Kevin Barnes:
Is the Western region Vice Chief of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. He was born in Frenchman’s Cove, a fishing village on the south shore of the Bay of Islands. He has lived in Benoit’s Cove, Humber Arm South for the past 30 years with his wife Sharon. They have a daughter and a son.

Kevin works with Parks Canada in Gros Morne National Park as a national park Interpreter. This allows Kevin to interact with some of our province’s many visitors as he shares his wealth of knowledge about our natural and cultural history.

Kevin has been a member of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians for approximately 10 years and one of the things he says he enjoys most about his work is the reward of teaching children about Aboriginal culture and beliefs. Here, Kevin is photographed carrying out one of his programs in Gros Morne National Park that helps him to do just that!

Kevin explains his program: The Fire Circle….

 

We start by lighting the fire.

I explain the importance of the fire and of the person who keeps the fire going. This job is very important because the fire acts as a beacon to bring home those spirits who’ve gone to visit places and people. It’s wonderful that this program takes place at Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse because I can point to the light and make the same comparison. These are lights that guide people safely home.

Throughout the Fire Circle program, I drum and sing.

We talk about the four sacred medicines (sage, cedar, tobacco and sweet grass).

We do a smudging ceremony.

Then we have a Talking Circle.

Once we’ve done the Circle, we offer tobacco to the fire. We ask people to say a prayer, not out loud, for someone they are thinking about. This is very emotional.

During the offering to the fire I drum and maybe sing something very quiet.

 

If people would like to meet Kevin and take part in the Fire Circle, look for him at Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse in Gros Morne National Park on Sunday evenings starting at 7 p.m