The Spirit of Giving

"The Spirit Of Giving"

My name is Ramona Morris, I am a Mi'kmaq Native attending Eskasoni Junior High School in Cape Breton. As for my topic I chose to talk about what is called a 'Salite'.

What Salite' means is when a person passes on to the spiritual world, our community then gathers at our community hall or downstairs of our church. After the funeral we have a feast and an auction.

During the feast, a hand basket is circulated by the Grand Council Member. We then put in loose change or spare bills to help support the cost of funeral expenses or help the family as well. Community members bring their most treasured items and auction it off. At this time the healing takes place and you can hear the family members laugh and reminisce about their deceased, this is also healing.

The spirit of giving I heard of in the community was when Nolen Googoo passed on. A community member bought a T-shirt that would cost fifteen dollars in a regular store, but was auctioned off for six-thousand dollars. The gentlemen that bought the T-shirt gave the T-shirt to the parents of the deceased. This is what the spirit of giving means.

We are very fortunate that we still carry on the tradition in Cape Breton. In Mainland this beautiful tradition is starting to fade away. And as a member of this community, I hope we can carry this tradtion on until the end of time.

Eskasoni Junior High
Eskasoni First Nation