Editor’s note: Gilbert Sewell, a Mi’kmaw elder from Pabineau First Nation who worked to preserve Mi’kmaw stories, language and culture, died on Sunday, March 21. He was 81.
Gilbert Sewell was a knowledge Keeper, a Wisdom Keeper, a Medicine Picker, a Lodge Keeper.
He was Miꞌkmaꞌki’s best kept secret.
I spent some time around Mr. Sewell when I came back to New Brunswick. Over time, I met his daughters and had the privilege of working with them and eventually him.
He was a member of our Wisdom Keepers group in 2012-13 when I worked on a Cancer Care project. He was a huge supporter on my journey. He gave me words to help me understand the work I was doing.
My parents told me he was a very educated and knowledgeable man. He was the first Mi’kmaq man they met who worked for the feds. He worked for our people. He would take the time to visit friends in many communities–that was a testament to his values.
Mpsit Nokamaq Nitap. Ap nmultes. Aq oelalin.
Ashley MacIsaac honoured the Mi’kmaw elder as he was passing away with the song, Gilbert Sewell’s Gifts.
This tribute was first published on Stephanie Francis’s Facebook page.