April – Egg Hatching Time
1 – Na’qatpa’ltimk Na’kwek – April Fool’s Day 1986 – Micmac News reports Leonard Paul of Eskasoni may be the first Indigenous person named to the board of a Crown Corporation – Enterprise Cape Breton. Earlier, Mr. Paul was one of three Nova Scotians to win an award from the Federal Business Development Bank.
2 – The April 1996 issue of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports that Doreen Johnson is the first woman to graduate from the Level One Oil Burner Mechanic’s Trade Course at Chapel Island. Seven other students also graduated. Two of the participants drove from Pictou Landing every day to receive instruction.
3 – 2002 – Erica Stevens and Semise’l Stevens, both of Eskasoni, come first in their categories – Grades 3 & 4 and 7, 8, & 9 – respectively at the Pictou Speech Festival. Both participants had perfect scores.
4 – 1993 – April edition of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News announces the Restigouche band has officially changed its name to “Listuguj.”
5 – 2002 – Official opening of the new premises of the Mi’kmaq College Institute at University College of Cape Breton.
6 – 1846 – The Nova Scotian newspaper describes recently deceased Chief Isadore of Musquodoboit, as a “venerable old hemlock, through whose branches the storms of ninety years had whistled.”
7 – 1991 – Simon “Paksima” Paul dies in Eskasoni.
8 – 1713 – French Minister of Marine Affairs writing to the Baron de St. Caspin says, “The French and Indians of Acadia must look up to the Sun and the Stars from the same land; they must stand shoulder to shoulder on the same battlefield…live together in peace and harmony; and when the time comes, sleep side by side beneath the same sod of their common country.”
9 – 1973 – April issue of the Micmac News reports opening of Church of St. Bernadette. It was built through a bequest left to Cambridge Reserve by well-known Mi’kmaw guide Stephen Knockwood, who died in 1939 at age 104.
10 – 2014 – Noted Mi’kmaw advocate and spiritual leader Noel Knockwood dies at age 81. A survivor of residential school, veteran of the Korean War, spiritual adviser to the Sante’ Mawio’mi (Grand Council), and consultant on Indigenous issues to Correctional Service Canada, Knockwood was also the first Mi’kmaw Sergeant-at-Arms in the Nova Scotia Legislature, serving from 2000-2005. Knockwood was honoured in 2002 with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for his efforts in heritage promotion and spirituality. He was also part of the Eagle Feather Project that introduced use of the eagle feather rather than the Bible in the provincial judicial system.
2018 – “Miss Lilly” – Lillian B. Marshall passes away on this date at age 83. A respected Mi’kmaw Elder, she was on the advisory council of the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, Mi’kmaw Debert Elders Committee, as well as being a Potlotek Prayer Leader. Miss Lilly is perhaps best known for her dedication to preserving the Mi’kmaw language and was the author of the book Mi’kmawe’l Knukwatiknn Aqq Ta’n Kesi Nutmkl (2004). She was the recipient of many awards for her work and a graduate of Cape Breton University (2007).
11 – 1713 – The Treaty of Utrecht is signed by France and Great Britain. It includes a provision ceding Mi’kmaw land from the former to the latter.
1978 – Mi’kmaw children in Nova Scotia stage a boycott of school. Cuts to education without provincial consultation with the bands are cited.
12 – 1918 – Last of the hereditary grand chiefs, John Denny Jr., dies at age 77. Nearly 300 mourners attend his funeral. He had asked that his young son not assume the grand chieftaincy. After consultation with Father Pacifique, it was agreed it would be wrong to ignore John Denny’s wishes, so the Council held its first election for grand chief, and Gabriel Sylliboy was selected.
13 – 1852 – Through an Order-in-Council the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia granted title of all Indian lands to the Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Province.
14 – 2016 – Supreme Court of Canada rules that Métis and non-status Aboriginal peoples are now considered “Indians” under Section 91(24) of the 1867 Constitutional Act. This means 200,000+ Métis and 400,000+ non-status Aboriginal peoples who are not formally associated with reserves will no longer be denied access to programs and services. The full extent of the implication of this ruling is unclear, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “…I can guarantee you one thing. The path forward will be together as we move forward.”
15 – 1753 – Six Mi’kmaw scalps are brought to Halifax by two Englishmen so a bounty may be collected. Failure on the part of the British to prosecute this crime in contravention of the Treaty of 1752 ends peaceful relations between the two nations.
2002 – Dr. Vance Kruszewski of the Mi’kmaw community of Millbrook completes the 42 km. Boston Marathon with a time of 3:03:29, shaving 4 minutes off his previous time. Vance became the first Mi’kmaw chiropractor in Nova Scotia in 1998.
16 – 1989 – Nova Scotia Museum hosts program on the 16th century cedar bark weaving technique.
2002 – Annie Mae Aquash Award established by the Indigenous Women’s Network is given for the second time in three years. Her daughters, Deborah and Denise, and sister, Mary (Hubba) Lafford, attend the ceremony in San Franciso. The award is given in recognition of the work of native women.
17 – 1985 – Section 15, the equality rights section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect. This necessitated amendments to the Indian Act, and sexually discriminatory sections of the Act were eliminated.
18 – 1990 – Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe receives Order of Canada.
1991 – An exhibit of paintings by noted Mi’kmaw artist Leonard Paul opens at the Acadia University Beveridge Art Centre to a capacity crowd of 400 patrons. The show is dedicated to Paul’s late father Noel.
19 – 1986 – After an 8-year absence from band politics, Charlie Labrador is elected chief of the Acadia Band.
2001 – UCCB announces academic approval for the Integrative Science Program/Toqa’tu’kl Kjijitaqnn.
2007 – Waycobah and Wagmatcook high school students Earl Gould, Whitney Gould, Tara Pierro, Natasha Googoo, Tara Julian, Lauren Sylliboy, Levi Poulette, Even Toney, Vicky Googoo, Kadnii Johnson, Willy Johnson, Justine Googoo, Daniela Bernard, Leslie Isadore, and Brenda Peck take part in an event sponsored by Stora Enso in which the students learn how to read a compass and identify trees and calculate their ages.
20 – 1903 – Nigola Jeddore is born in Conne River, Newfoundland and buried April 20, 1991. A vast wealth of unwritten Mi’kmaw history of Newfoundland, the district of Taqamkuk, is lost with him.
1991 – A public forum is held to discuss the need for a Mi’kmaw treaty delegate in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, sponsored by the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, Native Council of Nova Scotia, Centre for International Studies, and the Grand Council.
Addressing the Treaty Delegate Forum at UCCB, Kji Keptin Alex Denny says, “Before any discussion of the topic of self-government in constitutional discourses can be meaningful, it is necessary to clarify the importance of the relationship between Treaty and other constitutional rights. If this is not accomplished, the solitudes between the Mi’kmaw people and the immigrant communities will continue to hamper our pressing tasks.”
21 – 1994 – Daniel N. Paul is joint winner of the City of Dartmouth Writing Award for Non-Fiction for his book We Were Not the Savages.
22 – 1999 – The Mi’kmaq Education Act incorporates Mi’kmaw Kinamatnewey, formerly known as the Mi’kmaq Education Authority, in federal law.
23 – 2015 – Former chief of Eskasoni, co-founder of the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, and well respected steward of the Bras d’Or Lakes, Charlie Joe Dennis dies on this day, at age 66. Known for his devotion to the environment, conservation, and community development, he will always be remembered for his humility, leadership, and commitment to the betterment of life for both Mi’kmaq and non-native peoples. He taught us that small changes in the environment can have big implications and that listening is better than talking. There are no known photographs of Charlie Joe in which he is not smiling!
24 – 2001 – An agreement is signed between the community of Membertou and Sodhexo Marriott Corporation, an international business conglomerate. It is a sign of Membertou’s successful effort to expand its economic horizon in the 21st century.
2019 – Beautiful Moments Department: CBC Radio’s Information Morning plays a wonderful rendition of the Paul McCartney song “Blackbird” performed entirely in Mi’kmaw by Emma Stevens of Eskasoni. The interpretation is both haunting and lyrical.
25 – 1977 – The Sante’ Mawio’mi and the Union of Nova Scotia Indians present Aboriginal claims to DIAND minister.
27 – 1992 – “Mi’kmaq,” the first thesis entirely written in the Mi’kmaw language is submitted to the Anthropology Department at Saint Mary’s University by Eleanor (neé Paul) Johnson of Eskasoni.
28 – 2011 – Chief of Waycobah Morley Googoo is elected AFN Regional Chief of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland at an election held in Halifax today.
30 – 1984 – The works of Mi’kmaw artists Phillip Young and Alan Sylliboy are featured at the Doomsday Gallery, Barrington Street, Halifax as its final exhibition.
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