Ku’ku’kwes News Top 10 Popular News Stories of 2017

Alton Natural Gas Storage Project

The Treaty Truckhouse in Feb. 2017/Photo by Stephen Brake

Opposition against the Alton Gas Natural Storage Project near Stewiake, N.S. continued into 2017.

Alton Gas wants to create underground storage caverns by flushing out the salt deposits using water from the Shubenacadie River.

It also wants to release the salt water mixture, called brine, back into the river.

In January, the Sipekne’katik Band won its appeal against the Nova Scotia government over permits the provincial government granted to the company in 2016.

Since September 2016, Eskasoni resident Dale Poulette has been camping out near the Alton Gas site along the Shubenacadie River. He’s there to protect the river and to practice his treaty rights to hunt and fish.

In May, the company approached the Sipekne’katik Chief and Council to see if the community would be interested in a benefits package in exchange for ending the ongoing protest at the project site. Chief and council held a meeting in Indian Brook First Nation, N.S. to get feedback from community members.

Victoria Henneberry appeals murder conviction in death of Loretta Saunders

Loretta Saunders’ mother Miriam, sister Delilah and father Clayton travelled from Labrador to Halifax to attend Henneberry’s appeal hearing/Photo by Stephen Brake

In April, Victoria Henneberry appeared before the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in Halifax to appeal her second degree murder conviction in the 2014 death of Inuk woman Loretta Saunders.

Both Henneberry and her then boyfriend Blake Leggatte are currently serving life sentences for killing the 26-year-old university student over rent money. Henneberry must serve ten years before she can apply for parole.

Saunders’ family travelled to Halifax to attend the two-day hearing. Delilah Saunders was upset that Henneberry was appealing her conviction.

Sanipass runs in May 30 Nova Scotia election

Trevor Sanipass ran for the NDP in the Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank riding in the Nova Scotia election May 30/Photo by Stephen Brake

In May, Beaver Bank, N.S. resident Trevor Sanipass had aspirations to become Nova Scotia’s first Mi’kmaw person elected to the Nova Scotia legislature.

Sanipass, a member of the Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton, ran for the New Democratic Party in the riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank riding.

Sanipass came in third in the May 30 Nova Scotia election.


Doctor’s racist note aimed at Indigenous patients prompts calls for apology

Social worker Maxine Ginnish posted a photo of the sign at Dr. Carter’s office on Facebook/Photo contributed by Maxine Ginnish

Social worker Maxine Ginnish took a picture of a note at a doctor’s office in Miramichi, N.B.

The note asked Indigenous patients not to “ask for tranquilizers or pain medications.” The photo of the note was posted online which went viral.

It also promoted George Ginnish, Chief of Natoagenag First Nation (Eel Ground), to demand an apology from the doctor.

Grand Chief Membertou’s Gourd

Grand Chief Membertou gave his gourd to his godfather Charles Robin, shortly after being baptised at Port Royal, N.S. in 1610/Photo by Stephen Brake

On National Aboriginal Day, the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History unveiled an exhibit that highlighted the Mi’kmaq and French relations in the 1600s.

Part of the exhibit included a gourd that once belonged to Mi’kmaq Grand Chief Henri Membertou.

Membertou gave the gourd to his godfather, explorer Charles Robin, after he and his family were baptized into the Catholic religion in 1610.

June 22: Grand Chief Membertou’s gourd part of exhibit on Mi’kmaq, French history


Efforts to bring Beothuk remains at a Scottish museum back to Canada

A painted portrait of Demasduit, left, in 1819. A forensic facial reconstruction of Nonosbawsut by Richard Neave/Wikimedia Commons

Mi’sel Joe, chief of the Miawpukek First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador has been leading the effort to have Beothuk remains returned to NL.

The remains are believed to be of Nonobawsut and his wife, Demasduit. They’re being stored at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Joe has been coordinating with other Indigenous groups in NL along with the federal and provincial governments have the remains returned to NL.

Archaeological dig explores trading between Mi’kmaq and French

Katie Cottreau-Robins holds French trade beads that were found at Fort St. Louis in Port La Tour, N.S./Photo by Stephen Brake

Katie Cottreau-Robins, archaeology curator with the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in Halifax, N.S. led an archaeological dig at Fort St. Louis in Port La Tour, N.S. for the month of July.

Her team uncovered artifacts that highlighted the trade relationship between the Mi’kmaq and the French in the area.


Wabanaki Confederacy 2017 gathering at Kejimkujik National Park

Hugh Akagi is the chief of the Passamaquoddy in Canada/Photo by Stephen Brake

For four days in August, people gathered at Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia to take part in the annual Wabanaki Confederacy gathering.

Passamaquoddy Chief Hugh Akagi was among the group who attended the gathering.



Former Sipekne’katik Chief Jerry Sack charged with drug trafficking

Jerry Sack, 55, from Indian Brook First Nation, N.S./Photo by Stephen Brake

Jerry Sack, a former chief and band councillor with the Sipekne’katik Band (or First Nation) in Nova Scotia was charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking on Oct. 6.

Sack served as a band councillor with Sipekne’katik from 1988-2007 before he was elected chief in 2007.

He was re-elected chief three times before he stepped down to return to council in 2012. Sack chose not to re-offer for council in the Nov. 2016 band election.


Lobster pound belonging to Sipekne’katik band councillor destroyed fire

Sipekne’katik Band Councillor Alex McDonald, left, confirmed Tuesday a lobster pound he owned was destroyed by fire on Chirstmas Day/Photo by Stephen Brake

On Christmas Day, Sipekne’katik Band Councillor Alex McDonald was notified by the RCMP that his lobster pound in Saint Bernard, N.S. was destroyed by fire.

It was the second time McDonald’s lobster fishery property was destroyed by fire.

In October, his lobster boat was towed from a wharf in Comeauville, N.S. and set on fire on the water in St. Mary’s Bay.

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About Maureen Googoo 270 Articles
Maureen Googoo is an award-winning journalist from Indian Brook First Nation (Sipekne'katik) in Nova Scotia. She has worked in news more than 30 years for media outlets such as CBC Radio, the Chronicle-Herald and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Maureen has an arts degree in political science from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.