Indigenous cultures play a crucial role in the rich fabric of Canadian history. The Mi’kmaq people, whose rich tradition dates back thousands of years in the area now known as the Canadian Maritimes, have left behind an outstanding cultural legacy. Every year, in the month of October, Canada observes Mi’kmaq History Month to recognize and honor the significant contributions, tenacity, and enduring traditions of the Mi’kmaq community.
A Mi’kmaq History Month Committee was founded to promote and encourage educational and cultural activities throughout the month of October in an effort to help all Nova Scotians learn more about Mi’kmaw culture, history, and heritage.
The official month to commemorate and celebrate Mi’kmaw culture and history was established as October in 1993 by Premier John Savage and Mi’kmaw Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy.
Community celebrations, activities, and sharing of the Mi’kmaw history take place around Nova Scotia every October. The activities taking place during Mi’kmaq History Month are open to everyone.
The Mi’kmaw people have a very long history, and Mi’kma’ki, our homeland, is quite big. More than 11,000 years have passed since the first inhabitants of this area. All of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, significant portions of New Brunswick, the Gaspé Peninsula, and Newfoundland are included in the Mi’kma’ki region.
While many histories are exclusively based on historical records, comprehending our past and our country calls for an awareness of a wide range of information. The Mi’kmaw people used myths and legends in the past to teach others about their culture and history. comprehension our past requires a deep comprehension of these oral (spoken) histories. Additionally, due to the length of our past, we rely on geology and archaeology to tell our tales.
The history and culture of the Mi’kmaw people are like many different pieces of a puzzle. Geology, which reveals information about ancient environments, provides some of the parts. Other components come from archaeology, which teaches us about the environments and lifestyles of our ancestors. Since it was uncommon for Mi’kmaw people to record their histories on paper, we also employ historical writings that were mostly composed by Europeans.
Whether we are Mi’kmaq or not, one of the most intriguing aspects of the puzzle is that the pieces are all around us. You probably live close to a river that previously had settlements along it; these settlements are now archaeological monuments. We all reside close to areas with Mi’kmaw names like Tracadie or Shubenacadie.
Others might reside close to specific islands, hills, or noteworthy locations that are mentioned in Mi’kmaw tales. Perhaps there is a unique source of stone nearby from which people made their tools, or perhaps there is a location with clay from which people made their bowls and cooking utensils. Everyone passes over and through ancient Mi’kmaw sites, and we do so every day whether we are aware of it or not.
Learn more about this celebration at https://mikmaqhistorymonth.ca/