Nova Scotia·Audio

'Explorations in Unama'ki': Information Morning Cape Breton visiting First Nation communities

The Information Morning Cape Breton program is marking Mi'kmaq History Month by going out to each of the island's five First Nations for a day and asking people to tell the stories they want told.

'Explorations in Unama'ki' asks the island's Mi'kmaq people which stories they want to tell

Information Morning Cape Breton is visiting all five First Nation communities on the island in October, including Membertou, shown above during the community's pow wow. (Membertou Corporate)

Information Morning Cape Breton is visiting all five First Nation communities on the island, known as Unama'ki, as part of Mi'kmaq History Month.

Show host Steve Sutherland and producer Nicole MacLennan are visiting Eskasoni, Wagmatcook, Membertou, Potlotek and We'koqma'k to listen and bring back the stories those communities say should be told.

"In our line of work, we're used to huddling in a story meeting and deciding what stories we want to cover and who we want to talk to about them," said Sutherland.

"But this project is about going out to communities and being ready to receive, not take — being open to the stories people want to tell and hearing them first-hand." 

'Explorations in Unama'ki'

The stories are part of what the Cape Breton team is calling "Explorations in Unama'ki" and will run throughout the month of October.

"We believe CBC has a role to play in reconciliation and this is an attempt to recognize that, by spending some time in Unama'ki communities and being open to the stories that people decide they want to share," said Sutherland.

"We think we've fallen short in the past in telling Mi'kmaq stories and hearing Mi'kmaq voices on the air. These community visits are an effort to show respect, to make connections, to listen and learn, and come back with the stories people decide they want to share, instead of deciding which stories we want to take."

Information Morning Cape Breton collected 67 interviews, and every one of those interviews is archived here, organized by community.

1. Newell Johnson, principal of Allison Bernard Memorial High School talks about "Nitap Day," an anti-bullying initiative in Mi'kmaq schools (Runs: 6:09)
2. Haley Gould, intake co-ordinator at the Access Youth Centre talks about taking part in the Aviva Community Fund competition to set up a bus service in the community (Runs: 4:32)
3. Barry Bernard, one of the founders of the Red Tribe Boxing Club, talks about an upcoming trip with four young boxers to Jamaica (Runs: 1:16)
4. Barry Bernard, one of the founders of the Red Tribe Boxing Club, with an update on the club (Runs: 7:41)
5. Bernadette Bernard, behavioural interventionist, and Kirsten Denny, youth worker, talk about their work at the Access Youth Centre (Runs: 7:58)
6. Dawn Stevens, principal at Eskasoni Middle School, talks about an invite for 150 students from the school to take part in a community needs project at the Tim Hortons Camp in Tatamagouche (Runs: 8:33)
7. Ben Sylliboy, the owner/operator of Sylliboy's Grocery and Hardware, talks about 70 years in business (Runs: 5:22)
8. Janine Paul, team lead at the Crisis Centre in Eskasoni, speaks about her work and what drew her to it. (Runs: 7:18)
9. Band councillor Dion Denny talks about plans in the community for a new high school and a first-of-its-kind long-term care facility (Runs: 6:36)
10. Newell Johnson, principal of Allison Bernard Memorial High School, talks about a new greenhouse on the grounds where students will grow vegetables (Runs: 3:21)
11. Walter Denny talks about the sweat lodge he does every night, and why he does it (Runs: 5:14)
12. Norma Gould with Eskasoni Mental Health talks about a mental health first aid course from a First Nation's perspective (Runs: 4:01)
13. Grade 8 student Emily Googoo introduces us to the term "Nisk", band councillor Dion Denny deconstructs the term in an impromptu language lesson, Rosie Sylliboy of We'koqma'q also shares a language lesson from her community (Runs: 8:18)
14. Haley Gould, intake co-ordinator at the Access Youth Centre, talks about the "Feathers of Our Future" project (Runs: 4:17)

1. Band Councillor Graham Marshall talks about an upcoming career fair (Runs: 3:11)
2. Jeff Ward, Manager of Membertou Heritage Park talks about the historic apology made by the Church on Treaty Day, followed by an interview with Brian Dunn, Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish. (Runs: 17:13)
3. Darren Googoo, Membertou's Director of Education, speaks about his role on the Provincial Advisory Council on Education. (Runs: 7:14)
4. Karina Matthews Denny, President of the Native Women's Group in Membertou, speaks about "Sisters in Spirit", a feast for Membertou community women (Runs: 5:47)
5. An update on the new bowling alley with Marcella Marshall, customer relations and events supervisor and Steven Oravecz, the Food and Beverage manager (Runs: 6:07)
6.  Jeff Ward, Manager of Membertou Heritage Park on the origins of the hockey stick (Runs: 4:10)
7. Katherine Sorbey talks about being a resident elder at Membertou Heritage Park (Runs: 4:01)
8. Noah Matthews Cremo talks about his work with the Youth Council (Runs: 5:26)
9. Jeff Ward, Manager of Membertou Heritage Park speaks about artifacts at the centre including a birch bark canoe (Runs: 4:54)
10.  Darren Googoo, Membertou's Director of Education, talks about progress made in education, attendance and graduation rates (Runs: 7:21)
11. Elder Katherine Sorbey describes the traditional art of making wooden flowers (Runs: 5:32)
12.  Jeff Ward, Manager of Membertou Heritage Park on colours used in Mi'kmaq traditions and ceremonies (Runs: 3:36)
13. Graham Marshall speaks about taking on the role of band councilor (Runs: 6:29)
14. Ryan Gould, co-creator of the Membertou Men's Society shares the story of his life experience and how it helped him create a support group to help other single Dads and men struggling with addiction (Runs: 9:15)

1. Grand Keptin Andrew Denny talks about Treaty Day in Nova Scotia (Runs: 8:36)
2. Wagmatcookewey School Principal Marjorie Pierro explains the elements of a Smudging Ceremony (Runs: 7:19)
3. Community Elder Victoria Chapman (Runs: 4:41)
4. Teaching Assistant Cadney Johnson speaks about his role at Wagmatcookewey School (Runs: 5:45)
5. Wagmatcookewey School Students Samara Isadore and Evander Young speak about their school community. (Runs: 5:31)
6. Community Elders Martha Isadore and Jean Dorris Googoo (Runs: 7:05)
7. CEO Brian Arbuthnot takes us on a tour of the Gladue Court (Runs: 7:34)
8. Wagmatcookewey School Principal Marjorie Pierro and students Samara Isadore and Zoe Bear share their spirit names (Runs: 7:03)
9. Grand Keptin Andrew Denny speaks about his role (Runs: 5:31)
10. Wagmatcookewey School Principal Marjorie Pierro gives us a tour of the school (Runs: 5:48)

1. Madonna Bernard, niece of "Seven" Bernard, the War Chief of the Warrior Society, speaks about her uncle's legacy after his recent death. (Runs: 6:56)
2.  Susan Googoo, director of employment and training and project lead for Mi'kmaw cultural tourism talks about the Skye River Trail (Runs: 4:40)
3. Christian Phillips, deckhand on the Sulia'n, a fishing boat that went down in the Cabot Strait, talks about his rescue at sea (Runs: 7:13)
4. Rosie Sylliboy, General Manager of Mawita'mk, a group home for adults with disabilities talks about an expansion underway (Runs: 7:12)
5. Sheila Johnson, activities coordinator for Mawita'mk and Randy Marshall and Roddie Gould talk about some of the things they do in the programs. (Runs: 8:15)
6.  Rod "Uncle" Phillips,  industrial arts teacher at We'koqma'q Mi'kmaw School talks about making eel spears with his students (Runs: 5:07)
7. Residential school survivor Magit Poulette (Sylliboy) talks about making rag dolls at residential school to help her cope and her daughter Rosie Sylliboy talks about the legacy of residential school for their family (Runs: 15:14)
8. Susan Googoo, project lead for Mi'kmaw cultural tourism talks about Indigenous tourism (Runs: 5:25)
9. Residential school survivor Phyllis Googoo talks about "mothering" a family of ladybugs to help her cope with the separation from her family (Runs: 6:44)
10. Todd Googoo aka Shift From Tha 902 and Dillon Googoo aka Kloud 9 talk about their current projects (Runs: 9:04)
11. Steve Googoo, band councilor talks about the Youth Eagle Program along with members Owen Bernard and Rodney Martin-Googoo (Runs: 7:14)
12. Residential school survivor Phyllis Googoo talks about her role as Elder in Residence at We'koqma'q Mi'kmaw School (Runs: 5:42)

1. Mi'kmawey School Principal Anne Marie Marchand speaks about a performance based on the book "Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters" by Lillian Marshall (Runs: 5:32)
2. Grade 4-5 teacher Noline Francis talks about a short play her students will perform based on the story "Sweetwater Maiden, Sismoqnapui Skwe'j" by Mary Louise Bernard (Runs: 4:56)
3.  Josh Nicholas, physical activity leadership co-ordinator in Potlotek talks about programs for youth (Runs: 6:02)
4. Roland McCarthy, Pprincipal and social studies teacher at Allan Lafford High School, speaks about the progress of the school. (Runs: 7:17)
5. Anne Marie Marchand, principal at Mi'kmawey School, talks about being the Mi'kmaw voice of Teepee, in the ATPN animated series "Teepee Time." (Runs: 7:06)
6. Terry Denny, the land based learning teacher at Mi'kmawey School and Allan Lafford High School talks about his role (Runs: 5:36)
7. Anne Marie Marchand, principal at Mi'kmawey School, talks about the Eagle Feather Awards and teacher Jasmine Johnson talks about teaching students to harvest porcupine quills (Runs: 6:34)
8. Grade 12 student Matle'n Marshall speaks about a short story that was turned into a short film inspired by strong women in her community (Runs: 7:27)
9. Co-director of Education Noelle Doucette speaks about the role of Mi'kmaq communities in Reconciliation. (Runs: 6:55)