Sister Bernadette Gautreau spent 50 years among the Woodland Cree in northern Alberta. She will share her experiences in a talk in the dining room of the West Parish Congregational Church, 37 Church St., Bethel on Friday, June 22 at 4:30 p.m.
Growing up in Mexico, Maine, Sr. Bernadette felt called to a life of service as a nun. But she also grew up hunting with her father and enjoying the outdoors. So, when asked to teach First Nation children on Alberta’s Fox Lake reservation, she eagerly accepted the assignment.
There she soon found that boys and girls raised in “the bush” could not relate to the stories in the school’s books. But as she encouraged them to write and illustrate their own stories, they eagerly learned the English words they needed. In turn, the Cree taught her ways that have sustained their lives for thousands of years and invited her to help in their ceremonies.
Sr. Bernadette will show attendees some of her treasures from her time in Canada. This talk will be the third in Western Mountains Senior College’s 2018 Down Home Maine series. It is free and open to the public, but donations to cover incidental costs will be welcome.