BETHEL — Sister Bernadette Gautreau will share her experiences from 50 years working among the Woodland Cree in northern Alberta at the West Parish Congregational Church, 37 Church St.
Her talk is at 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 22.
Growing up in Mexico, Maine, Sister Bernadette felt called to a life of service as a nun. But she also grew up hunting with her father and enjoying the outdoors. When she was asked to teach First Nation children on Alberta’s Fox Lake reservation, she eagerly accepted the assignment.
There she 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 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.
Sister Bernadette will show attenders some of her treasures from her time in Canada.
Her 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.
Sister Bernadette Gautreau