Volunteers from across Nova Scotia, including representatives from Mi’kmaw communities, were honoured at the province’s 44th annual Provincial Volunteer Award Ceremony today, April 9, at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax.
This is the first time the award program includes volunteers from First Nations.
Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc, Premier Stephen McNeil and Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine attended the ceremony to celebrate the selfless contributions made by nominated volunteers.
“On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen and all Nova Scotians, I offer my sincere congratulations and gratitude to today’s award recipients” said Lt.-Gov. LeBlanc. “Please continue to give, the work by all volunteers makes our province a richer and caring place in which to live.”
The ceremony, which is part of National Volunteer Week, celebrated more than 75 volunteers nominated by municipalities and First Nations Bands.
Fifteen-year old Nina Davey of Pictou, was the recipient of the 2018 Youth Volunteer award. She formed Jeana’s Girls, a group of young women from Pictou County who have come together to support and fundraise for the Pictou County Chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society in honour and in memory of her friend.
“Volunteering for my community means so much to me since I know that I am changing lives of people around me by just helping out in some way,” said Ms. Davey.
“Volunteering is also changing my life for the better. I’ve learned that we all value the same thing and that having and making time to help each other is appreciated no matter what the job is.”
“We are fortunate to live in a province where so many people are willing to give their time to benefit their fellow citizens,” said Premier McNeil. “Today’s recipients are shining examples of that spirit, helping strengthen our communities and enriching the lives of so many.”
The 2018 family volunteer award recipients, the seven-member Johnson family of Eskasoni, have contributed to the culture and well-being of their community for many years. Their contributions include the interact school program, the Mi’kmaq Legal Support Network talking circles, Meals on Wheels community program for elders, as well as being key fundraisers for many causes.
“The value of volunteering in our community is priceless as it is a means of paying it forward,’ said Carole Anne Johnson.
“We were shown the same example of decency and humanity from our community members when we lost our daughter twenty-four years ago which has always been our family’s motivation since.”
The Johnson family also believe in the importance of preserving the Mi’kmaw language.
“We appreciate the support of the chiefs and the Mi’kmaq Physical Activity Leaders, who worked hard to bring forward nominations of volunteers from their community,” said Mr. Glavine.
“Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan is helping to shape and design the way government recognizes and appreciates the contributions of communities and people from across the province.”
For details about award winners around the province, visit: https://novascotia.ca/NonProfitSector/ .