Micmacs receive grant for cultural programs
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Band of Micmacs recently received a grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colo., which will help youth celebrate their culture and gain leadership skills.
Fenton Jones, coordinator of the Presque Isle Boys and Girls Club, said the funds will support activities that incorporate culture and tradition to address social issues faced in the Micmac community, while preserving cultural practices, beliefs and values through engagement between youth and elders.
“We are grateful to the First Nations Development Institute for enabling us to offer a culturally based program solely focused on the revitalization of Micmac tradition and culture,” Jones said.
“Receiving funding from the First Nations Development Institute is a big step in preserving the Micmac culture through community infusion of cultural traditions and values, a language and culture almost lost,” said Nichole Francis, CEO of the Penobscot Boys and Girls Club, which administers the local club.
Francis said, “This grant will help to bridge the gap between elders and youth to ensure sustainability.”
Through this new program addition, the club will focus on enhancing youth leadership through bi-monthly meetings through the year, providing youth with training and talking circles facilitated by certified staff. Topics will include leadership, suicide and drug prevention, conflict resolution and Two-Spirit training.