Etuaptmumk (Two-eyed Seeing) as a Guiding Principle For Camp Development, Implementation and Evaluation

Originally funded as a pilot in 2017 by the National Science and Engineering Council (NSERC) Promo-Science Program, the project recently received funding to support three more years of community-based programming. The recent funding from NSERC Promo-Science supports the existing partnerships between Mount Saint Vincent University, Sipekne’katik First Nation and Pictou Landing First Nation, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and has offered the opportunity to expand to Acadia First Nation.

Etuaptmumk (Two-eyed Seeing) is a guiding principle for co-learning and integrative science, offered by Mi’kmaq Elders and academics (Dr. Cheryl Bartlett, Elders Albert and Murdena Marshall) from Unama’ki (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia). The guiding principles are based on reciprocal relationship building and seeing the world with the strengths of both Indigenous and Western scientific perspectives. With guidance from Elders, Knowledge Keepers, community partners, and Western scientists, the Two-Eyed Seeing Project aims to embrace these guiding principles to co-create a summer camp and various events for Mi’kmaq youth in Nova Scotia.

Our Team

Our Leadership Team

Dr. Shannan Grant (Principle Investigator) Shannan is a settler from Unama’ki, living in K’jipuktuk with her family, who are from a Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario called Moose Cree First Nation. She has ~20 years of experience working with, for and in Indigenous communities on community-led projects. One project, the Sandy Lake Health and Diabetes Project, is internationally known for its community leadership and sustainability. Shannan has been an active member of the CIHR- funded Atlantic Indigenous Mentorship Network since its inception and works daily to answer the various calls to action put forth by our Indiginous people(s). She is an Assistant Professor and Registered Dietitian in the Department of Human Nutrition, at Mount Saint Vincent University, Affiliate Clinical Scientist at the IWK Health Centre and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Obestetics and Gynaegcology, Dalhousie University. On paper, she is the principal investigator for this work, but stresses that her leadership team and partnering communities are equal partners on all aspects of this work.

Ann Sylliboy (Co-founder) is the Post-Secondary Consultant with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, a unified team of chiefs, staff, parents and educators who advocate on behalf of and represent the education interests of communities, while protecting the educational and Mi’kmaw language rights of the Mi’kmaq people.

Velvet Paul (Co-founder) is the Director of Education, Sipekne’katik First Nation, holding a Master’s of Education (Curriculum Development, 2019) from MSVU. She is a key contributor to curriculum development for the pilot project (2017-19) and is passionate to continue and expand the project in the coming years. Velvet is invaluable to this team, due to her experience, education and rich relationships within and beyond Sipekne’katik First Nation.

Dr. Shane Theunissen (Co-founder) is an Assistant Professor, Department of Child and Youth Study, MSVU, and a specialist in youth programming and experiential education, with experience working with Indigenous communities. He and his colleague Eamonn Doorly (Master Boat Builder, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic) have been key contributors to Teaching With Small Boats in Nova Scotia and have existing relationships with Pictou Landing First Nation.

Chelsey Purdy (Project Coordinator) is a recent graduate of MSVU’s Applied Human Nutrition Program (2020), member of Acadia First Nation, and a Masters of Science student in nutrition at MSVU. Chelsey has been involved with the project since 2017 as a student development team member, a camp counsellor, and a dietetic intern.  Chelsey has also completed her honours work and a directed study with the project as stimulus. Chelsey hopes to continue her involvement in the project throughout her graduate degree.

Pictured left to right: Chelsey Purdy, Ann Sylliboy, Dr. Shannan Grant

Students and Interns

Casual Students and Interns

Each year we hire students to help develop and implement the camp. Florence Blackett has been working with us since 2017 and is an undergraduate Applied Human Nutrition student from Millbrook First Nation. Florence is a valuable team member who shares guidance with new students and interns who are becoming familiar with Mi’kmaq perspectives and communities through the project. Jaclyn MacNeil is a undergraduate Applied Human Nutrition student and settler who has maintained involvement with the project since she began in 2019. With support from her colleagues, Jaclyn offers her experience as a settler working on the team to other students and interns at MSVU. Kate Braddon is a settler from Ontario who has just completed her dietetic community internship placement; a requirement for becoming a registered dietitian in Canada. We’ve also had other students who have since graduated or wrapped up their work with us. These students include Shannon Ledger (Education Student, MSVU), Kwaku Agyare (Biology student, MSVU), Iain Caldwell (Education student MSVU), and Ashley Copage (Sipekne’katik First Nation, Nutrition student MSVU).

Pictured: 2019 students who worked as part of the development and implementation team. From left to right: Shannon Ledger, Kwaku Agyare, Shannan Grant, Jaclyn MacNeil, Florence Blackett, Chelsey Purdy.




Pictured: 2018 students who worked as part of the development team. From left to right: Chelsey Purdy, Ashley Copage, Florance Blackett, Iain Caldwell.

Camp Activities and Resources

Camp Activities and Resources

Each year we develop, test, and implement hands on activities guided by Two-Eyed Seeing. Below you can find some examples of our activities and corresponding student hand outs and an interview we did with Elder Albert Marshall. To get access to all of our activities, videos, interviews, and other resources, please email

Interview with Elder Albert Marshall:

Mijipjewey na Pisun-Food is Medicine
Mijipjewey na Pisun Activity Handouts

Voice of the Drum
Voice of the Drum Activity Handouts

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities


We are frequently looking for volunteers to help implement the Two-Eyed Seeing Camp. As a volunteer, you will be asked to submit a criminal record check and resume. All volunteers will receive training related to Mi’kmaq history and cultural competence and will be assigned a role depending on need. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact our project coordinator at

Job Opportunities

The Two-Eyed Seeing Project hires MSVU science students and recent graduates to help implement, develop, and evaluate the camp. Past and current roles have included a development and Implementation team made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Mount Students. As job opportunities become available, they will be posted on this site and shared on our social media platforms.


Contact Us

Contact the Two-Eyed Seeing Project

If you are interested in becoming involved with the Two-Eyed Seeing Project, or if you have questions, please email our project lead at or our coordinator at

Find us on Social Media

Facebook: Two-Eyed Seeing Project
Twitter: @TES_Camp
Instagram: @twoeyedseeingcamp

More about the Two-Eyed Seeing Camp


The Two-Eyed Seeing camp was originally funded as a Math-Sci initiative in 2017 with support from Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal and Dr. Danielle Cox. In 2018 and 2019 the camp was launched as a pilot 1-week in person day camp. On day 1 Mi’kmaq youth attended the camp at MSVU, followed by one day in each partner community (Pictou Landing, and Sipekne’katik), finishing the week off with a “science fair” in Sipekne’katik First Nation where youth made posters displaying the activities they engaged in over the week. During year 1 and 2, a variety of activities were developed and implemented including: The Voice of the Drum, Getting to know Amu (the bee), Composting at the Community Garden, and more. While in community, youth participated in medicine walks and a water ceremony led by local Elders/Knowledge Holders.  For more on the pilot camp, check out the media releases from 2018 and 2019

Pictured:  Elder Gary Joseph discussing Mi’kmaw perspectives on plants during a laboratory activity on botany


Recently the Two-Eyed Seeing Camp received additional funding to support 3 more years of camp development, implementation, and evaluation from NSERC Promo-Science. Although Covid-19 put a hold on hosting the in person week long camp in 2020, we were still able to host a variety of online and in person events, as well as prepare activities to be shared with teachers in Mi’kma’ki. During 2020 we hosted Wellness Workshops informed by the medicine wheel in all three partner communities and an online Meet the Mentor Mawio’mi supported through funding from the Canadian Roots Exchange. We also held a variety of online competitions including a logo contest, which was won by Grace Berry of Acadia First Nation. Grace worked with Mi’kmaw graphic designer Gerald Gloade to come up with the final version of her logo.

Next year we hope to hold the Two-Eyed Seeing Camp in person for youth in Sipekne’katik First Nation, Pictou Landing Frist Nation, and Acadia First Nation.