Lennox Island First Nation experiences cultural revival as students embrace Mi’kmaw culture

Lennox Island First Nation is experiencing a cultural revival as students reclaim their education through practicing Mi’kmaw culture, reports CBC. Students at John J Sark Memorial School, which is a former day school, have been practicing Mi’kmaw culture by drumming and speaking the language. Students take pride in their heritage through activities such as drumming at lunch and announcing the weather to their school and community in Mi’kmaw and English. “I feel it’s super cool because my ancestors, it was illegal for them to do it, a long time ago … It feels like you’re healing yourself, and it’ll heal … a bunch of other people,” said student Xavier Bernard. Educators also shared the work they do to meet both the educational and emotional needs of students. “[W]e work to help promote inclusivity, kindness, using all of the teachings that they learn with their Mi’kmaw culture teacher,” said Lennox Island education director Kim Colwell. Mi’kmaq teacher Nancy Peters-Doyle added that this cultural learning is meant to strengthen students’ ability to cope with racism after leaving the school. “Hopefully they’ll recall that strength from when they were a kid and be like, oh, well, I’m proud to be Mi’kmaq,” said Peters-Doyle.