Thirteen people from Membertou were presented their first Aid Certificates at the Membertou Community Centre last month by Chief John ginnish. Chief Ginnish in his sort addressed to the graduating class gave credit to Mrs. Daniel Paul for the outstanding work she has done on the Membertou community in such a short time. Mr. Ginnish said that to know first aid at any time of an emergency is equally as important to the community as it is to know it personally.

Chief Ginnish then presented certificates to each of the thirteen grads and a St. John Ambulance Certificate to Mrs., Daniel Paul, health worker for the Membertou and Chapel Island Indian communities. Mrs. Paul took here course at Sardis, B.C.

The first course was given by Mr. Turnbull of Glace Bay which lasted for 3 weeks.

Certificates presented in the completion of the first aid course included left to right: David Marshall, Margaret Matthews, Mrs. John Doucette and Allister Matthews. Too row: Chief John Ginnish, Mrs. Philomena Isaac, Eva Bernard, Mary Eliza Moore, Mrs. Donald Marshall and health worker, Mrs. Danny Paul.

Chief John Ginnish presents St. John Ambulance Certificates to Mrs. Daniel Paul, Health Worker for Membertou and Chapel Island.

An Agreement between the City of Sydney and the Department of Indian Affairs was signed Monday, March22 by the Hon. Jean Chretien, Minister for Indian Affairs. Mayor Carl Neville signed on behalf of the City of Sydney.

Under the Agreement the City will provide the services of police and fire protection, street and sewer, street lighting and all other municipal services to the residents of Membertou. Negotiations got under way some 15 months ago by a special committee consisting of Chief Roy Gould for Membertou, alderman James Lovelace, Deputy Mayor Charlie Palmer, alderman Vince McNeil and aldermen Elizabeth Vaughn. Department of Indian Affairs officials involved in the drafting of the agreement include Mr. W. MacDonald, Mr. H.S. McNeil, and Mr. John Nicholas. Meanwhile, the reserve’s Special Constable, Fred Googoo, has resigned. No decision has been made for a replacement as yet.

The Minister took part in what turned out to be an historic occasion when he signed an agreement on behalf of his department with the City of Sydney and Membertou Reservation.

Under terms of the agreement Sydney will provide municipal services to the Reservation with the federal government paying the cost.

Mayor Carl Neville signed the contract on behalf of the city and Chief Roy Gould for the reservation, located within the boundary of the city. It is believed to be the first such agreement signed in Canada and other municipalities and Indian bands are likely to follow the same formula worked out of the past year by the three parties.

Mr. Chretien termed the agreement a good example where Indians are to receive the same municipal services as other citizens. Indians of Nova Scotia, he said have long claimed they settled the province before French and English- speaking people and they should receive all the same rights. But at the same time they don’t want to lose their own unique culture.

Mayor Carl Neville said Sydney was proud of its past association with the Indian people. Co-operation between the municipal government and the reservation, he said, has been going on since 1961. The new agreement, they mayor said, will bring in a complete program of municipal services. Reservation Band Chief Roy Gould also welcomed the agreement. “We are going to get complete municipal services,” he said. Some services, he said, have been provided in the short-term programs such as garbage collection.

But there has been no formal agreement such as this one, Chief Gould said. Now the reservation will receive all municipal benefits in the form of police and fire protection, sewer and water and street lighting.

The first feast ever celebrated in honor of St. Anne at Membertou was conducted with the assistance of Rev. A.J. MacLeod and assistant Rev. Hugh McNeil both from nearby St. Anthony Daniel Parish. The feast day started off with an outdoor mass and the procession of St. Anne taking place at 2 p.m. Entertainment was supplied by the Kolby Pipe and Drum band of Connecticut.

Other special events that took place included the special blessing of Princess Micmac Theresa Bernard, the newly elected chief, Gordon MacDonald and celebration of anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. John Mac Ewan. All services were conducted outdoors.

Christmas celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas. This Christmas will mean something special to the Micmac people living at Membertou in Sydney because Midnight Mass in St. Anne’s Church. Membertou on this Christmas Eve will mean the coming of Christ to them in a special way. It will mark the beginning of regular weekly Mass in their church which has been completely renovated recently. A regular weekly program will be carried out on an experimental basis for a period of six months when it will be reviewed and evaluated to determine whether is has been spiritually beneficial for the people and the extra effort justified.

The Church on the reserve is intended primarily for the people at Membertou and not for non-Indians. Funerals, weddings and baptisms will continue to be held at St. Anthony Daniel Church, the mother Church. The Blessed Sacrament will be reserved in St. Anne’s Church for the devotion of the parishioners.

All the plans for the reopening of St. Anne’s Church have been worked out through dialogue between the people at Membertou and officials of St. Anthony Daniel Parish. The formal document requesting the reopening of the church was signed by Grand Chief Donald Marshall, Rev. A.J. MacLeod, Pastor Mr. Paul Terry, Parish council chairman, Mr. Charles Herney, Captain, Membertou Chief John Ginnish, Rev. Hugh MacNeil and Sister Anne Gillis, Parish Team, and Mr. Gus Christmas, Member of the Grand Council.

The request was presented to Bishop William E. Power and the opening words of the document read: “We wish to express our respect and gratitude to you for your continuing encouragement and support for the spiritual welfare of the Micmac people.” If, after the experimental period of six months, the continuation of the program is judged wise, it is hoped to have the official opening of the church on July 26, 1973, the Feast of St. Anne, at witch Bishop Power would officiate.

Many expenses are necessary to obtain the things necessary for the reopening of the church and anyone wishing to help is asked to forward donations to Mr. Gus Christmas, 11 Millard St., Sydney, and (562-5160).

The people at Membertou held a meeting at St. Anne’s Church at 7:30p.m., Thursday evening December 14, to make further arrangements for the reopening of the church.

Special Christmas Services
St. Ann’s Church
Membertou December 24, 1972
Confessions…..7 to 9 p.m.
Christmas Carols 11:45 p.m.
Midnight Mass 12:00
Celebrant: Rev. A.J. MacLeod p.p.
St. Anthony Daniel

Frank Doucette was from the community of Membertou and was the husband of the late Mary Jane Doucette. Frank was a well respected community member, a great sportsman, and a hard working individual. Frank played on every sports team that Membertou had - from Baseball to Hockey, and excelled at all sports he played.

This article is an interview that was done with Frank by Bernie Francis in 1979. In the interview Frank is describing the lifestyle of the Mi'kmaq people during the 1900's - a time period when money was scarce. He explains that the Mi'kmaq people were "rugged" because of the lifestyle they lived - lots of hard work.

This is a great article that describes to the reader the Mi'kmaq way of life that contributed to the overall Mi'kmaq character.