TRURO HEIGHTS - Anyone looking for materials on Mi'kmaq history will have hundreds of items at their fingertips in the New Year thanks to a new aboriginal library and resource project now underway.
Gordon Pictou, senior heritage interpreter and program manager, is working on expanding the resources available in ‘Our Voices - Our Stories' and material should be arriving in the next couple of months.
"We had some items already but we've just ordered about 150 more resources, such as books and videos, and other items such as educational material and handbooks," said Pictou.
During the past four years, the centre has been hosting an educator's conference and this will help broaden the resources available during that conference, and will also be available to the public.
"If students want to come in for materials for projects and bounce ideas or questions off of us, they are more than welcome too, and teachers can come in and use this for research as well."
Currently, the centre has about 160 materials, however, it hopes to expand to about 400 books and 100 videos. The library will also include about 500 lesson plans for teachers, a project that may not be complete for another year or so.
"Our store has an extensive collection of novels and resources, so when a new book or other material would come out, we would order one for the store and one for here. We use these materials right now to encourage our interpreters to look through so they are able to recommend them to our visitors or reference them in their tours," said Pictou.
The centre has been working on the project since the beginning of June and Dee Hawkins, finance manager, has been applying for funding to support the project.
The Public Affairs Atlantic Division of the RBC Financial Group has supplied the centre with $5,000 toward the project.
"We're also in the process of applying to the Canadian Book Fund through the Canadian Heritage Program," said Hawkins, adding applications have also gone into other financial institutions.
"We're hoping to add some software to our library because with our outreach program we offer, there is software available to enhance that program."
Pictou said the money from RBC is providing a big boost to the program.
"Part of it is going toward shelving for the room, but about $3,500 is being spent on books and audio visual materials," he said.
While the centre is purchasing a lot of the materials that will be available in the library, Pictou said anyone wishing to contribute materials is more than welcome to do so.
"If people have a lot of materials, books or even video, that they don't know what to do with, we would gladly accept them," he said, adding the centre still has the capabilities of viewing VHS.