Mi’kmaq History Month
October is Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia. The goal of the month is to help Nova Scotians build awareness of Mi’kmaq history and heritage, and to increase understanding of the province’s rich Mi’kmaq culture.
Treaty Day marks the beginning of Mi'kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia as proclaimed in 1993 by then Premier John Savage and Mi’kmaq Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy. Several events are planned throughout the month, including the 5th Annual Mi’kmaq History Month Educators Conference (Oct. 2-3), Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy’s Thundermaker exhibition (touring Oct. 7-24), and the Dalhousie Native Student Association Mawiomi on October 16.
The complete list of events can be found on the Mi’kmaq History Month events calendar.
The Nova Scotia Museum’s ethnology curator Roger Lewis works closely with Mi’kmaq communities throughout Nova Scotia to gather and record information about their cultural objects. He has a special appreciation of the relationship between Mi’kmaq artisans and the living objects they create.
“It is important to remember that the maker’s soul breathes within them, making them more than a simple craft,” he said.
The Ethnology collection of the Nova Scotia Made, Used and Found consists of many Mi’kmaq items that are both functional and decorative. Over hundreds of years the Mi’kmaq have mastered an array of complex yet creative techniques they incorporated into cultural objects.
This year, Mr. Lewis worked with the Mainland Captains of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council to put together a temporary exhibit that examines the role of Mi’kmaq during the War of 1812. The acquisitions include a Grand Chief Peace Medal issued to Chiefs recognizing their neutrality and friendship during the war. The exhibit also includes a rare set of silver grand chief armlets, an 1814 medal presented to the 1st captain, and an 1856 papal medallion affirming the position of Grand Chief.
The War of 1812 Mi’kmaq Artifacts exhibit will be on display at the Museum of Natural History during Mi’kmaq History Month, along with the permanent Ethnology Gallery, which studies the history of the Mi'kmaq and explores their experiences in pre-contact and early Nova Scotia.
For more information visit http://mikmaqhistorymonth.com/