UNB Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre Virtual Pow-Wow
From December 1-5, the UNB MWC held a virtual Pow-Wow in honour of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).
In light of the pandemic, this event was held on Facebook and called for participants to submit videos that corresponded to certain categories. People were able to vote on the videos using the “like, love, care” feature on Facebook, with the video with the highest number of votes winning that category.
The event was a way of amplifying and celebrating Indigenous Artists and their culture in a safe and socially distant manner.
“[To highlight] and amplify Indigenous Artists by sharing and connecting to our culture. Energizing our spirits with connection to our traditional ways. With celebration of culture, music, drumming and dancing of Indigenous people on Turtle Island,” explained the Facebook Page for the event.
The event brought together a multitude of video submissions of dancers, drummers, and drum groups.
UNB Announces Suspension of Visiting Students and Faculty
On November 27, UNB President Paul Mazerolle announced in an email that UNB would be suspending visiting students, faculty, and researchers effective immediately. He explained that this decision came due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, and that it was in the best interest of the UNB community.
“We will not be issuing letters of invitation for travel purposes or processing work permit applications,” Mazerolle explained in the email. “We will issue letters of invitation to future visitors for scholarship applications.”
Mazerolle explained that letters of invitation cannot be used as travel documents, and that individuals will not be given access to UNB campuses until their visitation is approved by New Brunswick Public Health.
Listuguj First Nation Students Fighting for Education
For a majority of the pandemic, Listuguj First Nation students in Quebec were able to bubble with New Brunswick to enter the province for their schooling, which takes place at Sugarloaf High School in Campbellton.
On October 8, New Brunswick burst this bubble due to rising case numbers in Quebec, and, on November 27, students began marching across the J.C. Van Horne Bridge into New Brunswick to protest the denial of their education.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has accused New Brunswick of illegally barring students from obtaining an education that is their right.
“The New Brunswick Government is now illegally denying Listuguj First Nation students access to their OWN high school,” says the CCLA, questioning the motivations of the New Brunswick Government.
They report that over 90 students are being denied education, despite the fact that Sugarloaf High School staff who live in Listuguj First Nation are being allowed to cross the bridge to work.
“These kids from Listuguj are being caught in the middle, and I applaud their passion for education,” said New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy to CBC. He further stated that it was up to Quebec, not New Brunswick, to allow students to attend Sugarloaf.
Cardy explained that the Department of Education had created an online learning curriculum and had opened a learning center in Listuguj for the displaced students.