Mi’kmaw Nation, Unama’ki Territory
Knowledge Keeper Jane Meader comes from the traditional lands of Unama’ki, that are now more commonly known as Cape Breton Island on the East Coast of Canada. She is a mother of six and a grandmother of seven. She was raised and continues to live in Membertou.
Knowledge Keeper Meader has a long career as a teacher of the Mi’kmaw language and culture, having extensive and diverse experiences in the professional educational arena as a developer, writer and implementer for Mi’kmaw cultural activities and events for many schools throughout Nova Scotia. Her formal education includes a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from the Frobel Centre for Early Childhood Education, a Certificate in Northern and Native Education from McGill University, a Bachelor of Arts Community Studies from Cape Breton University, a Bachelor of Education from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Masters of Education from St. Francis Xavier University.
Knowledge Keeper Jane has taught for both St. Francis Xavier University and Cape Breton University, and has been teaching on a part-time basis with M Ed cohorts specializing in Indigenous Education and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. She is the Mi’kmaw Language Coordinator for the Membertou Band Council, serves on the Mi’kmaw Language Advisory Committee for Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and acts as an advisor to the Nova Scotia Department of Education in Mi’kmaw Studies and Treaty Education.
Having institutional knowledge, Knowledge Keeper Jane is able to realize one of her biggest initiatives; preserving and promoting Mi’kmaw heritage by working with various people and organizations to keep the language alive, often layering her language lessons with culture and ceremony. Being a pipe carrier and spiritual teacher, she is frequently invited to various communities in the Atlantic Region to provide guidance to those who seek it.
As a Mi’kmaw woman, Knowledge Keeper Jane embraces, acknowledges and continues to learn her ancestral ways so that she may practice and apply traditional philosophy and principles in her daily life. Although a university graduate, Jane considers the lessons she has received from the elders as the most significant and valuable education provided to her.