Gerald Gloade is the Program Development Officer for the Mi'kmawey Debert Project. An artist, educator, storyteller, naturalist, Elder and visionary, his efforts have been integral to expanding cultural understanding and contributing to healing in Mi'kma'ki.
From Millbrook First Nation, Gloade was raised by his grandmother. Because of a congenital heart condition, he spent more time with her than with the other children and had a precious opportunity to learn traditional knowledge and skills through her stories. His grandmother imparted to Gloade the ways of the land, the history of people and communities, the skills to fish and weave, and the legends of Kluskap, whose seat at Cape Blomidon dominates the landscape of the Wolfville campus.
A graduate of the Colchester Regional Vocational School (now part of the Nova Scotia Community College), Gloade began his government career with the Province of Nova Scotia at just 19, working as a graphic designer and later public information officer for Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources and Office of Aboriginal Affairs.
Since 2005, Gloade has guided the Debert Project for the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq, where the land tells its own stories of Mi'kma'ki through 13,000 years of archaeological information. With a Two-Eyed Seeing approach, the Debert Project strengthens understandings of the history of the land to improve its present and future.
Luckily for all of us who live in or visit this land, Gloade is not only a keeper of legends but also a sharer of them. He has generously spread his deep knowledge of the Mi'kmaq worldview among audiences that ranged from small children to members of the Smithsonian Institute and to the late Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Gloade is a good friend of Acadia, and his contributions to our community are vast as we work toward being a campus that welcomes Indigenous students and Indigenous knowledge. We are grateful he returns, again and again, to give of his knowledge and wisdom, whether speaking with students in classrooms and/or under the night sky at Kejimkujik National Historic Site, meeting with faculty or participating in the annual Acadia Aboriginal Arts Mawio'mi.
His artistic accomplishments are also impressive. Gloade was honoured at the Vancouver Olympics Aboriginal Art Pavilion with a design on a Canada 150 coin for the Royal Canadian Mint and as a nominee for the prestigious Portia White Prize. He is also a past member of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council. Every October, his striking and informative posters for Mi’kmaq History Month are a sought-after tool for teaching the Mi'kmaq language. Most recently, he illustrated A Journey of Love and Hope, the Inspirational Words of a Mi’kmaw Elder for Nimbus Publishing.
Gloade lives in Millbrook First Nation with his wife, Natalie. The couple have two sons, Kyle and Gerald, and two grandchildren, Nina Gloade-Raining Bird and Gerald Lydian Gloade Raining-Bird.
Gerald Gloade will convocate on Monday, May 15, at 2:30 p.m.