Get to Know Michael Martin – Knowledge Keeper at Listuguj Community Social Services


Michael Martin has taken on the role of Knowledge Keeper/Addictions Worker for the Listuguj Community Social Services Directorate (LCSSD) for roughly three months but has held this position in the community for several years. He is well known in Listuguj for offering his guidance and advice to community members who are interested in receiving cultural support and teachings.

Martin offers a variety of these  teachings in the form of stories, medicines, ceremonies, sweat lodges, and more. “I’ve been around traditional medicine people and knowledge keepers for over 30 years, and this is what I contribute and bring back to the community, and those who want to learn,” said Martin. He passes on his life experience and knowledge to people of all generations.  In Listuguj and other Indigenous communities, there is a lot of intergenerational trauma that leads to addictions and mental health issues. Martin tries to address these issues through counseling, support, and cultural knowledge. While he does focus mostly on spiritual and cultural treatments, he has other resources when it comes to treatments, such as Western medicine and doctors.  

Since he began at LCSSD, he has seen success throughout the community.  During the month of May, he held Traditional Lunch and Learns at LCSSD, and he plans on holding more in the future. After every Lunch and Learn he gathers feedback from participants to help improve future Lunch and Learn sessions, and to acquire information on what topics could be discussed and taught.  In the future, he plans on focusing on trauma and addictions, and would like to extend his teachings to young women who have children, who are struggling with addictions. He also plans on offering workshops at the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Development Centre (LMDC) and sweat lodges at the Gignu. Martin said, “I believe even if one person comes to seek some teachings, or knowledge from me, it’s a plus.”

Martin expressed that the LCSSD offers a wide variety of services and resources for everyone. There are lots of positive success stories that come out of LCSSD, and he wants to let everyone know they are always welcome. If an individual is unsure of what type of resource they need, someone at LCSSD can direct them. Martin ended the interview with the following: “Don’t ever tell people that there are no services or help here. There is help for you.”

If you’d like more information on Michael Martin’s services, or any other programs or services at Listuguj Community Social Services, at 418-788-3039 or visit them at 2 GEF Street.

By Ann Marie Jacques

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