My journey from here to eternity has come to pass.
I’m Amelia (Sylliboy) Jesty and I was born in Waycobah First Nation to John G. and Bridget (Bernard) Sylliboy.
I attended Shubenacadie Residential School at the age of 6. I then attended school in Eskasoni after centralization of the Mi’kmaq Nation and afterwards a school in Mabou. I graduated from St. Elizabeth Hospital in 1958, with my degree as a Registered Nurse. I was one of the first Mi’Kmaq Registered Nurses to graduate and possibly the first in Nova Scotia. I worked general duty at St. Elizabeth Hospital and Harbour View Hospital before my retirement in 1987. In 1990, I started employment with the Native Council of NS as a Community Legal Issues Facilitator where I was working as a liaison and interpreter for the 5 First Nations communities in Cape Breton and one in Antigonish County within the court system. I spent time working with Corrections Canada as a parole and probation officer for Mi’Kmaq offenders. In 1997, I was the recipient of the Stephen Hamilton Award for outstanding achievement in promoting education for Aboriginal peoples. I was a founding member and Honorary Elder of the Native Council of Nova Scotia.
In 1998, I accepted a position as the first co-ordinator of the MiKmaq Liaison and Interpreter services at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. I was also a Nova Scotia representative with the Aboriginal Nurses of Canada and travelled to many First Nations communities across Canada.
I am survived by my husband of 58 years Archie; daughters, Charlotte (Wayne Green), Cynthia, Charmaine (Jonathan Toole), Jennifer (Curtis King); sons, Timothy (Amanda), and Derrick; my grandchildren, Derrick (Alexis Graham), Grant Blinkhorn, Frankie (Cindy Gordon), Victoria (John MacDonald), Alex (Chrissie), Kenneth (Kate Eldershaw), Michael (Jessica Arsenault), Paityn and Danica; great-grandchildren, Colin, Brooks, Jamie, Leela, Eleanor, Aaryn, Maddox, and Kiernan; sister, Georgina Burgess (Francis), many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her son, Frank; paternal grandparents, Grand Chief Gabriel and Harriet (Marshall) Sylliboy; maternal grandparents, Andrew (Mary Anne Richard) Bernard; brothers, Max and John; sister, Betty Paul.
Amelia will be forever missed by everyone who had the fortunate opportunity to know her “Love you more”.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life with Funeral Mass at Holy Family Parish, Eskasoni on Saturday, September 8 at 2 p.m. with Father Joe MacKenzie officiating. Feast and Salite to follow.