Mi’kmaq History Month: A Statement from the Chair
2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the proclamation of October as Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia. This milestone is an opportunity to reflect on how far our society has come, acknowledge the work that remains, and commit to continuing our path to reconciliation by deepening our knowledge of the history, culture, and traditions of the Mi’kmaw.
The theme for Mi’kmaq History Month this year is Mi’kmaw sports, traditional games, and pastimes. As we reflect upon the great success of the North American Indigenous Games held in Mi’kma’ki this year, and the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Summer Games held in Millbrook, I encourage you to learn about the tradition of sport and competition we saw proudly on display so recently.
October 1st is Treaty Day in Nova Scotia. This is the 37th annual Treaty Day, which brings Nova Scotians and the Mi’kmaq together to reaffirm our treaty relationship. A public event will be hosted on Sunday and broadcast on the provincial government YouTube channel and the Treaty Education Facebook page starting at noon. [AA1]
Like Indigenous Peoples throughout Turtle Island, Mi’kmaw people were discouraged and often prohibited from celebrating and teaching their culture and traditions. Through the residential school system and laws such as the Indian Act, Canada has historically sought to rob the Mi’kmaq of their traditional ways, identity, and teachings. As this history is brought back into the lives of Mi’kmaw adults and youth by elders and teachers through sport, competition and education, a sense of pride and belonging grows.
I invite all Nova Scotians to embrace the opportunities to learn from Mi’kmaw teachers and neighbours throughout October. I encourage you to discover what it means to reaffirm our treaty relationships and find ways that you can contribute to reconciliation through meaningful action.
Cheryl Knockwood is the Chair of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She is a lawyer, author, identifies as two-spirit, and currently works for the Membertou First Nation as its Governance Advisor. She has taught Aboriginal and Treaty Rights at Cape Breton University.
- Participate in events and celebrations.
- Share stories of Mi’kmaq culture with friends and family.
- Educate yourself about our treaty relationships.
- Mi’kmaq History Month
- Mi'kmaq First Nations Map (Nova Scotia)
- Mi'kmaw Place Names Digital Atlas
- Mi'kmaw language teachings from Bernie Francis (CBC/YouTube)
- Online Mi'gmaq/Mi'kmaq Language Dictionary
- Truth and Reconciliation | Halifax Public Libraries
- Mi’kmaw History & Culture | Halifax Public Libraries
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Mi’kmawey Debert Culture Centre
- Office of L'nu Affairs
- Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmawaq
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples