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Eleanor McCloskey, CND

As more and more Canadians accept the challenge to read and reflect upon the Truth and Reconciliation Report and its Calls to Action, we remember people in our country, people among us, who were ahead of their time in fostering warm and caring relationships with our indigenous neighbours. One person who comes to mind for some of us who knew her well was Sister Gertrude Corbett in Miramichi, New Brunswick. Sister was very much attached to the people of the Eel Ground Band. Eel Ground First Nation is a Mi'kmaq First Nation band of 977 people located on the Miramichi River near Newcastle. Associate Frances Connell recently visited Eel Ground and met with Catfish Ginnish, the gentleman who cares for Sister Gertrude’s grave there. Catfish said he looks after the grave of Sister Gertrude because she is alone with no family or tribe to visit. He planted a tree at her grave; his father used to say you are never alone if you have a tree. He spoke with great respect and gratitude for all the priests and sisters who gave great service to the people of Eel Ground over many years. He mentioned many by name. Sister Gertrude’s portrait hangs on the back wall in the church, along with those of several priests who served there.

Frances shared these pictures; she will continue in a future article, with stories and pictures of good news of past years from people who remember.


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