Community Leaders: Darlene Sexton

Darlene Sexton 1

Darlene Sexton is a long-standing leader within the Indigenous community of St. George’s and Bay St. George.  She has volunteered in many capacities over the years and has been an invaluable friend and mentor to young people who want to learn about their culture and traditions. 
Marlene Farrell, Chief of the St. George’s Indian Band is one of Darlene’s dearest friends.  She shared some of Darlene’s volunteer history and community involvement. 
“Darlene is the Secretary of the St. George’s Indian Band”, Marlene said, “she helps organize events that we put together including Indigenous Peoples Day activities and the Elders Christmas Dinner.  She leads our group in Medicine Wheel teachings too.” 
Marlene noted that more than that, Darlene is a trusted friend.  They have long been seen side by side through countless moments in their lives as teachers and community leaders. 
Recently, the Indian Cove Women’s Circle held an election and voted in an all new Executive, in part to give women who had been running the group for years a break, and to provide a chance for current leaders to pass on leadership roles and teachings.  
Lori Fillatre, the new Secretary for the Circle commented on Darlene’s leadership.  “She is a past president and secretary and has been involved with the group for years.  Coming into the Circle, into this new role, Darlene made all the difference in inviting us to her home to talk about our new roles and responsibilities.  We all felt so welcome and supported.” 
Lori also noted that Darlene has been mentoring her in learning the Moon Ceremony.  She said, “Darlene was welcoming when I expressed an interest in learning more about the Moon Ceremony teachings.  She responded with willingness and warmth.  She is always available to answer any questions I might have, and she continues to offer encouragement and support.” 
Darlene continues to be an active member of the Indian Cove Women’s Circle while also supporting the Indigenous Education Committee with Qalipu First Nation, volunteering to bring Mi’kmaq cultural education into the classroom with Qalipu’s Education Outreach Program, she’s an Elder with the Elders and Youth Breaking the Silence on Mental Health Project, and she’s a member of the Feather Carrier’s group as well. 
The Feather Carriers are a group of strong community people who have received mental health and cultural support training to promote life by encouraging others to be well and seek support in difficult times.  Darlene certainly carries herself in a way that lets others know she is here for them.  She has a big heart and a kind way with others. 
Darlene taught Mi’kmaw Studies at Appalachia High School in St. George’s, an addition to school programming that was only possible if someone with extensive knowledge was available to teach the content, such as Darlene who gladly did so.  In a school with such a high percentage of children with Indigenous roots, her years spent teaching this program were much appreciated by students, parents and faculty alike. 
Bayview Academy Principal Wally Childs recalls time spent in the school with Darlene.  He said, “She was the inspiration for our powwows that we held.  She was insistent on getting it up and running and poured a great deal of time and effort into organizing them.” 
Childs also noted that Darlene promoted the Mi’kmaq culture every chance she got and pushed for the inclusion of Mi’kmaq in the social studies curriculum. 
He said, “She was a leader who saw the benefits of connecting the school with the community. 
Darlene is married, has two daughters and three grandchildren.  Spending time with family is important to Darlene, as is being an active member of her community. 
Thank your Darlene for your leadership, keep up the great work!