Living in Maria
Mé’talwléin? [How are you?]
Pilip Teluwisi [I’m Philippe]. I live in the Mi’kmaq community in Baie des Chaleurs, in Gaspé. I’d like to talk to you about life in my village.
I live in Maria which is also called Gesgapegiag. In Mi’kmaq Gesgapegiag means “Where the River Widens.” Approximately 300 Mi’kmaq live there. Coming from Highway 132, we see a building shaped like a large white teepee in the center of the village. This is Kateri Tekakwitha Church which was built in 1960. Each year, many tourists visit and take the opportunity to learn about our culture and our history. A little further, there is the restaurant and the building that houses our handicraft cooperative.
I attend the village school which hosts 100 children from elementary school up to Secondary 2. Students who want to continue their secondary education must attend schools in neighboring villages. Before the construction of this new school, Gesgapegiag courses were taught in the basement of the church.
I follow the same program as students from other schools in Quebec, but I also have courses where we study the Mi’kmaq language and culture. Seniors visit and talk to us about life in the past, and they teach us how to make traditional objects.
My everyday life is like that of other Quebeckers, but I enjoy traditional family activities like picking fiddleheads, nuts and sweet grass, which is used to make baskets. Many young people here are interested in basket weaving. I also love fishing, canoeing and archery. But my favorite sport is baseball. I often participate in tournaments between Mi’kmaq communities or with other villages
I hope you enjoyed this short visit,
Nmu’ltes [See you soon].
Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social
French (If available)