The Wolastoqewi grandmothers and members of the Wolastoqewi Grand Council are sitting with their ancestors in Officer’s Square in Fredericton, New Brunswick, asserting stewardship over artefacts that were recently found during an excavation of the square.
In the words of the Wolastoqewi grandmother and Indigenous archaeologist Ramona Nicholas:
“On September 15, 2020, a ceremony was conducted at Officer’s Square to honor and show respect to our Wolastoqewi Ancestors that are being impacted by development. There has been some contention with Archaeological Services with the present work that is being conducted within Wolastokuk. Officer’s Square has been a center of controversy. Recently Indigenous artifacts were discovered, as well as an ancient shoreline. In my opinion as an Indigenous Archaeologist, this is a significant find.”
At their request, we are raising money for the purchase of a camper that can help ensure the comfort and safety of the grandmothers, especially at night, when they are most vulnerable to the unnecessary “wellness checks” and targeted harassment they have been experiencing. We are hoping to make a purchase in the next couple of days and are actively searching for the right camper. Currently, we are considering something in the Shediac area that would cost $3,000. If you have any leads on something suitable, please send a message. We can travel to purchase and pick it up.
For more information, visit the gofundme page.
Rachel Bryant is a Settler Canadian researcher based in Menahkwesk/Saint John who divides her time between the traditional and unceded territories of the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik. Currently, she is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English at Dalhousie University in K’jipuktuk.