Category Archives: New Brunswick

Elsipogtog First Nation congratulates Elder Joe John Sanipass on prestigious Pioneer Award from TIANB


For immediate release
May 25, 2017

Elsipogtog First Nation congratulates Elder Joe John Sanipass on prestigious Pioneer Award from Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB)

ELSIPOGTOG, N.B. – The Elsipogtog First Nation is honoured that one of its most respected members – Elder Joe John Sanipass – has received the prestigious 2017 Pioneer Award from the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB). The presentation took place at TIANB’s Annual Tourism Summit in Fredericton on May 24.

Joe John Sanipass, 80, is an elder and artisan who has been making baskets for 70 years. He also holds numerous workshops where participants learn the basic techniques of the art. He has his own sweat lodge and hosts those who are striving for greater meaning in life through this very spiritual tradition. The TIANB Pioneer Award is given to those who have demonstrated their commitment and outstanding contribution to the promotion of tourism and the province of New Brunswick.

Elder Joe John Sanipass, Elsipogtog First Nation
Elder Joe John Sanipass, Elsipogtog First Nation

“Our knowledge-keepers like Joe keep our culture going for generation after generation,” said Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Arren Sock. “His baskets are in high demand both inside and outside our community throughout the Maritimes.”

Elsipogtog First Nations Administrator Derwin J. Joseph was also very pleased to learn of the recognition. “Congratulations to Joe John Sanipass on this award. Our hopes for future generations to retain vital cultural wisdom rest on such recognition of our people and the skill they possess to pass it on,” he said. “This will serve well our goal of establishing more than just a tourism product from Elsipogtog, but a means by which our culture will continue forward for our own people – and the people we share our land with.”

“This is a proud moment for the community of Elsipogtog,” said Lynn Francis, Director of Economic Development, Elsipogtog First Nation. “Our elder has dedicated many years to maintain and share the art of traditional Mi’kmaq basket-making with the people of Elsipogtog. Elder Joe John Sanipass has also been teaching basket-making techniques to a group of participants from the Heritage Interpreter Certification Program. We are creating a path through capacity building to reach our goal of developing a self-sustaining indigenous tourism product.”

In addition to his work as an artisan, Elder Joe John Sanipass also uses his wisdom to counsel and mentor others who may have fallen on hard times. He works uses his life knowledge and experience to help provide guidance to those needing a helping hand and elder support. As well, he conducts traditional ceremonies and has been privileged provide to personal and spiritual marriage ceremonies for those have requested his knowledge and wisdom for such important traditions.


For more information, please contact:

Derwin J. (D.J.) Joseph
Nation Administrator