The Membertou community Center at Sydney, part of the Local Incentive Program undergoes a complete renovation program. The Community Center houses the offices of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians along with the band administration offices and a weekly Health Clinic.

The Sydney Band received $42,120.00 to employ 20 men and an additional $39,780.00. Employment is scheduled to continue until late September.

John Ginnish, 43, and a father of five is the newly elected Chief for the 300 Residents of Membertou.  Mr. Ginnish obtained 65 out of the 88 votes against his opponent Gordon MacDonald whose one year term expired recently.  Mr. Ginnish is employed on the L.I.P. program on the community.

Elected to Council for two years terms were Wallace Bernard, Richard Matthews and Roy Gould.  All have previously been on the Council.

Approximately 125 were eligible to vote with polls opening at 9a.m. to 6p.m. under the direction of Jack Touchie of the Halifax district Office, Indian Affairs.

The Band had originally planned to take care of their elections however due to the short notice; it was unable to be carried out as requested.

Mrs. Helen Martin, Membertou is now the president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s organization fro Nova Scotia. Mrs. Martin has been involved from the beginning stages of the newly formed organization for Native Women.

Mrs. Martin’s election came as a result of a three day organizational meeting held at the Isle Royale Hotel in Sydney with some 30 to 40 Indian delegates taking part representing the majority of the twelve Indian communities of this province. Considered as a historic even for Nova Scotia Indian Women, the three day conference was termed a success.

Mrs. Sarah Denny of Eskasoni was elected vice president, as was Mrs. Rebecca Pictou of Shubenacadie. New officers will be elected each year at an annual meeting. Also elected were: Mrs. Eddie Morris of Eskasoni as Treasurer and Mrs. Ben Morris of Shubenacadie as secretary.

Daniel Simcoff, representative of the Secretary of state's office in Ottawa, was present at three days of the conference. Yesterday he observed that, "I have no doubt of the determination of these women to make a viable organization work, "He added that while he normally worked on Indian problems in his work, he has not been in close contact with the Nova Scotia reserves. Mr. Simcoff said he had acquired a great deal of knowledge about the needs of Nova Scotia Indians at the three-day conference.

Meet the Board of Directors of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians. Left to right, front row: Chief Rachel Marshall, Chief Mrs. Abraham Smith. Back row: Chief Roy Gould, Chief Peter Pierro, Chief Raymond Francis, Chief John Knockwood, Chief Francis Pierro, Councilors Charlie Bernard. Missing from photo: Chief Dan K. Stevens.

Mr. Bernie Francis is now a court Worker effective May 17, 1971, who will be working out of the John Howard Society office in Sydney. Mr. Francis will be covering the Cape Breton area, giving assistance to Indian people in levels of understanding, acceptance, and respect for existing laws.

Other related duties in Mr. Francis’ involvement will be to bring to the attention of the Indian people provisions that affect the Indian people in the courts and special services available to both the Correctional Institutions and in the field. The Court Worker will also bring to the attention of the courts, police, and persons involved, the nature and goals of the Court Worker for the best interest of the people.

Mr. Francis is a first year student of the T.Y.P. program of Dalhousie. Further information may be obtained by contacting Mr. Francis at the John Howard Society office. Phone 539-1253 at 106 Townsend Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia.