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Elder's Knowledge: Pictou Landing's Sarah Francis speaks about Boat Harbour and the effluent spill

Bilingual English/Mi'kmaw interview

by Annie Clair

Sarah Francis remembers when Boat Harbour, or A'se'k (translated to 'the other room' from Mi'kmaw), was a place to play, fish and pick medicines. [Photo: Annie Clair]
Sarah Francis remembers when Boat Harbour, or A'se'k (translated to 'the other room' from Mi'kmaw), was a place to play, fish and pick medicines. [Photo: Annie Clair]

Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia - On Tuesday, June 10th, an effluent leak was detected near the community of Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia.

That day, the community erected a blockade to the access road down which the burst pipe was located. The pipe is nearby a traditional burial grounds.

Chief Andrea Paul of Pictou Landing First Nation has said that the blockade will not come down until there is a clear plan to clean up the spill. Chief Paul is also demanding that the provincial government of Nova Scotia shut down Boat Harbour, the effluent dumping grounds that borders her community.

The following interview with Sarah Francis, an elder in Pictou Landing, begins in English and then switches to Mi'kmaw, the language of the indigenous Mi'kmaq people.

Ms. Francis talks about growing up next to Boat Harbour, known in M'ikmaw as A'se'k, or 'the other room'. As a child, Francis says the area was very important to the community and was a place to play, fish and gather medicines.

If you don't speak Mi'kmaw, the Halifax Media Co-op encourages you to take language lessons, or find a Mi'kmaw friend to translate this important conversation.

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