Roundup: C.B. sisters study climate change, concerns grow as COVID evolves, Pictou Co. retailer feted, Chester to host Mi’kmaq Arts and Culture Days

Bria Miller's art has been a "cathartic" healing process. Photo: Bruce Murray

Plus: Artist Bria Miller encourages others to be themselves and find their space 

Port Hood sisters Elise and Nila Munro recently visited Inverness County Council to share the projects they created for the Canada Wide Science Fair. Nila explored how global warming is increasing the population of vermin like mice, while Elise considered the growing prevalence of Lyme disease, and if there is a better way to test for it.

“The problem is that Lyme disease cases are not being diagnosed quickly because all current Lyme disease tests only test for antibodies, and not the actual bacteria,” she says. “It can sometimes take weeks for antibodies to show up so lab tests are only 29-per-cent to 40-per-cent accurate during the early stages of Lyme disease.”

Jake Boudrot interviews them for the Reporter.

Bria Miller. Photos: Bruce Murray

Room to breathe
Growing up in Yarmouth, artist Bria Miller came to see how important it is for Black, Native, and queer people to feel free to express themselves.

“Creating those spaces is so important to invade that reality of discrimination and surveillance everywhere we go, but also because we’re treated as suspicious when we gather,” says Miller. “The benefits of that remind us of our vitality, and everything doesn’t have to be about getting away from white people. It’s about being together.” 

They tell Ameeta Vohra about it in the new issue of Unravel Halifax.

COVID evolves
As many jurisdictions — including Nova Scotia — cut back on protections and testing, COVID-19 is becoming harder to forecast, caution World Health Organization officials.

“The continuing and substantial evolution of SARS-CoV-2 virus, which, while inherent to all viruses, is expected to continue in an unpredictable manner,” says a recent WHO statement. “Yet the ability to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics, or countermeasures, including diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, is becoming increasingly difficult as a result of the inadequacy of current surveillance, including the reductions in testing and genomic sequencing. Additionally, there are uncertainties surrounding the level of readiness of already overburdened health systems.”

WHO reports 911,825 confirmed new cases of COVID worldwide in the last 24 hours. So far, COVID is known to have killed at least 6,358,899 people, including 41,932 in Canada and 456 Nova Scotians.

Jillian Sexton. Photo: Submitted

Hardware retailer feted
Jillian Sexton, chief operating officer of Hector Building Supplies in Stellarton, recently won her industry’s national Young Retailer of the Year title.

“Being awarded as a young person in the industry is so exciting because there are not a lot of young people attempting this and succeeding,” she says. “Being young and female is part of the reason why I love the challenge of overcoming these stereotypes. It’s important to me to try and change those stereotypes. It helps push against that old boys’ club.”

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Chester to host Mi’kmaq Arts and Culture Days
After the success of the inaugural event last year, the Chester Arts Centre is bringing back its two-day summer festival, this year spotlighting Mi’kmaq arts and culture from July 30 to 31.

The schedule includes art demonstrations in a variety of traditional skills and techniques, plus and hands-on projects like box-braiding and beading, and live music with performances by Aaron Prosper, Denise John, and Miranda Roy.

Kevin McBain reports for LighthouseNow.

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