2017: A Year in Photos

Walking With Our Sisters Art Exhibit at MSVU

Walking With Our Sisters is a commemoration art exhibition that remembers missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls/Photo by Stephen Brake

In January, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery opened an exhibit to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The exhibit, created by Metis artist Christi Belcourt, features pairs of moccasin vamps donated by families and loved ones of the missing and murdered.


 Ongoing occupation at Alton Natural Gas Project site

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

Eskasoni First Nation resident Dale Poulette has been camping out at the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project site along the Shubenacadie River since September 2016. In an interview with Ku’ku’kwes News, Poulette explained he’s there to exercise his hunting and treaty rights and to protect the river.


Loretta Saunders’ killer loses appeal of murder conviction

Miriam Saunders, mother of Loretta Saunders, speaks to reporters after the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismisses Victoria Henneberry’s request to have her 2nd degree murder conviction overturned/Photo by Stephen Brake

Miriam Saunders, the mother of Loretta Saunders, speaks to reporters after three Nova Scotia appeal court justices dismiss Victoria Henneberry’s request to have her second-degree murder conviction overturned.

Henneberry is one of two people serving life sentences in the murder of 26-year-old Inuk Loretta Saunders from Labrador.


Sipekne’katik Chief and Council hold community meeting on proposed Alton Gas benefits deal

Carol Howe, 56, from Indian Brook First Nation, N.S. wants Sipekne’katik Chief and Council to oppose any benefits deal with Alton Gas/Photo by Stephen Brake 

Sipekne’katik Chief and Council held a meeting with band members in Indian Brook First Nation, N.S. to discuss the possibility of accepting a benefits package from the company responsible for the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project near Stewiake, N.S.

Sipekne’katik has been opposed to the company’s plans to use water from the Shubenacadie River to create underground salt caverns and dump the salty water mixture back into the river.


Trevor Sanipass runs for a seat in the Nova Scotia Legislature in May 30 election

Trevor Sanipass takes a selfie with his staff at his campaign headquarters in Fall River, N.S. on May 30/Photo by Stephen Brake

Trevor Sanipass hoped to become the first Mi’kmaw person elected to the Nova Scotia Legislature in the May 30 provincial election. He ran for the NDP Party in the riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

Sanipass came in third behind incumbent Liberal candidate Bill Horne who won the seat and Progressive Conservative Party candidate Dan McNaughton.


 Indigenous Youth in Halifax participate in photo project to mark 100th anniversary of Halifax Explosion

Sabrina DiMattia, left, and Kehisha Wilmot are part of a group of Indigenous youth working on a photography project to mark the 100th anniversary of the Halifax explosion/Photo by Stephen Brake

Sabrina DiMattia from Halifax and Kehisha Wilmot from Millbrook First Nation were among a group of Indigenous youth chosen to take part in a photo project to mark the 100th anniversary of the Halifax explosion.

Both DiMattia and Wilmot took photos of Turtle Grove where a Mi’kmaw encampment was located at the time of the explosion. The photo project was organized by Photopolis: The Halifax Festival of Photography.


 Rally held in Halifax to ‘remove’ Cornwallis statue

Crowd cheers as the statue of Halifax founder Edward Cornwalis is covered with a black tarp/Photo by Stephen Brake

A rally was held in Halifax on July 15 to ‘symbolically’ remove the statue of Edward Cornwallis, the city’s founder. Instead of actually removing the statue, city workers draped a black tarp over the statue for a few hours.

Cornwallis issued a scalping bounty of Mi’kmaw people, including women and children.


Peace and Friendship gathering at Grand Pré National Historic Site

Fireworks display ended Thursday’s events for Grand Pré 2017 celebration/Photo by Stephen Brake

For four days in August, hundreds of people gathered at Grand Pré National Historic Site near Wolfville, N.S. to take part in the Peace and Friendship gathering. The gathering was organized by Morley Googoo, Assembly of First Nations Vice-Chief for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The event highlighted the relationship between the Mi’kmaq and French.


Archaeologists exploring trade between Mi’kmaq and French in Port La Tour, N.S.

Archaeological dig at Fort St. Louis in Port La Tour, N.S./Photo by Stephen Brake

Katie Cottreau-Robins, an archaeology curator with the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in Halifax, spent a month during the summer of 2017 researching the trading relationship between the Mi’kmaq and the French at Fort St. Louis in the 1600s.

Cottreau-Robins lead a team of archaeologists in digging up artifacts at the national historic site in Port La Tour, N.S. Among the items her team uncovered included trade beads.


Potlotek residents frustrated with ongoing water quality issues in community

Bernadette Marshall, left, and Lynn Boyce, right, are frustrated with the latest water advisory in Potlotek First Nation, N.S./Photo by Stephen Brake

Members of the Potlotek First Nation in Unama’ki like Bernadette Marshall and Lynn Boyce were frustrated when they learned Health Canada issued a “Do Not Consume” order on the community’s drinking water in September.

Residents were unable to use their tap water to drink, bathe or wash their clothes. The federal government provided bottled water and trailers for showers and laundry to community members.


Membertou First Nation welcomes National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

A group that took part in a water ceremony in Sydney, N.S. march towards Membertou First Nation on Sunday/Photo by Stephen Brake

The Membertou First Nation in Sydney, N.S. held a welcoming ceremony on Oct. 29 for the participants taking part in hearings with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Oct 30 to Nov. 1.

Family members and loved ones of MMIWG marched from the shores of Sydney Harbour to Membertou First Nation.


Family members of Virginia Sue Pictou-Noyes testify at MMIWG community hearings at Membertou First Nation

Family members of Virginia Sue Pictou-Noyes at the MMIWG inquiry in Membertou, N.S./Photo by Stephen Brake

Family members of Virginia Sue Pictou-Noyes cried and laughed while sharing stories of their sister who went missing in Maine on April 24, 1993. The 26-year-old mother of five was last seen at the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.

Pictou-Noyes, originally from Membertou First Nation, N.S., was taken to the medical centre by a police officer after she was badly beaten by her husband and brother-in-law outside of a bar in downtown Bangor earlier that evening.


Two men from Waycobah receive the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery

Shane Bernard, poses with his family at Province House following a ceremony where he received the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery/Photo by Stephen Brake

Shane Bernard and his friend, Liam Bernard, received the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery during a ceremony at the Nova Scotia Legislature on Nov. 8. Both men saved two tourists from a burning truck following a fatal traffic accident in Sept. 2016.


Rally held to protect Kluscap Mountain in Unama’ki from mining activity

Rally was held on Dec. 16 to protect Kluscap Mountain in Unama’ki/Photo by Stephen Brake

Approximately 40 people gathered at the base of Kluscap Mountain, also known as Kelly’s Mountain, in Cape Breton, N.S. to hold a rally against mining activity in the area.

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia wants the Nova Scotia government to reconsider its classification of protected areas throughout the province, including the mountain. However, Mi’kmaw activist Elizabeth Marshall says Kluscap Mountain is sacred to the Mi’kmaq and should remain protected.


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About Stephen Brake 3 Articles
Stephen Brake is the photo editor for Ku'ku'kwes News. Stephen has been a professional photographer for over 30 years. Stephen has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from NSCAD University in Halifax.