Treaty Day & Mi’kmaq History Month

October is Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia, a time to promote public awareness about Mi’kmaq culture and heritage to all Nova Scotians. Following the United Nations decision to name 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme for this year’s Mi’kmaq History Month is L’nui’sultinej – “Let’s Speak Mi’kmaw”.

The Mi’kmaq History Month Committee says, “language is at the heart of Mi’kmaw culture and knowledge. In this International Year of Indigenous Languages, we celebrate our ancestors who have preserved and protected our language over many generations. Speakers say that our language is based in actions or “doing.” Rather than saying what something is, more often in Mi’kmaw a word says what something does. The language is also flexible since there are many ways to express oneself. Because of this, the context of who, why, where and when someone speaks is very important. The language contains a great deal of humour and imagery. Words and phrases are rich in teachings and worldviews, and are often anchored in the landscapes and seascapes of Mi’kma’ki.” (Read more)

The month begins with Treaty Day, on October 1. Nova Scotia has a number of treaties with the Mi’kmaq that were signed between 1725 – 1779. They are still in place today.

Treaty Day commemorates the key role of treaties in the relationship between the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq and the Crown. The annual ceremony reaffirms the historic presence of the Mi’kmaq who have occupied the land for thousands of years. By celebrating Treaty Day, we are giving thanks to the Mi’kmaq and the Crown/government for signing treaties of peace and friendship.

Learn more about the Peace & Friendship Treaties:

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