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Butternut Tree Donated to Local Artist and Pathways to Shipbuilding Wins Gold Award


Butternut Tree Donated to Local Artist

This winter a Butternut tree was found on land owned by J.D. Irving, Limited. Justin Sappier, a Peskotomuhkati and Wolastoqey traditional carver in the Fredericton area, has called around to find out if there was anyway the dying tree could be donated to the local art college.  

Nearly two years ago Sappier decided to go back to school with the thought of becoming a basket maker, and wanting to teach his children a craft. He only had to try traditional carving masks to realize that was his true artistic calling.  Sappier now teaches a Traditional Mask Carving course at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and was looking for wood to use in his class as well as for his own work. When Woodlands Chief Naturalist, Kelly Honeyman, heard about the ask, he was quick to offer the artist a look at the tree.


"Some people don't know that Butternut is in trouble and we've been having a hard time getting a hold of it.  [JDI] gave us a call..asked us if we wanted to see this piece of wood," Justin Sappier said about getting new materials for his class. " The shape we're getting into right now is perfect for carving, and gives it a second life."



Follow these artists on Social media:

 Justin Sappier's Instagram:

Tim 'Bjorn' Jones' Instagram:



Pathways to Shipbuilding Wins Gold Award

Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians program has received the Program Excellence Gold Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

The CICan Awards of Excellence recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements. 

Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians is a partnership between Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC),  Irving Shipbuilding Inc., the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Unifor, GE Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Government that offers education, apprenticeship and career opportunities in the shipbuilding industry to Indigenous Canadians, who are historically underrepresented in the industry.



The program involved a 14-week preparatory training program focused on personal and academic readiness, a Metal Fabrication Diploma program, mentoring and coaching by community and industry supporters, two work terms at Irving Shipbuilding, and upon graduation an opportunity for full-time employment at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard.

The twelve students in the Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Students program graduated with their diploma in Metal Fabrication on July 6, 2018 at NSCC and were offered full-time employment with Halifax Shipyard.