Who’s Who: Chief Sidney Peters

Who’s Who: Chief Sidney Peters

By Mike Butler

 

What a true honour it is to share this ‘Who’s Who’ profile with you! This fascinating man came my way via recommendation (which sometimes produces the most interesting ‘Who’s Who’ articles), and I am so thankful my email was working that day! It has been a superb experience getting to know Chief Sidney Peters through our interview and I’m delighted to share his story with you.

Chief Sidney Peters is the 13th of 14 children to the past Chief Joseph Peters and Doris Peters. He was born and raised in Middleton, Nova Scotia, before moving to Truro to enroll in the Agricultural College where he graduated with a Technology Diploma in Agricultural Modernization. Chief Sidney has been married to his wife Darlene for over 30 years and they have two children, who they are incredibly proud of – Dylan, 21 and Joecy,17.

Since graduating from the Truro college, Chief Sidney has worked predominantly in Aboriginal housing with various organizations including, but not limited to, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Native Council of Nova Scotia. In 2003, he worked in Labrador and worked as a consultant on the Natuashish Housing Authority on the relocation. In 2006, he became the Senior Advisor on Aboriginal Housing with CMHC and remained in the position until 2009 when he moved to The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM) as the Manager of Lands, Environment, and Natural Resources. Then in 2012, Chief Sidney decided to run for Chief of Glooscap First Nation, his home community, and as you can tell by how I address him in this article – he got the job!

He states, “I am the elected Chief of Glooscap First Nation just outside Hantsport. I represent the interests of the 375 members of Glooscap at the municipal, provincial, and federal level of government. I also act as the Chair of the Glooscap Ventures Board of Directors representing the business interests of Glooscap First Nation. Furthermore, I am the Co-Chair of the Assembly of All Chiefs representing all 13 Nova Scotia First Nations communities in their relationship with government at various levels. I was first elected in 2012 just after Glooscap went through a crisis. I wanted to come into my community and help transform it into a thriving community focused on accountability, transparency, and doing what is best for our members. On a more personal note I wanted to continue and fulfill the vision that my dad had started and his passion for helping his community succeed.”

In his spare time ( of which doesn’t seem to be very much!) Chief Sidney likes to play music and travel. Every year he and his family take a special vacation somewhere different to see and experience this big beautiful world we live in, and it’s very rewarding for everyone. When he’s not at work, he has a small horse farm to care for, as well as a small woodworking shop that helps him to unwind at the end of his very hectic days!

I ask all the people I profile what they love best about living or working in the Valley and surrounding area and it always produces some of my favourite answers. For Chief Sid, he states, “I love the relationships and partnerships that we’ve been able to develop. We have very positive relationships with both of the municipalities. Glooscap sits right on the Kings/West Hants border and we work very well with both. We appreciate the willingness of our counterparts in municipal government to work with us. This is where I am originally from so there is a wonderful sense of home when I see Blomidon from the 101. The Valley is an inspirational place to live and work.” And that lends itself well to Chief Sid’s work, which is as inspirational as the place from where it stems.

With so many accomplishments already, Chief Sid shows no signs of slowing down or stopping, his projects provide constant work and enjoyment for him. As Chief, he would like to continue to build on the work that he has accomplished at Glooscap over the past five to six years. Chief Sidney and his co-workers have implemented policies and procedures to ensure their membership is aware of everything they are doing and are in agreement with the direction they are taking the community. Chief Sidney wants to see every member of Glooscap being proud of who they are and of their community. They have focused on bringing the Mi’kmaq culture and language back to Glooscap as well as focusing on creating a sustainable and welcoming community. Ideally, through their economic development, they would like to bring as many of their members as possible back to the area to work and live.

It was a pleasure to have Chief Sidney Peters on board for this Canada 150 issue of The Grapevine and I thank him for his work and dedication to the continued education and development of programs that will help sustain the heritage of Glooscap First Nation. It’s an inspiration! Thank You!