Education ~ Kehkiketuwakon

David Perley

Ihkatuwin ‘Ciw Wolokehkitimok

(Guardian for Holistic Learning)


Phone:     (506) 273-5535

Fax:          (506) 273-5534


““If my children are proud, if my children have identity, if my children know who they are and if they are proud to be who they are, they’ll be able to encounter anything in life. I think this is what education means.”  (First Nation Mother)


I believe that every child has a learning spirit which responds in a positive way to a culturally based learning environment. Elders and culturally grounded educators recognize that the learning spirit is nourished by our ancestral language, traditions, teachings, and ceremonies. This in turn leads to students developing a strong cultural foundation and tremendous pride in their Wolastoqey identity. Studies have shown that cultural pride and a positive self-esteem have a significant impact on academic outcomes and a sense of well-being.


Considering the impacts of culture on academic and social-well-being, it is imperative for the Tobique Education Department to develop and implement a culturally based education system for our students attending Mah-Sos, Andover Elementary, PAMS and Southern Victoria High schools. Culturally based education is defined as follows:


“Education which reflects, validates, and promotes the values, world views, and language of the community’s culture. Culturally based education is intended to honor all forms of knowledge, ways of knowing and world views equally. The goal of culturally based education is to support all students through affirmation of their culture. It builds a sense of pride and self-esteem, which is the best gift any teacher can give to his/her students.” (NWT Teacher Induction Program)


Guided by culturally based education principles, Mah-Sos school will become a healing place which nurtures the mind, body, and spirit of each student. It provides holistic, quality education with a focus on the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual development of our children. Consequently, our students will acquire literacy and numeracy skills in a learning environment where best practices are infused with Wolastoqey worldviews, traditions, teachings, language, and knowledge system.


If adopted by public schools, culturally based education will honour Wolastoqey language and culture. Teachers will be culturally competent and therefore adopt teaching strategies appropriate for Wolastoqi student’s learning styles. In addition, teachers will recognize the value of incorporating Wolastoqey content into all subject areas. Finally, teachers and administrators will establish relationships with parents by participating in cultural activities/events organized and delivered by Tobique First Nation.


Our ancestral Wolastqey term “Wolokehkitimok” could be interpreted as “culturally based education”. “Wolokehkitimok” is a place where holistic teachings are taught and practiced. These teachings include self-respect, respecting others, sharing, harmony, honesty, wisdom, kinship, humility, patience, truth, interdependence, and many more shared by our respected Elders. Instilling these values within our students builds a strong character rooted in Wolastoqey cultural foundation. Our Elders view these teachings as “Wolokehkitimkil” and embracing these teachings will guide the actions of each student as they interact with classmates, teachers, parents, community members and the natural environment.


It is an honour and privilege to have the sacred responsibility of developing an education system rooted in our cultural foundation in consultation with all stakeholders (Elders, parents, teachers, principals, administrators, Chief and Council). Culturally based education nourishes the learning spirit and helps our students to reach their full potential. Culturally based education encourages parents to be involved in the education of their children. Culturally based education establishes positive relationships among stakeholders as they work together to address the academic, social, and cultural needs of Tobique students. Finally, culturally based education places the child at the centre of the Circle of Learning.


I am also convinced that culturally based education will ultimately help Tobique to reach its goal of self-determination. Our graduates will be culturally grounded, and they will have the professional knowledge/skills and various trades required for a self-governing body. They will assist in developing and implementing culturally grounded programs, services and initiatives designed to improve the social, cultural, and economic conditions of Tobique First Nation. In essence, they will assume their roles as agents of revival for language, culture, and self-governing principles.


Psiw Ntulnapemok!


Note:   I have decided to adopt the title Ihkatuwin ‘Ciw Wolokehkitimok (Guardian for Holistic Learning) rather than Director of Education because the Wolastoqey concept accurately reflects my sacred responsibility in forging a culturally based education system in Tobique and the three public schools in Andover.


Mah-Sos School

Principal:       Sheena Davenport, BA, B.Ed., M.Ed., NB Principal’s                               Certificate

Phone:            (506) 273-5407


Mah-Sos School is a community, a community of learning, a community of committed students, caring teachers, teacher assistants, administrators and support staff.

Mah-Sos School has been operating in Tobique First Nation for over 40 years. The original Mah- Sos School was built in 1975 in the shape of a fiddlehead. In 2012, Tobique First Nation opened the doors to a brand new Mah-Sos School. The 2,490 m2 Kindergarten to Grade 5 school has 10 classrooms and includes a technology room, a gymnasium, a music room, a library, a kitchen and a cafeteria, as well as administrative space.

Mah-Sos School currently offers K-4 to Grade 5 . While offering New Brunswick provincially based curriculum for all grade levels, Mah-Sos School also offers culturally based curriculum incorporating Wolastoq/Maliseet culture, history, language, music, physical education and computer class.

Beginning in 2018, Mah-Sos School will proudly partner with the Martin Family Initiative ( Model Schools Literacy Project to focus on literacy enhancement for Grades K, 1, 2 and 3. Like the Martin Family Initiative, Tobique Education recognizes that improving literacy skills in the first years of a child’s schooling dramatically increases the likelihood that he or she will complete high school and move on to pursue higher education.

Mah-Sos School – where we grow leaders!

Grades K to 12

Director:            David Perley

Phone:                (506) 273-5535


Tobique First Nation Education works in partnership with the Province of New Brunswick through the Anglophone West School District to ensure the delivery of educational services for all on-Reserve members of Tobique First Nation enrolled in Andover Elementary (Grades K to 5), Perth-Andover Middle School (Grades 6 to 8) and Southern Victoria High School (Grades 9 to 12).

Tobique First Nation Education encourages all community members with school age children between the K-4 to Grade 5 to attend Mah-Sos School but we also recognize and respect the parental right to choose.

Tobique First Nation learners attending the Perth-Andover Middle School and Southern Victoria High School are offered additional academic and culturally based support through the Enhanced First Nation Education Programs and Services Agreement.

Tobique First Nation Education will ensure that all eligible students (4-21 years of age) ordinarily resident on-Reserve and within the Province of New Brunswick, are provided with student support services (books, supplies, guidance, fee’s).  

Post Secondary Education

Manager:        Richie Bernard

Phone:             (506)  273 – 5543

Toll-free:         (888)  369 – 2222

Fax:                   (506)  273 – 5547


Send submissions to:


Tobique First Nation has developed a Post Secondary Education Local Operating Guideline consistent with the national guidelines set by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC):

Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP)

The program objective is to improve the employability of First Nation and eligible Inuit students by providing them with funding to access education and skills development opportunities at the post-secondary level.

University and College Entrance Preparation Program (UCEPP)

The program objective is to provide financial support to eligible First Nation and Inuit students who are enrolled in university and college entrance preparation programs offered in Canadian post-secondary institutions, to enable them to attain the academic level required for entrance into degree and diploma credit programs.

Wolastoqey Language Revitilization

Wəlastəkwey/Wolastoqey Lutawewakon (Maliseet Language)

Nookmisik Naka Nmushumsik, Woliwon “Ciw Lutwewakon. Kisi Monuwehkiyeq ‘Ciw Nilun.
Nilun Oc Tokec Nuleyatomonen.‘Ciw Weckuwapasihtit.                     -Nit Leyic-
(Opolahsomuwehs. ‘94)

Grandmother and Grandfathers, Thank you for our language that you have saved for us.
It is now our turn to save it for the ones who are not born yet.       
-May that be the truth. –
(Moon of the Whirling Wind. ‘94)

Our elders have reminded us that our language is our identity. After 500 years of contact,
throughout Neqotkuk we can still hear our Wəlastəkwey/Wolastoqey Lutawewakon being
spoken but this is in decline and we all need to do our part.

Tobique Education will be leading a strategic planning process for Wolasotqey/ Wəlastəkwey
Language Revitalization in Education until March, 2023.


Darrah (Pine) Beaver, PhD (candidate) will be supporting Tobique Education in this process.

Phone:         (506) 273 – 6044

NEW: Tobique Gaming Commission Website