TOBIQUE FIRST NATION (GNB) – A recently completed riverbank restoration project was dedicated to an elder who inspired his community at a ceremony today. Premier David Alward, Chief Stewart Paul, Chief-elect Brenda Pearly and members of the Tobique First Nation participated in the celebration.

The restoration project began in 2009 after the provincial government signed a Memorandum of Understanding calling for work to be done along the banks of the Tobique River. In partnership, members of the Tobique First Nation and representatives from the province worked to restore significant parts of the riverbanks, increasing the overall safety and quality of life for community members. The project also successfully encouraged a number of training and employment opportunities for community members.
“This is a true example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together,” Alward said. “Working together as equal partners at the table was the only way we could achieve success. The real success, though, is how the community pulled together and were hands-on throughout the entire project. The majority of the work done here was performed by members of Tobique First Nation. I would also like to thank Chief Stewart Paul for his initiative and leadership throughout the entire project.”

The celebration was also a dedication ceremony for Elder Peter Bernard, who died in 2006. Elder Bernard was a dedicated member of Tobique First Nation and served the community for most of his adult life on the band council. One of his greatest passions was the Saint John River system, and the importance of restoring balance to the waterways.

“Elder Bernard was a dedicated advocate for the restoration of the Saint John River system,” Alward said. “It is fitting that we celebrate the completion of this riverbank restoration project with a dedication to a man who has inspired generations to work together to preserve the beauty of the Tobique River.”