CAMI ensures that English-speakers benefit from the various available programs across an array of sectors and that English-speakers benefit from these programs in their own language. Health, education, language, culture and heritage are all part of CAMI’s mandate, a mandate that will continue to guide the organization throughout the years to come.
The Corporation has been formed to promote and protect the rights of the Anglophone Magdalen Islanders and to encourage them to defend those rights in the following areas: language, health, education, legal services, arts and preservation of culture and heritage.
CAMI (Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders) has developed a strategic plan in order to become a significant driver in building a prosperous and vibrant ESC (English-speaking community); a community Islanders can be proud of and tourists wish to visit. To achieve these goals, CAMI will have a motivated staff, a dedicated Board of Directors and supportive volunteers within the community.
The desired strategic position of CAMI is to be the primary promoter and motivator of the ESC of the Magdalen Islands in health and social services, culture, employability, education and language. CAMI will provide quality services, employ motivated, qualified staff and be financially sustainable.
By working towards achieving these goals, C.A.M.I. will strengthen and improve the vitality of the English-speaking community. Though a challenging under-taking, CAMI is dedicated to fulfilling the ESC’s vision of an enriched tomorrow.
According to Statistic Canada’s 2006 report, the total population of the Magdalen Islands is 13,091, with the English-speaking population making up only 6% of the total population, with 830 native speakers. There are two predominantly English-speaking communities: Grosse-Ile and Entry Island. The Municipality of Grosse-Ile, located on the east end of the island, holds approximately 505 English-speakers. Entry Island, the only inhabited Island not attached to the main island, has approximately 125 residents. The remainder of the English-speaking population is scattered throughout the Island. Out of the 830 native speakers, 645 are considered to speak English only.The English-speaking population of the Magdalen Islands is declining. In Grosse-Ile, from 2001 to 2006, the population decreased by -2.2% and the current age median is 40 years of age. This is combined with the population of people under 15 years of age only representing 15% of the population. An aging population, fewer births and youth exodus, puts the population at risk of diminishing. On Entry Island, the decline has been more drastic, as the isolation and lack of services has inclined many families to migrate to either the main Island or to the Maritime Provinces.
According to 2006 statistics, over half of the populations of Grosse-Ile and Entry Island do not have a high school diploma. Though the current trend has increasingly been to obtain education, this is having a mixed effect on the English-speaking community. Because those seeking to obtain a post-secondary education in English must leave the Islands, there is a higher risk that once gone, these people may not return, playing into the youth exodus trend. However, if the youth leave to be educated, and then return, they can contribute to the growth and vitality of the community.
The main industry of the English-speaking community is fishing, with over half of the population being dependent on the industry for employment. This industry does provide the necessary employment for the community, but it again puts the population in a vulnerable position. Other sectors in the English-speaking community include: education, services, retail services, construction, and other.
Arseneau Bussières S. and Chevrier H. (2008). Socio-economic profile of the Magdalen Islands Englishspeaking community. Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (CERMIM), Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Report presented to Industry Canada, vi + 83 p.
(accessed March 17, 2011)
Statistics Canada. 2007. Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec (Code2401) (table). 2006 Community Profiles. 2006 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE. Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007.
(accessed March 18, 2011).
Message from the President:
Dedication is the key to the success of CAMI over the years and it is our contributions as a community that hold the framework of CAMI together. Our dedicated board members guide CAMI through the seas of challenges we face, our dedicated volunteers and staff steer CAMI through these complex challenges and our community provides the beacon of hope, that all these challenges will be overcome. As president, it is my utmost desire that I oversee a smooth journey for CAMI and that I may serve the organization and the community to the greatest of my abilities.
I would like to thank everyone involved in the accomplishments of CAMI. Together we have created an admirable, selfless organization, an organization that will continue to carry the needs of the community on its shoulders, reaching all of our goals together, for years to come.
About the President
Message from the Executive Director:
At present, CAMI is working directly in the community, as well as with other regional and provincial partners, in order to meet the needs and challenges concerning the community. Youth has specifically been targeted in our strategy, as they are the future leaders of the community. Implementing employability and employment measures will retain the youth to the area, and increasing linguistic abilities will increase these employment opportunities, as well as open to them the Islands in its entirety. And let us not forget the other areas CAMI has been focusing. Tourism development in the area will contribute to the economic growth of the community. By increasing local attractions and providing services in English and French, CAMI will increase the number of visitors contributing to the area. In response to the aging population, providing all the necessary services required to assist the senior population has become an important objective. Ensuring access to health and social services and transportation, as well as meeting social needs, are also key aims of CAMI.
The English-speaking community of the Magdalen Islands is a community rich in history and culture. It is my privilege to be involved, to such a degree, in its preservation and well-being. As the Director of CAMI, I have been honoured with the role of providing services to the community and presenting their needs to the Islands, to the Region, to the Province, and finally, to the Country. I know that in the years to come, we will continually face new hurdles, but I, and CAMI, will continually evolve and develop new strategies, building an even greater tomorrow for the English-speaking community of the Magdalen Islands.
My Best Regards,
About the Executive Director
Board of Directors
Mrs. Robina (Coe) Goodwin is a retired nurse and midwife, who gave many years of service to the English-speaking population of the Magdalen Islands. A native of London, England, Mrs. Goodwin travelled to the Magdalen Islands as an outpost nurse in 1960, where she practiced nursing at the Red Cross in Grosse-Ile. After marrying a local fisherman, Mrs. Goodwin remained in Grosse-Ile where she worked under various health administrations for 37 years, usually being on call 24 hours a day.
Since her arrival, Mrs. Goodwin has been very active in the continued development of the minority English-speaking community. Being in close contact with the local population allowed her to see the need to protect and promote the unique, minority English culture on the Magdalen Islands.
Because of this, Mrs. Goodwin has always played a lead role in ensuring the success of many projects and sustainable programs within the community.
Mrs. Goodwin, a founding member of CAMI, acted as treasurer during the organization’s first year in 1987. She then became President, a role she kept from 1988 until 2008, and today continues to hold the role of Past-President, serving as an advisor to the present CAMI board.
In 2006, Mrs. Goodwin’s dedication and service to the community was honoured with the Maria Patton award. Her vital role in the community was again recognized in 2010, when she received the Medal of Honour from the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. Mrs. Goodwin continues to engage in enhancing community vitality in the minority, English-speaking community of the Magdalen Islands, where she serves as an indispensible member of CAMI and of the community.
Ronald Goodwin is a life-long resident of Grosse-Ile, Magdalen Islands. A career fisherman, he is the Captain of a lobster fishing outfit and fishes out of the harbour of Grosse-Ile. As a believer in community growth and continuation, Mr. Goodwin has, for many years, participated within various organizations. During his time as Municipal Councillor for the Municipality of Grosse-Ile, he worked toward ensuring the management of the municipality, thus meeting the requirements of the people of the community.
His concerns towards the main industry within the English-speaking population, fishing, and its sustainability, has motivated him to participate, during different intervals of time, as a member on the Board of Directors of Cape Dauphine Fishermen’s Cooperative, as a memeber of the Grosse-Ile Harbour Authority and, currently, as a board member for the Association of Inshore Fishermen. He is also a voluntary member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxilary. In recent years, he has taken a step in involving himself in another aspect of community development by becoming a board member of CAMI. Mr. Goodwin feels that contributing to community and coastal organizations in this capacity is very important and rewarding, as these organizations play a crucial role in ensuring the vitality and preservation of the local community.
Director Representing Community of Entry Island
Rachelle Clark is native to Grosse-Ile, where she is currently employed as an Administrative Assistant to the Municipality of Grosse-Ile. After completing high school, Mrs. Clark went on to achieve a Tourism Studies Diploma at the CEGEP des Iles, then an Accounting Diploma from Compu College School of Business. As a student and again on the “Parents, Partners in Prevention” project and as NPI coordinator from 2004-2006, Mrs. Clark was employed by CAMI, where she developed a knowledge of the issues concerning the English-speaking population of the Magdalen Islands. Also, by participating in community groups, such as the leisure committee, A.D.A.P.T., and the school governing board, Mrs. Clark developed a passion for her community and the quest for its prosperity, a passion she has directed toward being a board member of CAMI, where she is currently fulfilling a second term.
Since her arrival, Mrs. Goodwin has been very active in the continued development of the minority English-speaking community. Being in close contact with the local population allowed her to see the need to protect and promote the unique, minority English culture on the Magdalen Islands. Because of this, Mrs. Goodwin has always played a lead role in ensuring the success of many projects and sustainable programs within the community.
Mrs. Goodwin, a founding member of CAMI, acted as treasurer during the organization’s first year in 1987. She then became President, a role she kept from 1988 until 2008, and today continues to hold the role of Past-President. She also serves as an advisor to the present CAMI board.
In 2006, Mrs. Goodwin’s dedication and service to the community was honoured with the Maria Patton award. Her vital role in the community was again recognized in 2010, when she received the Medal of Honour from the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. Mrs. Goodwin continues to engage in enhancing community vitality in the minority, English-speaking community of the Magdalen Islands, where she serves as an indispensable member of CAMI and of the community.
Christopher Nathan Clark was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 20, 1955. He graduated from Eastern Shore District High School in 1973, and then continued his education in a Bsc program in 1973-1974. In the following three years, Mr. Clark worked as an apprentice fisherman and also followed a course in Forest Harvesting. In 1976, Mr. Clark worked in drilling and blasting at a mine in Thompson, Manitoba. Mr. Clark began his career as a fisherman on the Magdalen Islands in 1978. In 1984, he also began cultivating mussels in Grosse-Ile, which was the beginning of the mussel cultivating industry in Quebec.
Mr. Clark has been active in various community organizations over the years, including: Grosse Ile Municipal Councillor, School Commissioner, Fisherman’s Association Representative of the Magdalen Islands, member of the Tourism Association, President of Cape Dauphin Cooperative, Public Security Committee, CLD (M.I.), Agglomeration Council of the Magdalen Islands, as well as Mayor of Grosse Ile. Mr. Clark continues to reside in Grosse-Ile, where he continues to be a well known participant in community events and organizations.
In 1986, Mr. Clark was approached by a member of CASA, a community organization in Gaspé, to start a chapter on the Magdalen Islands. As an Anglophone, Mr. Clark felt creating a community non-profit organization would benefit and protect the future of the English-speaking population, and thus, along with the other founding members, Mr. Clark helped create CAMI, a successful organization to this day.
Ruth M. (Taker) Thibodeau, formerly Clark, was born on August 28, 1954 to Susan P. (nee Quinn) and Harvey H. Taker Jr. in the Magdalen Islands, Quebec. Mrs. Thibodeau attended Grosse Ile School, from grades 1-9, Moncton High School and Ecole Polyvalent des Iles. She Graduated from Holland College with a degree in Secretarial Arts, Division of Office Studies in 1974. For numerous years, Mrs. Thibodeau was an essential force in the community. She was Mayor of the Municipality of Grosse-Ile for 9 years and Commissioner of the School Board, representing Grosse Ile School, for 15 years. She also worked for the CLSC des Iles, Pointe de Service de l’Est, from 1980 to 1994. Though, currently residing in New Hampshire where she is co-owner, with her husband, Arnaud V. Thibodeau, of A. Thibodeau Paving Inc., Mrs. Thibodeau hopes to return to the Magdalen Islands, where she can once again enter the English-speaking community that she for so many years gave her full compassion to.
Mrs. Thibodeau became one of the founding members of the Board of Directors of CAMI in March 1987, and remained on the Board until 1994. Her dedication to the English-speaking community inspired her to help in the creation of CAMI, from a round-table, kitchen setting, to the opening of a museum, in order to ensure that the needs of the community were met.
Pamela Keating has been an active community member for most of her life. Along with the other founding members of CAMI, Mrs. Keating saw the need to protect the rights and culture of the Anglophone population of the Magdalen Islands, and so dedicated her time in the creation of CAMI. Her benevolent nature is also proven with her dedication to the Anglican Church. For numerous years she had been a volunteer to the church, acting as Secretary-Treasurer of Holy Trinity.
Mrs. Keating completed her education at the Gaspé CEGEP, obtaining a DEC in Secretarial Studies. Before marrying her husband and returning to the Magdalen Islands, Mrs. Keating worked in Ottawa, Ontario as a Bank Teller.At Present, Mrs. Keating is temporarily living on Prince Edward Island and is working in her husband’s construction company.
Originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Elizabeth (Spriggs) Keating came to the Magdalen Islands as a school teacher, in 1964. Mrs. Keating married Keith Keating, a member of the English-speaking community of the Magdalen Islands in 1965 and remained in the community, where she raised four children. Mrs. Keating played an active role in the community, as a founder of CAMI, as well as editor, translator, and reporter for the local community newspaper, The First Informer. She was also a talented oil painter and pastel artist. She will forever be remembered as a dedicated and involved member of the community of Grosse-Ile.
Nina (Dunn) Clark, from Old Harry, was a dynamic member of the community for many years. A local entrepreneur and mother of three, she dedicated her spare time to organizations like CAMI, ensuring that the requirements of her community were met. Seeing the importance and need of communication, Mrs. Clark assisted in the creation of the local newspaper, The First Informer, where she acted as director, finally giving a public voice to the English-speaking community of the Magdalen Islands. Sadly, Mrs. Clark passed away in 2011.
An avid volunteer, Lillian (Cox) Turnbull was a founding member of CAMI. Mrs. Turnbull originated from Newfoundland, but married a member of the English-speaking community of the Magdalen Islands. She taught at Grosse-Ile School in 1951-52, then was a local business owner, opening several stores in Grosse-Ile. For many years Mrs. Turnbull contributed to the cultural development of the community. A fundraiser for the Holy Trinity Church, she produced many successful variety concerts, offering the community cultural entertainment. Mrs. Turnbull was also a creative song and poem composer, and her works can still be found in the Little Red School House Museum. Mrs. Turnbull now resides in Nova Scotia.