March 2006 - WULUSTUK NEWSLETTER
BY PAT PAUL - Over a half century ago, Dan Paul, at age 15, walked the streets of Boston as a young man wondering a lot of times, where he was going, what he was doing, where his road would lead, and when that big break would come.
At the time, Dan had just left his home community, Indian Brook Indian Reserve in Nova Scotia, with essentially no work skills and limited education to support a new lifestyle in Boston, strange and unfriendly city.
Fortunately, he had some friends, cousins and acquaintances living in Boston for a number of years so with this network, he was able to make it through in the city, one day at a time, overcoming some of the biggest obstacles he had ever faced during his short lifetime.
This was the way of life for Dan for some time while menial jobs afforded him a meager living, at least, to survive.
Dan says this was the toughest part of his education, which would eventually take on a serious vein as he began to realize the difference between ‘‘hard knocks’’ learning versus acquiring a formal education
With his ‘‘hard knocks’’ experience behind him, Dan, one day took a good took at his situation and realized he was going nowhere. He knew then that he had to get more training.
So back to Canada he went and enrolled into a community college where he entered a short course in bookkeeping. This limited formal training paid off a bit for him, as he relates, but he knew down deep he needed more.
From there Dan proceeded to get GED tested in 1970, which subsequently gave him a high school graduation equivalency and better chances in the workplace.
Dan’s history speaks volumes for itself thereafter as he dove into band government work, federal government, community affairs, researching, writing and multi-level involvement into cultural, economic and educational affairs. At the same time, he excelled in journalism. His investigative and pensive articles appeared regularly in the largest newspaper in the province of Nova Scotia.
Over the years, Dan Paul has been recognized as a man on a mission for his nation and his people as a number of books and countless research materials and historically distinct papers evolved from his unrelenting involvement.
The Order of Nova Scotia and a number of honorary degrees have been conferred upon him from prestigious institutions in recognition for his deep commitment and persistence in sorting truth from fiction, and also ‘‘repairing” some of the harsh misconceptions and damaging stereotypes held by non-natives of native people in this continent.
See his book “We Were Not Savages.” Or to learn more about Dan, and about First Nation history, including paintings and historical photos, visit Dan’s Website www.danielnpaul.com.
This year, 2006, Dan Paul reaches the pinnacle of his professional career when the Governor General of Canada bestows the Order of Canada Medal upon the chest of this humble man in company with 31 other fellow members elevated to the Order.
Pat Paul - Editor