Stephen Sanipass

Get them off the streets and away from trouble.

The late Joseph Stephen (Steve) Sanipass Sr (1940-2015) was a member of Eskasoni First Nations community. He was born in Elsigpogtog First Nation but later moved to Eskasoni where he was married to Mary Jane (Denny) Sanipass for 48 years until his passing. They had six beautiful children, whom he loved and cared for very much. Mr. Sanipass loved to train, and coached his children, but he expanded his love for sports as he began to train and coach First Nations youth in the community. He encouraged youth to live a healthier way and promoted a drug and alcohol free lifestyle, he repeatedly noted “gets them off the streets and away from trouble” and he was a police officer for Eskasoni earlier on his career. Mr. Sanipass earned his level 1, 2, and 3 High Performance coaching certificates (The Highest Coaching Certification achieved by a Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia). He was a true role model and mentor for our First Nations youth as he devotedly and passionately trained and coached them in boxing, baseball and arm wrestling, including hockey. He was building community relations long before the notion was ever popular. He tried to close the gap with First Nations sporting communities with Non-First Nations communities and did so while educating both sides.

Mi’kmaq Sports Hall of Fame