What a difference a few weeks can make! Until this year, the annual St Anne’s Mission resulted in mountains of garbage and complaints about sewage being dumped in the Lakes.

91This year, things were different. Thanks to the far-sighted work of Pitu’paq, the unique group of First Nations, municipal governments and their federal and provincial partners, things were notably better. With a kick-start investment of $15,000 from Pitu’paq, a dedicated coordinator, Barry Bernard, Tahira Paul and her dedicated team of Nova Scotia Youth Conseravtion Corps students, Membertou student coordinator, Clark Paul, the leadership of UINR’s Laurie Suitor, major changes were made to address the many garbage and sewage-related issues that have plagued the Mission for years.

Also contributing to this year’s success were John Johnson, who provided sewage services and assisted with garbage patrols, ACAP Cape Breton, Michael Denny, who built the portable pump-out unit, Charles Doucette, who operated the barge, and Albert Marshall who provided ongoing support. The Bras d’Or Stewardship Society also contributed financially to the project.

With just a few weeks of planning and the full support of the Chiefs and Grand Council, there were some major accomplishments:

  • Eight port-a-potties were installed on the Island and maintained daily
  • A portable pump-out unit was built and operated throughout the Mission
  • Fourteen port-a-potties were maintained by Bioliquid Waste of Antigonish, and there was no vandalism
  • Waste bins were built on the mainland and Island and were emptied and patrolled regularly
  • Tons of garbage were removed on daily runs from the Island (Sunshine Disposal provided dumpsters)
  • Recycling was a challenge, but some people did recycle and with education, a full recycling program will be in place next year
  • Fees were collected from campers and permits were issued
  • New sewage holding tanks were installed
  • Brochures, signage, and kits with recycle, compost, and garbage bags were distributed

While the recycling program had its share of difficulties and some garbage was left behind on the Island, the first-year program was deemed to be a huge success!

Based on this year’s success, Pitu’paq is developing a long-term plan for the Mission.

Photo shows NSYCC participants Tahirah Paul, Tracie Johnson, and Brandon Tracy.