Rose Paul is at the CENTRE of the Historic Opening of the Highway Exchange at Paqtnkek Mi’Kmaw Nation

The government partners who put up the money, the planners and roadbuilders celebrated the official opening of the Highway Exchange at Paqtnkek (access at Exit 36-B) on January 15, 2019.

Photo Courtesy of Paqtnkek Facebook: L to R: Randy Delorey, MLA, Nova Scotia; Roger Cuzner, MP Cape Breton-Canso; Lloyd Hines, NS Minister of Transportation; Sean Fraser, MP, Central Nova; Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities; Rose Paul, Director, Land and Development; Chief Paul (P. J. ) Prosper, Owen McCarron, Warden, Municipality of the County of Antigonish.

The day before this historic event, Rose Paul shared with HARP the People’s Press her gratitude to her grandparents: “I had the blessing I have been raised by them,” she said in response to this 1958 photo of Mathilde (Syliboy) Paul and Ben Paul, which was part of the Imagine Antigonish collection of heritage photos from 2014:

Mary Freda Paul (Simmons) in front holding the doll.  Back row: John R. Prosper and Patricia Paul Bernard; Phyllis Paul beside Mathilde, now Mrs. John Noel Prosper. Photo courtesy of John R. Prosper, Family Album. Restoration: Anne Louise MacDonald.

Rose Paul, herself grandmother to 11, is featured in The People’s Photo Album: A Pictorial Genealogy of the Antigonish Movement (p. 148). As Rose offered her thanks to everyone who helped make this “long time vision a reality for our community,” the connection to the land and all her ancestors was surely at the heart of her remarks. The new bridge at Exit 36-B is right by the site of Mathilde and Ben’s house (now long gone). Was Rose remembering growing up in that house on this very site with the many children in Mathilde’s care? Notice the fiddle on the table. Rose grew up in a household of music and art. Ben Paul was a master carver and a fiddler. He made handles for farm tools, such as axes, hoes, and rakes.

Rose Paul is now living the legacy of her ancestors in her community and for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.

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