podium. There are graduates sitting on either side of her.
The students could go on to become teachers themselves, Ann Paul said. (Ann Paul/CBC)
A graphic drawing shows an Indigenous woman holding a camera up to her eye.
(CBC News Graphics)

Ann's Eye

Photographer Ann Paul brings an Indigenous lens to stories from First Nations communities across New Brunswick. Click here or on the image below to see more of her work.