Neqotkuk, New Brunswick
Year(s) Funded: 2017-2018
Topic Area: Mental Health
Partners: Neqotkuk Health Centre, Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick
Title: Cross-Generational Teaching to Promote Physical and Mental Health in Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation)
Action: Neqotkuk is located in a rural setting adjacent to the Wolastoq (Saint John River) and is prone to flooding which has become more dramatic in recent years due to climate change. Additionally, the Wolastoqey (Maliseet) face a number of challenges in harvesting traditional foods including: (1) we have not been able to harvest Atlantic Salmon since 1997, due to DFO restrictions (2) recent health advisories against eating fiddleheads (3) limited access to industrial freehold lands.
This program was initiated as 100% community driven, with land users and elders taking youth on the land to teach them how to harvest foods and resources in a respectable manner. The activities allowed members who would otherwise not be able to afford or travel alone, to participate in harvesting and also allowed them access to activities such as a hunter safety course.
Results: The program promoted health by aiding members in accessing traditional foods and teaching youth how to carry those activities into the future. To help mitigate climate change effects, youth were shown a variety of locations and techniques to access traditional foods and medicines. The program relied on many community members to make it a success including: Chief & Council, directors, technical support, elders, youth and parents.