August – Ripening Time
1 – 1722 – Richard Philipp, British Governor of Acadia, proclaims it is illegal for any Acadian to “entertain” a Mi’kmaw person; Prudane Robichau is subsequently imprisoned and put in irons for entertaining a Mi’kmaw in his home.
1918 – Keptin Gabriel J. Sylliboy is the first elected grand chief of the Mi’kmaq, at age 44. He is chosen from among five other candidates: Frank Gould of Eskasoni, Samuel Joe of Malagawatch, Joe C. Marshall of Membertou, Stephen Paul of Barra Head, and Isadore Pierro of Wagmatcook.
1985 – Micmac News reports Dalhousie University has received $100,000 from the estate of a non-Indigenous private donor to improve native education.
1995 – Patty Doyle-Bedwell is hired by Dalhousie University Law School as an assistant professor. She is the daughter of the late Harriet Battiste of Chapel Island and Frank Doyle of Rochester, N.Y.
1996 – John Basque passes away at age 74. He is the first chief elected in Chapel Island, 1958-1960.
2 – 2008 – Listuguj hosts its 16th Annual Traditional Powwow with Derek Barnaby as Master of Ceremonies. Glen Gould and Jeff Ward star in the comedy production, “21 Ways to Scrap an Indian.”
3 – 1960 – Johnstown’s Sacred Heart Church celebrates its 100th anniversary. The church houses the French altar brought to St. Peter’s (Port Toulouse) in 1691. It was hidden by the French when the English captured Port Toulouse, only to be found by the Mi’kmaq and used by them for many years thereafter.
2008 – RCMP Corporal Troy Julien presents a set of commemorative pins to the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet during the latter’s unexpected stop-over in Halifax.
2018 – Ovide Mercredi, lawyer, politician, poet, author, and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations visits Unama’ki and plays a round of golf with Membertou band councillor Graham Marshall. For Marshall it was a memorable way to commemorate his 40th birthday, followed by a barbecue at his home attended by Mercredi. Neither commented on who won the round of golf!
4 – 1896 – William Gabriel Paul is born in Mushaboom, N.S. Of his 14 children, his son Lawrence would go on to be chief of the Mi’kmaw community of Millbrook, while another son, Daniel N. became executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, publisher of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News, and author of the book We Were Not the Savages.
1993 – Eleven year old Amelia Peter Paul protects her grandmother Mary Jane Jadis from a knife attack in their home in Scotchfort, P.E.I. The little girl suffers 26 stab wounds and a partially severed finger but saves Mrs. Jadis. Amelia recovers from her injuries and is later awarded the Canadian Bravery Award.
2013 – At the Listuguj Annual Powwow Darcy Gray presents the family of the late Donald Marshall Jr. with a carved wooden sign signifying the road named in his honour, “Marshall Way.” The sign features carved eels representing the Supreme Court of Canada’s Marshall Decision on fishing rights in 1999… as well as Junior’s love of fishing!
5 – 1972 – Noel Doucette is elected chief of Chapel Island. He would resign March 21, 1973, after it became a paid position.
6 – 2009 – Mi’kmaw icon Donald Marshall Jr. passes away six years after a double lung transplant from apparent kidney failure. Wrongfully convicted of murder in 1971 and released in 1982, a Royal Commission inquiry stated “The criminal justice system failed Donald Marshall Jr. at virtually every turn.” He was the primary petitioner in a 1999 eel fishing case in which the Supreme Court affirmed Mi’kmaw treaty rights regarding hunting and fishing.
For his August 10th funeral city streets were blocked off so that more than 1,000 mourners could make their way to St. Anthony Daniel Church and later march to the Membertou Cemetery. In attendance were the Lieutenant Governor and Premier of Nova Scotia, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, chiefs from Nova Scotian reserves, civic officials, and family and friends. Ironically, it was nearly six years to the day – August 10th, 2003 – that a dinner had been held at St. George’s Church Hall in his honour after his successful lung transplant. Junior would have been 56 on September 13th.
7 – 1991 – The Union of New Brunswick Chiefs meet provincial representatives to discuss preservation of a Mi’kmaw cremation site on Skull Island in the Shediac Bay. The cremated bones of at least seven people dating back to 1680 were found there.
8 – 1995 – Stephen Labobe passes away. He was the last surviving veteran of WWII in Epekwitk, P.E.I. “Gunner” Labobe served in England, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany.
9 – 1970 – Noel Doucette, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, demands compensation for loss of Mi’kmaw lands.
10 – 2003 – A celebratory dinner is held in honour of Donald Marshall Jr. at St. George’s Hall in Sydney after his successful recovery from a double lung transplant in May. Over 400 guests attend to wish him well. Donald and his mother Caroline are featured on the front page of the Cape Breton Post the next day.
11 – 1860 – The Halifax Reporter describes the Europeans attending a reception for the Prince of Wales as “ladies and gentlemen,” and refers to the Mi’kmaq present as “children of the forest.”
12 – 1762 – Abbé Maillard dies in Halifax and is buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery.
1997 – Charlie Greg Sark of Lennox Island leaves for Nepal, Katmandu, where he will work. He founded the First Nations Youth Society at Mount Allison University in 1992 and successfully lobbied for a Native Studies course in Aboriginal issues at Mount A.
13 – 1735 – Abbé Maillard comes to Louisbourg to begin his work on behalf of the Catholic Church among the Mi’kmaq.
1971 – Union of Nova Scotia Indians research director Stu Killen is quoted as saying, “The time has come my friends to re-write Indian history to talk among the Indian people about a whole concept of Indian Rights and Treaties to have the white men understand, acknowledge, and accept the whole field of Aboriginal Rights.”
1997 – One of Nova Scotia’s first elected female chiefs of an Indigenous community dies at age 87 after a battle with cancer. Rachel Mary Marshall was elected chief of Millbrook in 1969. Always concerned with the welfare of others, at age nine she wrote a letter to Ottawa to complain about a fellow band member not receiving enough food. Years later she met then Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien in Sydney and complained to him that Mi’kmaq were starving and needed improved aid. He said, “You don’t look like you’re starving to me.” Her famous retort was, “Well, sir, you’d be fat too if all you could afford was Kraft Dinner every day.” The mother of ten children, Chief Marshall was honoured for outstanding service by the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association in 1981, given an award in 1991 by Millbrook for her years of service to the community, recognized by the Union of Nova Scotia Indians in 1994 for her active role in bettering conditions for Mi’kmaq in the province, and awarded the Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. Elders Award in 1995.
15 – 1993 – A friendship protocol is signed between the Société Nationale de l’Acadie and Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy, commemorating the close link between the Mi’kmaq and the French.
2012 – Membertou Chief Terry Paul, Premier Darrell Dexter, and Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada Minister John Duncan announce construction of a new $7 million interchange on Highway 125, a joint effort of federal, provincial, and Membertou governments.
16 – 1784 – Nova Scotia is divided into two provinces – Nova Scotia and New Brunswick – by the British Parliament. This partition means the Mi’kmaq are now under four different English administrations.
1874 – Gabriel J. Sylliboy, son of John and Mary (Barrington) Sylliboy is born on the Whycocomagh reserve. He would become the first Mi’kmaw to be elected to the position of grand chief. Prior to his election the position had been hereditary.
18 – 1937 – Grand Chief Gabriel Sylliboy is congratulated by the Director of Indian Affairs on receiving the King’s Coronation Medal. He would resign from his position as grand chief six years later in 1943 over the centralization issue.
2008 – Recipients of the 2008 Sammy Gehue Achievement & Scholarship Awards included Juliana Paul from Millbrook, Dylan Francis from Pictou Landing, and Aaron Prosper and Libby Alex from Eskasoni. The award originated in 1993 in honour of Sammy Gehue’s courage in his struggle with a rare and ultimately fatal blood disease.
20 – 1920 – Peter J. Barlow is born. He will be chief of Indian Island for 49 years, and once leaving office will be appointed Head Chief of the province by the other New Brunswick chiefs.
22 – 1838 – On behalf of the British government, Lord Glenelg asks for a report on the conditions of Mi’kmaq living in Nova Scotia. The resulting report chronicles their shrinking population numbers and the deplorable circumstances in which they live.
2017 – Tuma Young testifies as an expert in L’nuwey tplutaqn (Mi’kmaw laws) and Indigenous legal systems before the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
24 – 1993 – Donald Marshall Jr., Jane Mac Millan, and Peter Martin are seen eel fishing by a Department of Fisheries and Oceans officer in Pomquet Harbour, N.S. Later that day they are charged with violating federal fishing regulations.
25 – 1991 – Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. passes away.
26 – 1754 – A council is held at Fort Beauséjour by Mi’kmaq and Maliseet who had not signed the Treaty of 1749. Their offer of peace with the British was submitted to the Governor in Halifax by Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre.
1971 – Thirteen year old Basil Joe, son of the noted poet Rita Joe, rescues four year old Bridgett Marshall from drowning at Eskasoni. He later receives the Bronze Medal for Bravery given by the Royal Canadian Humane Association.
27 – 1991 – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces establishment of a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
1992 – Indian Brook band council is removed by an Order -in-Council. The Privy Council rules the February 18, 1992 election invalid, the first time this had happened in Nova Scotia band history.
28 – 2017 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces Indigenous and Northern Affairs will be divided into two departments. Minister Carolyn Bennett will head Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs while Jane Philpott becomes minister of Indigenous Services. The Prime Minister’s Office says the action is necessary because “the level of the ambition of this government cannot be achieved through existing colonial structures” and is the “next step” in eliminating the Indian Act.
29 – 1987 – Former students of the Residential School at Shubenacadie hold first reunion August 29th to 30th.
2008 – Indian Brook resident Catherine (Ka’tln) Sylliboy, along with RCMP Indian Brook Detachment Commander Stephen Gloade make a presentation on a Community Watch Program for Indian Brook.
31 – 1983 – Sante’ Mawio’mi authorizes Professor Russell Barsh to act on its behalf before the United Nations. Kji – Sagmaw Donald Marshall Sr., Putu’s Simon Marshall, Kji-Keptin Alex Denny, and Keptin Noel Marshall are re-affirmed by the Grand Council.
Return to Book of Days for the Mi’kmaw Year