Ethnographies of Selected Reserves (Abridged)

The following ethnographies were researched and compiled by Mi’kmaw students hired through Aboriginal L.I.N.K.S. Each is a compendium of information about Nova Scotia reserves with regard to physical description including size, location, and proximity to other towns or villages; what businesses and other concerns comprise the reserves, including private businesses and band operated businesses; services and facilities available in the communities; and the names of the people who make up the band councils, administration, and educational institutions. As well, the researchers tried to interview individuals in the communities to obtain some historical and background information on the reserves, and they are compiling a bibliography of written materials on the culture, tradition, and language of the reserves, which will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

Acadia | Annapolis Valley | Bear River | Eskasoni | Glooscap |Sipekne’katik | Membertou | Millbrook | Paq’tnkek | We’koqma’q (Waycobah)

Acadia ~ Malikiaq ~

History and Description

Acadia is composed of five reserves spread throughout the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia. It gained official status May 13, 1971 – prior to that it was represented only by a spokesperson. In 1968 the elders of the region decided to form a united band at a general meeting in Digby. Three years later Charles Labrador was elected chief by the approximately 20 eligible voters at the time.

The band was originally supposed to operate by traditional custom. Once a chief was appointed, only death or majority vote could remove him from office. It was also expected that upon his death, his eldest son would become the new chief. In 1978, however, Chief Labrador resigned, and the vacancy was filled by the toss of a coin! Two candidates vied for the position, Charles Paul and Joseph Frank Jeremy, and when voting ended in a tie, a Department of Indian Affairs representative tossed a coin, with Charles Paul coming out as the winner.

Acadia is unique in that its five reserves are located across three counties, with approximately 1524 band members living both on and off reserve. It is a ‘custom’ band which means that all members are permitted to vote regardless of whether they live on reserve. The reserves are Yarmouth (Yarmouth County, established in 1887), Wildcat (Queen’s County, established in1820), Ponhook (Queen’s County, established in1843), Gold River (Lunenburg County, established in1820), and Medway (Queen’s County, established in 1865).

Physical Description – Yarmouth Reserve

Yarmouth Reserve is located on 27.57 hectares of land just off a busy stretch of road adjacent to the Yarmouth Airport, about 3 kilometers east of the town of Yarmouth. Prior to 1986, the reserve was situated on swampy and inferior land, with a Reserve Road acting as a barrier dividing native and non-native land. The town dump was near one end of the native property and caused many health problems. In 1986, however, the band started negotiations to purchase land opposite the reserve, the price of which was reduced when it was discovered the land’s proximity to the airport decreased its value. The Yarmouth Reserve’s land area makes up only three percent of the Acadia Band, making it the second smallest reserve in the band, though it has a greater population than the other reserves combined.

The Yarmouth Reserve is composed of two roads – the Reserve Road where the majority of residences are located, providing access to the reserve and extending through the entire reserve, and the recently added extension, Luxey’s Lane, which was named after a former chief, Louis Luxey. It intersects the main road. Development on Luxey’s Lane has only recently started but the Band Office is at one end of the lane, and it forms the nucleus of the community and is the centre for many of the community’s events. Underneath the band office is the Acadia First Nation Child Care Initiative Program, which is operated in cooperation with Kina’matnewey, and provides services to the non-native community as well. The coordinator is Marcella Simon and the teacher is Kathy Pictou.

Yarmouth Reserve recently acquired 2300 acres of land in Gardeners Mill near Kemptville in Yarmouth County. Generously donated to Acadia by Mr. John Cook, the land is located amid pleasant rural surroundings and has potential for numerous economic opportunities.

Physical Description – Wildcat Reserve

Wildcat Reserve is the largest reserve in the Acadia First Nation, with 465.4 hectares of land – larger than the other four reserves combined. Approximately 170 kilometers southwest of Halifax, the reserve is beside the Wildcat River, where the scenery is spectacular. Established in 1820, Wildcat is a native settlement that has managed to maintain its traditional activities such as hunting, trapping, fishing, and canoeing. Wildcat River flows around a little island positioned behind the band office. The island is the site of a picnic area that is used for community gatherings. A camp ground resulting from a student project is in development, and it is hoped the campground’s exotic location will make it a great tourist attraction. It is also hoped that a museum will eventually be established on the reserve. The community itself is composed of tightly knit families, with homes dispersed along a dirt road in this bucolic setting. Each home is divided from the next by a large section of trees, and it makes living in the community both peaceful and private.

Physical Description – Gold River Reserve

Gold River Reserve is situated on 270.2 hectares of land off of Highway 103 near Chester Basin in Chester County. Local myths claim the the first settlers in the area panned for gold in the river adjacent to the reserve, which is how it got its name. The Gold River Reserve is quite large in comparison to some of the other reserves in the band. Despite its rural setting, however, the community is still affected by the problems associated with industry. Opposite the river power lines run right through the reserve, somewhat detracting from the natural beauty of its location. The arsenic level in the vicinity can cause difficulties – with the level sometimes making the water undrinkable.

Physical Description – Ponhook Reserve

Ponhook Reserve’s isolated rural environment makes it an ideal summer time resort. Its 101.8 hectares of land are a perfect place to take a family vacation or just get away from the hectic pace of urban life. Ponhook Lake is next to the reserve, where there is ample privacy for swimming, boating, or canoeing, and the wilderness provides great shelter for camping. Ponhook is located just off Highway Eight on the Indian Garden Road, about 40 kilometers northwest of Milton. There is little activity on the reserve, with the season dictating the number of people present in the community. In summer people come to vacation, while in winter native people arrive to participate in more traditional activities such as hunting, with the band occasionally sponsoring craft projects in the community.

Background and History

Though a quiet community, Ponhook has had its share of controversy. In 1930, Nova Scotia Power dammed five lakes to make a single lake for a hydroelectric dam. The flooding produced by the dams submerged part of the reserve. Acres of traditional native hunting land were lost and sacred burial grounds were destroyed. In 1974 a land claim was filed by the Acadia First Nation against the Nova Scotia government for lost lands. Though it has been nearly twenty-five years, this issue still remains unresolved. About fifty acres have been regained by the band, but there is still uncertainty regarding how much property was originally lost. The band claims there are still fifty acres under water and another two hundred acres that were sold illegally. During the period of the flooding, native people and their land were the responsibility of Indian agents, none of whom were natives. The land was rich in natural resources and especially attractive to logging companies in the vicinity. Indian agents recognized the opportunity to make substantial profits and sold the land without regard to the inhabitants of the reserve who were subsequently forced to leave their homes.

Physical Description/Location – Medway Reserve

Medway Reserve, on 4.3 hectares of land, is the smallest reserve in the Acadia First Nation, lying approximately 155 kilometres southwest of Halifax and 40 kilometres south of Bridgewater. It is located on the shores of the Medway River in Queen’s County. Very few band members inhabit the land, and it remains essentially virgin property.

Acadia Band Council

Head of Acadia is the charismatic Chief Deborah Robinson. In 1987 she became the first woman to be elected chief of the band. The Council is comprised of the following councillors (as of June 2012): Darlene Coulton, Debra Wentzell, Edwin Benham, Charmaine Stevens, Michael Paul, Todd Labrador, Thomas Pictou, and Andrew Francis. The number of councillors elected depends on bylaws – less than fifteen years ago, for example, there were only three councillors elected, and the number increased from six to eight in 2005.

Research for this outline of Acadia collected and compiled courtesy of Curtis Falls.

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Annapolis Valley ~ Kampalijek ~

Physical Description – Annapolis Valley

Annapolis Valley is located in King’s County, Nova Scotia, ten kilometers southwest of the township of Kentville and one hundred and fourteen kilometers northwest of Halifax. The reserve encompasses 144.9 hectares of land, surrounded by two mountains. The mountain to the north has an elevation of 600 feet above the valley floor, while the southern mountain reaches a height of 500 feet. Beyond the mountain to the north lies the Bay of Fundy, a natural habitat of lobster where the community normally harvests its stock of seafood. The fresh water Cornwallis River, a good source of trout, flows through the southern part of the reserve.

Brief History

Annapolis Valley was established February 9, 1880. The land had originally been purchased by the province of Nova Scotia from Albert A. Webster. In addition to this 34.8 acres, the band also owns 200 acres of woodland in Hants County. Until 1950, the community was monitored by an Indian agent, Mr. Rice, who travelled from Indian Brook reserve to deliver ration certificates. These cheques or certificates allowed people to purchase foodstuffs. By 1950, however, John Toney had been elected chief and a band council was created. The services of the Indian agent were no longer required.  As of June, 2017 the population was 290.

Annapolis Valley Band Council

Since 1968 there have been eight chiefs of the Annapolis Valley:

  • 1968 – 1970 – Chief Charles Philips
  • 1970 – 1976 – Chief Gerald Toney
  • 1976 – 1982 – Chief Rita Smith
  • 1982 – 1993 – Chief David Toney
  • 1993 – 1997 – Chief Lawrence Toney
  • 1997 – 2003 – Chief Brian Toney
  • 2003 – 2005 – Chief John Toney
  • 2005 – 2007 – Chief John Toney
  • 2007 – 2011 – Chief John Toney
  • 2011 – 2013 – Chief Janette Peterson

In addition to the chief, there are also two band councillors, Tassa Kennedy and Laurence Toney.

All research for this outline of Annapolis Valley collected and compiled courtesy of Adam Kennedy.

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Bear River ~ L’setkuk ~

Bear River Physical Description

Bear River, or Muin Sipu, is located twenty kilometers northeast of Digby, Nova Scotia. Two fresh water rivers flow through the reserve, which is near the Bay of Fundy. The Surveyor – General of Nova Scotia referred to the land this way in 1801: “One thousand acres described as follows, vis. beginning on the western side of the south branch of Bear River at the distance of twenty-eight chains on a course south. Sixty – six degrees east from the south eastern angle of land granted Christopher Benson, thence to run south twenty – four degrees west one hundred chains – thence north twenty – four degrees west one hundred chains to the rear line of said Benson land. Thence south sixty – six degrees east along said rear line and vacant land one hundred chains to the place of beginning containing one thousand according to the plan.” The land base itself exceeds 1600 acres, with a pipeline owned by Nova Scotia Power running through the east branch of the community. In recent years Bear River has tried to come to an agreement with N.S. Power to bury the pipeline so that the movement of wildlife is not obstructed.

The community built an area behind the church to use as the site for a sacred fire. In 1988, Muin Sipu began construction of a multi-purpose building, 40′ x 80′, for community use. In 1989, Steve Meuse opened a variety store at the band hall. In October of 1993 Bear River officially opened their school, along with a swimming pool, playground, and tennis and basketball courts.  As of June, 2017 the population was 342.

Brief History of Muin Sipu (Bear River) and Early Porpoise Hunting

In 1801 Indian Affairs allotted Muin Sipu or Bear River 1000 acres, with an additional 600 acres granted in later years. By the 1830’s Bear River had become one of the most thriving reserves in the province due to the increasing size of its population. In August of 1831 the community established its own church.

In the summer months of the nineteenth century, the people of Bear River hunted porpoise in the Bay of Fundy. Meat from the porpoises was used by the community, while the oil that was rendered was bottled and sold as machine lubricant both locally in Digby, and in Saint John, New Brunswick. In 1936, Dr. Alexander Leighton of Smith’s Cove interviewed and recorded on film several elders from Bear River and Lequille who remembered the heyday of the porpoise hunt when they travelled from forest to coast during May and June. Their twenty foot canoes carried whole families and materials to make wigwams for the summer long hunt. Hunters often took 150-200 porpoises a season, sometimes harvesting as many as 13 a day. Of particular note was the reknowned porpoise hunter Malti Pictou, reputed to have killed 400 porpoises in a single season, along with blackfish, white whales, and seals.

Community Interests

In 1988 Bear River began a forestry management project. Ash trees have been planted on 445 acres of reserve land. Additionally, the community began efforts to enhance wild atlantic salmon stocks for a native fishery. A goal of the project is to identify where salmon spawn in the river and build spawning beds at these locations.

Band Council and Political Affiliation

Bear River separated from the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, a tribal council incorporated in 1970 to act as a unified political voice for Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq, in 1987. Since that time, Bear River joined the Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs, a Mi’kmaw controlled group incorporated in 1986 which provides reserves with financial management and economic development advisory services.

The band council is presided over by Chief Frank Meuse. The councillors are Carol Ann Porter and Frederick Robar-Harlow. Elections are slated for December, 2013.

All research for this outline of Bear River collected and compiled courtesy of Adam Kennedy.

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Eskasoni ~ Eskisoqnik ~

Physical Description and History – Eskasoni

Eskasoni is located on the north side of East Bay, Nova Scotia on the shores of the Bras d’OrLakes, about 50 kilometres from Sydney along Route 4, exiting at Route 216. The word ‘Eskasoni’ is derived from the Mi’kmaw word ‘We’kwistoqnik’, which means ‘where the fir trees are plentiful’. Its permanent boundaries were first charted by the Surveyor-General of Cape Breton in 1832, and consisted at that time of 2800 acres of land. Eskasoni officially became a reserve in 1834, though there were few families living in the area at the time.

The main thoroughfare in Eskasoni is the Shore Road, five and a half miles long with many smaller streets and roads branching off it. The Shore Road was paved as far as Castle Bay in 1960, and by the 1980s the paving had been completed. Eskasoni is the largest reserve in Nova Scotia at 14.7 square miles or 3504.6 hectares of land. The region is quite steep, reaching an elevation of 150 metres at the top of the Boisdale Hills. Two freshwater brooks, Indian Brook at the eastern end of the reserve, and Christmas Brook in the centre of the reserve, provide drainage. All development is based at the foot of the hills along the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes, which are also suitable areas for oyster and salmon fisheries.

According to the census of 1871, there were 125 people living in Eskasoni, whose various trades were recorded as fishermen, farmers, basketmakers, and quillworkers. Twenty years later, in 1891, the population had dwindled to 80. The federal government began a policy of centralization during the 1940s that involved moving Mi’kmaq families from surrounding reserves to Eskasoni. With this insurge of people, the government decided to expand the boundaries of the reserve to include land from the Castle Bay area, so that today, Eskasoni is comprised of approximately 8860 acres. It is interesting to note that the majority of the residents of Eskasoni (55%) are under twenty years of age, and the birth rate is four to five times greater than the rest of the island’s.  The population as of June, 2017 is 4469.

Band Administration and Support

The Eskasoni band council is comprised of a chief and twelve councillors: Chief Leroy D.C. Denny, and Councillors – Bertram (Muin) Bernard, Charles Leon Denny, Oliver (Sappy) Denny Jr., Barry C. Francis, Gerald Robert Francis, Eldon Gould, Allan Wayne Jeddore, Derek Robert Johnson, Dion Levi Denny, Christian Dylan Thomas Stevens, John Frank Toney, and Charles Blaise Young. Telephone numbers for the band council are 902-379-2800, 902-379-2172 (Fax).

All research for this outline of Eskasoni collected and compiled courtesy of Florence Dennis and Denise Toney.

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Glooscap ~ Pesikitk ~

Physical Description – Glooscap

Glooscap is a small community located approximately 70 kilometers southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It lies within the boundaries of Kings County, about six kilometers from the town of Hantsport. Glooscap is made up of 171.1 hectares of land, primarily undeveloped forest, though forestry management is ongoing. The easiest way to find the reserve by car is to exit Highway 101 to the Ben Jackson Road until the intersection at Bishopville Road is reached. Turn right on Bishopville Road and continue for 2 kilometers until the entrance to Glooscap is visible on the right. Since this entrance is obscured by trees, the entrance to the reserve is quite difficult to find for the uninitiated! Glooscap has two residential streets – Smith Road and Pater Road, which extend through most of the community’s hilly terrain.

Band Funding and Membership

The Glooscap band is funded through contribution agreements with Health Canada and DIAND. Other agreements are also in place for economic development, education, and with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The band has 275 members with approximately half living off reserve. It is one of several bands in the province that are “custom”, which refers to the method of band elections. Under custom, all band members of voting age participate in the elections held every three years, regardless of residency. Glooscap includes all of its members, both on and off reserve, in meetings, referendums, votes, by-laws, programs, and activities.  The population as of June, 2017 is 377.

Band Administration

The band office was completed in June of 1995, and houses offices for staff as well as the Community Hall. Chief of Glooscap is Sydney Peters (as of 2012).  Band councillors are Kristen Halliday, Larry Peters, and Jean Labradore Power.  Technical support services are provided by the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq.

All research for this outline of Glooscap collected and compiled courtesy of Curtis Falls.

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Sipekne’katik (Shubenacadie)~

Physical Description – Indian Brook

Sipekne’katik is approximately 8 kilometres west of the village of Shubenacadie, 40 kilometres south of Truro, and 80 kilometres north of Halifax. Established on May 8, 1820, lands near Shubenacadie, New Ross, Pennel, and Grand Lake, were allotted to the ‘ Shubenacadie Band of Indians’. These lands totalled 3,050 acres, and the Shubenacadie Mi’kmaq occupied and used most of the lands in what is now mainland Nova Scotia. There were extensive settlements from Pictou to western portions of the province though the lands weren’t surveyed until 1820. Indian Brook was also the site of an historically important event. A most significant treaty – one that has been referred to as the “Magna Carta of native Aboriginal rights” – was signed there in 1752. Dealing with lands, hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, and trading, this treaty forms the very foundation of aboriginal rights settlements in Canada today.

Some Early Background and History

During the 1970s the Shubenacadie community discovered its original name had been changed by a priest named Father Henri Boudreau upon his arrival. The band had reverted to its original name – “Indian Brook” – though the “Shubenacadie Band Council” remained the legal name of the organization respresenting the five communities of Indian Brook, New Ross, Pennal, Dodd’s Lot, and Grand Lake. The people of the community referred to it as Indian Brook or “Shubie” depending upon the age of the speaker. As more and more community members are embracing the Mi’kmaw language and culture, it was officially decided to use the name Sipekne’katik in July of 2014.  The population in June, 2017 was 2653.
 

Band Administration and Support

As of November 5, 2012 – November 1, 2014, the Chief of the reserve is Rufus Copage. The Band Councillors are Ronnie William Augustine, Michelle Glasgow, Thomas J. Howe, Keith Joseph Julian, Colleen Knockwood, Doreen E. Knockwood, Thomas Maloney, Alexander McDonald, Jim Nevin, Earl Sack, Jerry Sack, and Michael Sack.

All research for this outline of Shubenacadie collected and compiled courtesy of Darin J. Googoo and Leslie Googoo; population statistics from Indian Affairs.

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Membertou ~ Maupeltuk ~

Physical Description – Membertou

Membertou is located off Alexandra Street in the city of Sydney. The original Membertou reserve was situated along the shore of Sydney Harbour and was known as the Old King’s Road Reserve. In 1927, Membertou was relocated to where it now exists, a 65 acre lot on damp and swampy land. Today Membertou has increased in size to about 401.9 hectares in total. The population of Membertou has grown from about 100 members in the late 1920s. As of June, 2017 the population was 1511.

History of the Relocation

The following document is an account of the process involved in moving the reserve from lands on King’s Road in Sydney to the location where Membertou stands today:

RE INDIAN RESERVE, CITY OF SYDNEY, N.S.

Exchequer Court of Canada, Audette J., 16 March 1916

INDIANS (II–36)–REMOVAL TO NEW RESERVE–EXPEDIENCY COMPENSATION.

The Exchequer Court, pursuant to the provisions of s.49a of the Indian Act, will recommend the removal of Indians from their Reserve to a new site, if, in the interest of the public and the welfare of the Indians, such removal seems expedient. Under s. 2 (4) of the Act, they are to be compensated for the special loss or damage in respect of their buildings or improvements upon the Reserve.

REFERENCE to the Exchequer Court of Canada under the authority of an order-in-council passed on April 24, 1915, pursuant to the provisions of s. 49 of the Indian Act, as amended by 1 & 2 Geo. V., c. 14, s. 2, for enquiry and report as to whether it was expedient, having regard to the interest of the public and of the band of Indians then resident on the Sydney (N.S.) Indian Reserve to another place outside the limits of the city of Sydney. J. A. Gillies, K.C., appeared on behalf of the party interested in the removal of the Indians; G. A. R. Rowlings was appointed by the judge to represent the Indians on the hearing of the reference. AUDETTE, J., made his report to the Governor-General-in-council as follows:–

To His Royal Highness, the Governor-in-Council:

The question as to whether or not it is expedient–having regard to the interest of the public and of the Indians, that the latter should be removed from the Reserve at Sydney, and for further action under the provisions of the Act–having been referred to the Exchequer Court of Canada for inquiry and report, under both the provisions of the order-in-council of April 30,1915, and of 1-2 George V., c. 14–the undersigned has the honour to report as follows:–

The notice, provided by s. 2 (2) of the Act, fixing the time and place for the taking of evidence and the hearing of the investigation respecting the above matter, having been published in the “Canada Gazette” and in a local newspaper at Sydney, I assigned counsel to represent and act for the Indians, who might be opposed to the proposed removal, they having previously declared their unwillingness to surrender.

The hearing of the matter was proceeded with at Sydney, on the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th days of September, 1915, and upon hearing read the pleadings, and upon hearing the evidence adduced, both on behalf of the party seeking such removal, and on behalf of the Indians–and upon hearing J. A. Gillies, K.C., of counsel on behalf of the party seeking the removal, and Mr. Rowlings, on behalf of the Indians, the undersigned humbly submits the following finding:–

The Reserve in question, which is numbered 28 in the Official Schedule of Indian Reserves, is located on the eastern shore of Sydney Harbour, and was acquired by the Dominion government on April 28,1882, under a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia, for the use of the Micmac Tribe.

It had been surveyed under direction of the federal government in 1877, and at that time contained 2 acres, 2 roods and 37 perches–the area mentioned in the provincial grant above mentioned.

When the Cape Breton Railway was built in 1887 or 1888, sixty-six hundredths of an acre of the Reserve was expropriated for the purposes of that public work, severing the land in two parcels, leaving the Reserve, already of irregular shape, with the contents of 2 acres and 12 perches, and a small piece of land on the water side of the track. This small piece of the Reserve, severed by the railway from its main part, is of no value and cannot be utilized for settlement purposes–and in the result leaves the Reserve, for practical purposes, still smaller than its apparent and real size.

Joe Christmas, the present chief, or captain, of the band on the Reserve, has lived on the Reserve back and forth since 1875. In 1887, two more Indian families arrived upon the Reserve. In 1899 there were 85 Indians on the Reserve, and on February 15, 1915, there were 23 houses and 115 Indians. At present there are between 120 and 122 Indians and 27 houses, without counting the school-house and the brick building with sanitary closets.

The present Reserve is really an adjunct of the Eskasoni Reserve, composed of 2,800 acres, and which is about 24 to 25 miles from Sydney. The Grand Chief of the Micmacs resides at Eskasoni, and there is only a sub-chief, or captain, at the Sydney Reserve. There are in the vicinity of 155 Indians at Eskasoni, who do some agricultural work. When these Eskasoni Indians come to Sydney to sell their handicrafts and products, they reside on the Sydney Reserve. There is also the Cariboo Marsh Reserve, of about 5,385 acres. The land on that Reserve is so poor that no Indians reside upon it, but as there is considerable timber upon it they use it to cut their supply for fuel and for making ties, which they sell to the Steel & Coal Co. There are also Indians residing at North Sydney and Little Bras d’Or who, like the others when they come to Sydney, put up at the Indian Reserve.

Now, this Reserve abuts on King’s Road, which is one of the principal arteries of the city, a highway very much travelled and used by the public, and upon which a large number of fine residences are built. No one cares to live in the immediate vicinity of the Indians. The overwhelming weight of the evidence is to the effect that the Reserve retards and is a clog in the development of that part of the city. On this branch of the case I may say I would have come to a final decision with more satisfaction, had I heard the present mayor of the city, some representatives from the Board of Trade, and some prominent public-spirited citizens.

It is worth passing notice to mention that the two medical doctors who respectively held the position of Indian agent for this Reserve since 1899 favour the removal of the Indians, provided larger and better quarters are given them. Dr. McIntyre says, he thought the Reserve congested with 20 houses and 100 Indians, and there are now 27 houses and 122 Indians. The removal would make the property in that neighbourhood more valuable for assessment purposes–and it is no doubt an anomaly to have the Indian Reserve in almost the centre of the city, or on one of its principal thoroughfares.

The racial inequalities of the Indians, as compared with the white man, check to a great extent any move towards social development, a state of affairs which, under the system now obtaining, can only grow worse every day, as the number of Indians is increasing.

I do, therefore, without hesitation, come to the conclusion, on this branch of the case, that the removal of the Indians from the Reserve is obviously in the interest of the public.

Coming to the second branch of the case, as to whether it is in the interest of the Indians to be removed to a larger place, I may say that during the trial or investigation, I had occasion, accompanied by Counsel on both sides, to view and examine the Reserve in question. It was on that day quite clean and in good sanitary condition; but it is established that this condition did not always obtain.

The majority of the Indians is opposed to the removal. They find their present Reserve well located, close to the place where they earn their livelihood, and it suits their methods of life. They want to stay where they are, and do not wish to accept any place offered to them. However, if a better, larger and more suitable place is found it will be acceptable to some of them. This state of things carries us thus far and no further. But the Reserve is getting too small, too congested and too limited, to accommodate its increasing population, besides the fact that the sanitary conditions are unsatisfactory and can only grow worse with an increase in population in the settlement.

The brick sanitary closet in the Reserve has been closed as a result of misuse, and the several draught-houses, now in use to replace it, have proved to be very objectionable to the neighbourhood. Although provided with a number of such draught-houses, the Indians have not been always considerate and mindful of their neighbours in respect of cleanliness. They are also charged with disturbance, but that part of the evidence is meagre and not very reliable, and in that respect they may not be any worse than white men of certain classes. And while it can be said in one sense they may be undesirable neighbours in that locality, they could be considered as reasonably well-behaved Indians. They are healthy Indians and the Reserve is free from tuberculosis.

These Indians have abandoned the nomadic life of their ancestors, and are now employed as labourers all over the city at different works, while the women do some charring and washing.

This Reserve has become too small for the present requirements. There are too many buildings upon it, and the band of Indians has become too numerous to be located under the present conditions for sanitation on such a small area. An undesirable and objectionable congestion is the necessary result. Moreover, the band is growing, the young men are marrying and desire to settle there. And while the Reserve is too small for the Indians actually in occupation, we must not overlook that all the Indians of Cape Breton who come to Sydney reside on the Reserve during the time of their visit. And, looking to the future, made wise by looking on the past of this Reserve, it appears that the desirability of a larger Reserve, a matter of expediency now, will become imperative in the near future.

The Indians, in their own interest, should be removed to a larger place where they would be given a small plot of land to cultivate. But this removal, while it should be to a place outside of the city, to avoid a further removal in the future, must be consistent with and considerate of the interest of the Indians. They should remain as close as possible to the city, although outside its limits, to allow them to pursue the same manner of earning their livelihood by doing work in the city, where, indeed, they have become quite a factor in the labour market. They must also be kept close to their Church, because it is insisted upon, in the evidence, that their priest has a very salutary influence over them, and when the Indian loses the influence of his Church, he goes on the down grade. These Indians are labourers of all classes: brick-layers, masons, plasterers, carpenters, pick and shovel men, and some of them work on the Cape Breton Electric Tramway. They are much employed during the winter, for the removal of snow from the tramway. They also make pick handles, tubs and baskets.

The evidence establishes in the result that the removal would be in the interest of the Indians, provided they are given a better and larger reserve in some place convenient to their church and their work. And in doing so, to place them in the neighbourhood of the Coke Ovens district must be avoided–that locality is undesirable in many respects–and occasion for intemperance is sure to arise there.

Both the unsatisfactory condition of the present Reserve with respect to sanitation, and the advantage to be derived by the Indians from larger grounds, make it expedient to recommend their removal to a better and larger place, consistent with the relatively close proximity to their work and church.

What the Indian, on the one hand, may lose from the convenience of close neighbourhood to his place of labour, in the future perhaps made costly by the expense of a ferry or car-fare–which with that class must be reckoned–will be offset by the advantage of a larger territory for his Reserve, where he can have his little plot of ground under cultivation, giving him a vegetable garden, helping materially in support of his family.

The removal of this band of Indians from the Reserve will open to improvement at once that part of the city of Sydney, while the Indian, in the result, will not suffer anything serious, save perhaps a disadvantage in the degree of convenience in going to and from his work, and his morals can be looked after just as well upon the new Reserve. He will be able to attend his church just the same, and he will, moreover, be perhaps further away from the temptation in the way of intemperance and kept busy and interested in his Reserve by attending to his vegetable garden. Having each a small plot of land would also be an incentive to keep it in proper condition.

Having found the removal of the Indians from this Reserve expedient and advisable, it becomes my duty now, under the provisions of s. 2 (4) of the Act:

To ascertain the amounts of compensation, if any, which should be paid respectively to individual Indians of the band for the special loss or damages which they will sustain in respect of the buildings or improvements to which they are entitled upon the lands of the Reserve

On that branch of the case, ex. “E,” testified to by 3 witnesses, establishes the value of each building upon the Reserve, with the name of the proprietor opposite the figures. This valuation, however, has been arrived at on a basis of re-instatement value. That is, it does not shew the actual market value of the buildings, taking into consideration the depreciation for wear and tear. That document shows what it would cost to build these, however,,, anew to-day.

While the Indian, the ward of the nation, should be treated as well as possible, it is quite conceivable that a great part of the old buildings could be used in the erection of the buildings on the new Reserve. The total value of the buildings, owned by the Indians on the Reserve, is placed by these three witnesses at $8,850, subject to what has just been said. This is exclusive of the value of the brick sanitary closet and the school-house.

Passing now to the question of the selection of the site for a new Reserve, it may be said that a deal of evidence has been adduced in that respect. Indeed, the selection of a site is a question not free from difficulty, and upon which a deal of evidence has been adduced. A large plan of the city has been filed, and upon it has been shewn as prospective or available sites, the places marked respectively “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “E,” “F,” “G,” and “H.” On that plan is also shewn the site of the present Reserve.

Besides these sites so indicated on the plan, there is also across the harbour at Westmount, almost opposite the present Reserve, a place recommended by some of the witnesses. It is entirely outside of the limits of the city, and quite accessible to the city for the most part of the year. However, in the autumn and in the spring the ice makes the crossing quite impossible at times for a period varying from one week to three weeks and perhaps more. Were it not for that last difficulty, the place would be ideal. The Murphy farm of 50 acres is there available–and there is also a large quantity of land in that neighbourhood which could easily be secured at a reasonable price. The soil is very good, the site beautiful and abutting on the harbour. If the Indians were established at Westmount on a really good farm, would it not be possible for them to keep a few horses, and when the ice on the river prevents them from coming across, they could drive to town, a distance of only 5 or 6 miles? They would be there away from the liquor shops and the undesirable foreigners settled at the Coke Ovens, where they often get liquor–always a source of trouble to them.

Of all the other sites above mentioned and referred to by the letters “A” to “H,” I would only recommend in the alternative, either “A” or “E.”

The “A” site lies outside of the eastern part of the city between the Grand Lake Road and the Sydney and Glace Bay R. Co.’s line; and “E,” which is also outside the eastern part of the city, at the top of the Cow Bay Road.

Jos. Christmas, one of the Indians, although objecting to the removal, says if they must be removed, he would prefer the Westmount site to any other. Ben Christmas, another Indian, speaking for himself, says “E,” at the top of the Cow Bay Road, would meet with his approval if they are given a little assistance in building and larger grounds. The soil there, however, seems to be of doubtful character for farming purposes.

Under all the circumstances, I would humbly recommend, as prospective alternative sites, “A” at the top of the Grand Lake Road, or “E” at the top of the Cow Bay Road, or Westmount. The prospective sites within the limits of the city should be discarded, because the same question of removal would arise again at some future date. The price at which these prospective properties could be acquired has been estimated by some of the witnesses.

It may be said that while the present site can only be sold at public auction, Mr. Gillies, K.C., has offered to purchase it at $5,000. If the sale is made this amount may be used as an upset price. Agent Parker valued the land at $4,800–witnesses Ross and Midgley at $5,000–Rev. Father Cameron at $150 an acre– and Rev. Father McDonald, in his letter of January 8, 1914, at $12,000. The valuation of $5,000 would appear to be about fair and right.

Therefore, the undersigned has the honour to report he finds it expedient, having regard to the interest of the public and of the Indians located on the small Sydney Reserve, that the said Indians should be removed from such Reserve.

Furthermore, it is found that the compensation above set forth should be paid respectively to the individual Indians of the band for the special loss or damages sustained by them in respect of their buildings or improvemts upon the Reserve, or an adjustment be made for their claims in respect thereto, and a suitable new Reserve be obtained for them before they be removed from or disturbed in the possession of the present Reserve.

The undersigned would further recommend that the Indians should, on their removal, be treated with great consideration and kindness, and that such removal should be made quietly without undue haste, trouble or inconvenience, to the Indians. The site to be first selected and the compensation for their buildings or improvements adjusted on the basis above mentioned.

In witness whereof I have set my hand this 15th day of March,

A.D. 1916.

(Sgd.) L. A. AUDETTE,

J.E.C.

Monuments

Grand Chief Donald Marshall Monument

The Mi’kmaq Nation honours the late Grand Chief (Kji-Saqmaw) Donald J. Marshall Senior with a ten foot high monument that stands above his grave in the Membertou Memorial Gardens. Funding for the monument was provided by the Grand Council and the whole Mi’kmaq Nation. The monument has a photograph of the late Grand Chief and reads: Kji-Saqmaw (Grand Chief) Donald Joseph Marshall, May 28, 1925 – August 25, 1991, Son of Joseph and Margaret (Stevens) Marshall of Membertou, Married August 15, 1949 to Caroline Googoo, Daughter of John P. Googoo and Madeline Gould of Whycocomagh, Children – Six Boys & Six Girls & Numerous Foster Children, Trade – Dry Waller, Donald Marshall Was Elected Kji-Saqmaw (Grand Chief) in 1964 as Predicted by the Previous Kji-Saqmaw Gabriel Sylliboy; Donald Marshall Was the Grand Chief for 27 Years Until His Death in 1991; Kji-Saqmaw Donald Marshall’s Presence Was Magnified a Thousandfold Through the Efforts He Pioneered in Every Facet of His Work and Office – A Man Who Seemed to Be Everywhere; Donald Has a Zealous Conviction of Reaching Out and Providing a Helping Hand to Those Who Needed It Most. Kji-Saqmaw – Rest In Peace.

Putus Simon Marshall Memorial

The community of Membertou honours the late Putus Simon Marshall with a permanent grotto that lies behind the St. Ann’s Mission Church. Simon Marshall was a very dedicated man who never failed to build the St. Ann’s grotto each year, and for his service to St. Ann the community named the grotto for him. The monument reads: In Memory of Simon J. Marshall, “Putus” Uncle Simon, Born 1917 – Died 1992, A Life Long Outstanding Citizen in the Community of Membertou Who Devoted His Life as an Active Member for St. Ann’s Mission Church “Ma Iapjiw Wan’ Ta’ Sualuluek Aq Ta’ N Teli Pkit Lukowiekn Ula Maupltu” We Will Never Forget You Nor the Service You Provided for Us Here in Membertou, Presented by the Marshall Family July 1995, Erected July 1995, Volunteers: Simon G. Marshall (Nephew), Richard Doucette, Noel Francis, Ronald Gould Jr.

War Veterans Memorial

The Mi’kmaw Nation has never forgotten the men and women who served their countries in World War I and II, and in the Korean War and Vietnam War. A ten foot high monument lies on the front lawn of the St. Ann’s Mission Church to honour the war veterans. Since 1985, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month this well deserved monument becomes a gathering place to remember those who lost and risked their lives. The front of the monument reads:

Kulaman Ma’ Wan’ Ta’ Siwkw – Lest We Forget – Membertou War Veterans

1914 – 1918:

William Bernard, Peter Googoo, Frank Herney, William Herney (WWII), Christopher Morris, Noel Paul

1939 – 1945:

William Bernard, Louis Brooks (KIA), Veronica Brassard, Augustus Christmas, Charles Doucette (KIA), Joseph W. Francis, Charles Gould, John Joe, Leo Joe, Richard Matthews, Edward Paul, Lawrence Paul (K), Frank Wightly

Korea 1950 – 1953:

George LaPorte, Ralph Moore, Ronald Paul

Nova Scotia War Veterans 1914 – 1918:

James Bernard, Michael Bradley, Jim Brooks, John Cope, Leo Cope (KIA), Johnny Doyle (KIA), William Duncan, Andrew Francis (WWII), Ben Francis, James Francis (WWII), John Francis, Noel R. Francis, James Gloade, Joseph Gloade (KIA), Sam Gloade, John Johnson, John Julian, Freeman B. Knockwood, John Maloney, Peter Maloney (KIA), John Mc Ewan, Stephen Meuse, Louis Newell, Andrew Paul, Dennis Paul, Joe Paul, Levi Paul, Philip Paul, Michael Perry, Joseph Louis Pictou, Michael Prosper, Joe Sack, Joseph Sapier, Matthew Sapier, David Stevens, Frank Thomas, Louis Thomas, Stephen Toney, Ronald Wilmot, Thomas Wilmot

Nova Scotia War Veterans 1939 – 1945:

Max Basque, William Basque, Andrew Bernard, Ben Bernard, Charles A. Bernard, Frank Bernard, James Bernard, John A. Bernard (K), Michael Bernard, Peter Bernard, Stephen Bernard, William Bernard, William Bernard, James Brooks, Sandy Brooks, Levi Cabot, John Cremo, Thomas Cremo, Frank Dennis, Barney Francis, Charles S. Francis, John Francis, Lawrence Francis, Louis Joe Francis, Peter Franci Tom Francis, James Gloade, Noel B. Gloade, Levi Googoo, Stephen P. Knockwood

The back of the monument reads:

Nova Scotia War Veterans 1939 – 1945 Con’t:

William Googoo, Ernest Howe, Gabriel Joe, Andrew Johnson, Levi Johnson, Alexander Julian, Andrew Julian (K), Edward Julian (K), Joe Julian, Henry Knockwood, Ralph Knockwood, Noel Lewis, Joe Lewis, Alonzo Maloney, Lawrence Maloney, Stephen Maloney, Frank Marble, James Marshall, Stephen Marshall, William Marshall, Fred Martin, Richard Mc Ewan, Solomon Mc Ewan, Joseph Meuse, Noel Michael, Joe P. Nicholas, Charles Paul, Joe Paul, Leo Paul, Noel B. Paul, James Peck, Peter Perro, Clifford Pictou, Jim Pictou, John Pictou, Louis Pictou, Martin Pictou, Richard Poulette, Ron Prosper, Wilfred Prosper, Louis Sack, Fred Sapier, Frank Simon, Steve Simon, John C. Smith, Noel A. Smith, Andrew Stevens, Benedict Stevens, Roderick Stevens, Benjamin Stevens, Isaac Stevens, Bernard Toney, John Toney, John Toney, Lawrence Toney Sr., Leo Toney, Fred Young.

Nova Scotia War Veterans Korea 1950 – 1953:

Russell Brooks, Preston Copage, William Copage (KIA), Frank J. Denny, Abraham Doucette, Arthur Julian, Peter Julian, Noel Knockwood, Alfred Maloney, Pius Marshall, Clarence Meuse (KIA), Wilfred Michael, Francis Paul, Robert Paul, Ben Pictou, Wilfred Prosper, Daniel Stevens, Daniel Stevens

Nova Scotia War Veterans Vietnam 1960 – 1975:

Wilfred Basque, Vincent Bernard (KIA), Joseph (Joey) Francis, Matthew Francis, Wilfred Francis, Allan Knockwood, Leander Paul, Raymond Stevens, John Leonard Toney.

The Sons of Membertou perform traditional and contemporary music. The group was originally formed in 1990 and consisted of fourteen members. They have performed in many events in the maritimes and Canada including the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards in Toronto, the G-Seven Summit in Halifax, and the Annual Treaty Day Celebration in Halifax. In 1996 The Sons of Membertou released a CD called ‘Wapnakik’, which was immediately successful.

Common Surnames in Membertou

The majority of people in Membertou come from either the Christmas family or the Paul family. Other large family groups in Membertou include the Googoo, Marshall, and Bernard families. The following list shows all family names found on the reserve: Christmas, Paul, Marshall, Bernard, Googoo, Kabatay, Joe, Mac Donald, Martin, Isadore, Gould, Herney, Matthews, Moore, Isaac, Doucette, Mc Ewan, Ginnish, La Porte, and Francis.

Memorials

The Citizen of the Year Award is in memory of the late Bradley T. Christmas who died at the age of sixteen years in 1978. Bradley was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Christmas. Every New Year’s Eve the community of Membertou honours Bradley’s memory by awarding an outstanding citizen with the Bradley T. Christmas Citizen of the Year Award, offering the opportunity to remember Bradley ‘s outstanding personality and character.

The Sportsman of the Year Award is given in memory of the late Paul F. Gould who died at age nineteen in 1981. Paul was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Gould. Each New Year’s Eve the community honours Paul’s name by awarding an outstanding sportsman the Paul F. Gould Sportsman of the Year Award, and gives an occasion to remember Paul as a superior athlete and sportsman.

The Wally Bernard Memorial Indian Youth Hockey Tournamentcelebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The community of Membertou and other native reserves throughout the maritimes honour Wallace Bernard by hosting and attending a youth hockey tournament in his name. Wally dedicated his life to the people and athletes of Membertou. He was active as a player and manager for the fastball and hockey teams, and in 1973 he and Joe B. Marshall organized a youth hockey tournament that proved to be both popular and successful. Wally died on December 8, 1989, while working on the Membertou Day Care Centre that was later named for him, but he is still remembered today with respect and affection.

Band Administration

The Chief of the reserve is Terrence J. Paul, who has served the community for many years.

All research for this outline of Membertou collected and compiled courtesy of Paul J. Marshall.

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Millbrook ~ We’kopekwitk ~

Physical Description

Millbrook is 3.56 square kilometers or 1129 acres of land located on the outskirts of Truro, Nova Scotia. The main reserve is Millbrook (906 acres) with three satellite reserves: Cole Harbour (46 acres), Beaver Dam (100 acres), and Sheet Harbour (77 acres). An international airport is located forty minutes by car from Millbrook, and Halifax is 100 kilometers away. Highways 102 and 104 intersect the reserve.

The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq is involved in issues of community development, health, Aboriginal/First Nations culture, forestry, social justice, and the environment. A tribal council with a regional geographic focus, they provide advisory services to six bands in Nova Scotia – Afton, Annapolis Valley, Bear River, Horton, Millbrook, and Pictou Landing – in the areas of economic development, finance, education, research, and housing. The CMM also provides advisory services to the thirteen provincial bands in health, forrestry, adult institutional care, community rights, housing, and interpretors. Visit their web-site at Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq.

The Native Council of Nova Scotia, located in Truro, provides referral services for off reserve Aboriginals, training programs for HRDC, and also provides pre-natal and child services.

Religion at Millbrook

Religion is a fundamental part of the native community and culture. The majority of the residents of Millbrook reserve are Catholic.  Many community events and celebrations are organized around the church.

The first Sacred Heart Church in Millbrook was built in 1919. The second, built in 1986, is quite unique because it is constructed in the shape of a wigwam.

Education and the Community

The main objective of the Millbrook Post Secondary Education Assistance Program is to help eligible band members obtain post secondary education. To be eligible for this program, applicants must be registered members of the Millbrook band and meet post secondary requirements, with priority being given to participants who have resided in Millbrook prior to the date of application. Assistance may be available in the form of tuition, travel assistance, or living expenses, and is provided for three levels of post secondary education:

  • Level I – community college diploma or certificate program
  • Level II – undergraduate programs
  • Level III – advanced or professional degree programs, e.g. Master’s or doctoral programs.

Students are assisted to attend university entrance preparation programs for a maximum of two academic years.

Band Administration and Support

The chief and council make up the main governing body of the Millbrook reserve. The Chief is Robert Gloade.  Councillors are: Colin Bernard, Bryan Brooks, Alexander Cope, Adrian Gloade, Barry Gloade, Peter Gloade, Vernon Gloade, Gordon Johnson, Lloyd Johnson, Ward Markie, Barry Martin Sr. and Chris Nasson.  Sheet Harbour, Cole Harbour, and Beaver Dam reserves are administered by the Millbrook Band Office because of their sizes.  the population as of June, 2017 was 1838.

All research for this outline of Millbrook collected and compiled courtesy of Mary Jane Abram.

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Paq’tnkek

Physical Description – Paq’tnkek

Paq’tnkek is located in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, approximately four kilometres from Exit 23 of the Trans Canada Highway. The reserve is spread out into three parts: the main reserve, divided by the Trans Canada; the second parcel of land in Summerside, where the Church of the St. Anne’s Mission is located; and a third parcel of land situated in Heatherton, bordering Pomquet. The community consists of sixty-six houses, thirteen trailers, two duplex apartment buildings, and a row house made up of six apartment units. As of June, 2017, the population of Paq’tnkek was 574.

Commissions

The Mi’kmaq Fish and Wildlife Commission was implemented in November of 1995, the first Aboriginal Fish and Wildlife Office in Nova Scotia. Its mandate was to settle disputes between Mi’kmaq and non-natives. As well, the Commission does its own studies of fish and wildlife to prevent depletion of any species. For example, the Commission regulates the number of deer and moose that can be taken in one season, and limits the number of traps and the amount of fish caught by native peoples.

Band Administration

From November 27, 2011 – November 26, 2013 the Chief of the reserve is Michael Gerard Julian. The Band Councillors are: David Francis, Trevor Joseph Gould, Anne Marie Paul, Robert Phillip Pictou, and Kerry Gerard Prosper.

All research for this outline of Paq’tnkek collected and compiled courtesy of Stephen Simon. Population statistics from Indian Affairs.

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Waycobah ~ We’koqma’q ~

Physical Description

Stretching along the Bras d’Or Lakes in Nova Scotia is We’koqma’q with a mountainous backdrop known as Skye Mountain. Running through this area is the Trans-Canada Highway #4. We’koqma’q is approximately 50 kilometers north of the Canso Causeway and 150 kilometers south of Sydney. Next door is its sister village Whycocomagh, which means ‘Head of the Waters’. We’koqma’q is made up of 828.5 hectares of land, with 149 homes and a population of 810 – 711 living on-reserve and 99 living off-reserve (as of April 2004). When driving through Waycobah one can often glimpse a bald eagle in the sky overhead, perched on a tree, or even catching fish in the lake.

As you drive through We’koqma’q from the north, Greg’s Fuels (service station) is situated on the right, and a bit further down on the right is an Enviro-Depot for recyclable items. Further along on the left is a Catholic church presided over by Father Dan Mac Lellan (who lives off-reserve). Continuing on your right is the band office which also houses the police station, with the band hall off to the side and satellite dishes directly behind the hall that provide cable service (from Strait Area Cable in Port Hawkesbury) to Waycobah. A new band office and police station are currently under construction.

On the Trans-Canada Highway there is a caution light flashing above the intersection where you take a left turn up to Reservation Road. At the top of a small hill on your left is the We’koqma’q First Nation Elementary School, and further down there is a Fire Hall with red double doors, with a Fitness Centre in the back and a Youth Centre to the left. A new fire hall is also presently under construction. Further down the road, you can see the new police station near completion. The new band hall will also be built in this area, and along with the band administrative offices, the building will also contain a daycare, health clinic, and social services department.

Directly across from the site of the new band office is another street called Subdivision Road which is circular and brings you back onto the main reserve road. Subdivision Dairy is on the right side of Subdivision Road, and further up this road the new water tower is visible. Then on your left is the Mi’kmaq Family Treatment Centre, and as you descend the small hill, you eventually return to Reservation Road.

A right turn will take you back to the Trans-Canada Highway, followed by a left turn which places you at a basket shop called ‘Negemow’, painted in shades of green and yellow. Next to Negemow is the high school, Waycobah First Nation Secondary, for grades 7-12, and beside the school is Rod’s One Stop, housing a gas station and pizza place. A bit further down this road is a bridge overlooking the Skye River which runs out to the Bras d’Or Lakes. A few feet past this is a sign marking the end of We’koqma’q First Nation.

Brief History

We’koqma’q was established in the January 31, 1833, and was originally called Whycocomagh. It was officially declared a band in May of 1958. Before that time, it was under the jurisdiction of the Eskasoni chief and council. It was not until June 24, 1958, that We’koqma’q held its first election for its own chief and council. Presently We’koqma’q holds twenty per cent of Malagawatch along with four other Cape Breton reserves – Eskasoni, Wagmatcook, Chapel Island, and Membertou. The name change from Whycocomagh to Waycobah (and later We’koqma’q) came about as a result of the efforts of Stuart Basque and Angus Michael Googoo who started a petition among reserve residents to change the name of the community (possibly around the late 1980s). The petition was passed by the chief and council and the name change was approved.  As of June, 2017, the population was 1000.

We’koqma’q Chiefs and Councillors

The following list shows the chiefs and councillors of We’koqma’q from the time of its first election in June of 1958:

  • June 24, 1958 – June 24, 1960 – Chief Andrew Phillips, Councillors Joseph N. Phillips, Peter Bernard
  • June 24, 1960 – June 28, 1962 – Chief Joseph Prosper, Councillors William N. Sylliboy, Angus Googoo
  • June 28, 1962 – June 28, 1964 – Chief Charles Bernard, Councillors Gabriel Googoo, Edward Googoo (resigned Dec. 1963)
  • June 28, 1964 – June 29, 1966 – Chief Joseph Prosper, Councillors Noel J. Bernard, Levi J. Googoo
  • June 29, 1966 – June 28, 1968 – Chief Simon Googoo, Councillors William N. Sylliboy, Gabriel Googoo
  • June 28, 1966 – Nov. 1, 1968 – Chief Simon Googoo, Councillors William N. Sylliboy, John Toney
  • Nov. 1, 1968 – Nov. 1, 1970 – Chief Simon Googoo, Councillors William Sylliboy, Joseph Prosper (resigned Sept. 1969)
  • Nov. 1, 1970 – Nov. 1, 1972 – Chief Noel J. Bernard, Councillors Frederick Bernard, Bernard Sylliboy
  • Nov. 1, 1972 – Nov. 1, 1974 – Chief Wayne Googoo, Councillors Noel J. Gould, Ryan J. Gould, Benjamin Sylliboy
  • Nov. 1, 1974 – Nov. 1, 1976 – Chief Wayne Googoo (deceased), Councillors Annie Googoo, Ryan J. Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy
  • Nov. 1, 1976 – Nov. 1, 1978 – Chief Ryan C. Googoo, Councillors Annie Googoo, Roderick Albert Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy
  • Nov. 1, 1978 – Nov. 1, 1980 – Chief Ryan C. Googoo, Councillors Annie Googoo, Roderick Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy, Martin Bernard
  • Nov. 1, 1980 – Nov. 1, 1982 – Chief Ryan C. Googoo, Councillors Annie Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy, Allan Bernard, Roderick Googoo
  • Nov. 1, 1984 – Nov. 1, 1986 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors John Angus Googoo, Ryan Joseph Googoo, Raymond Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy
  • Nov. 1, 1986 – Nov. 1, 1988 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors Allan Bernard, Ryan Joseph Googoo, Jacob Martin Bernard, Benjamin Sylliboy
  • Nov. 1, 1988 – Nov. 1, 1990 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors Allan Bernard, Ryan J. Googoo, Raymond Googoo, Joseph Wayne Morley Googoo, John Noel Prosper
  • Nov. 1, 1990 – Nov. 1, 1992 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors Allan Bernard, Ryan C. Googoo, Raymond Googoo, Ryan J. Googoo, John Noel Prosper
  • Nov. 1, 1992 – Nov. 1, 1994 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors Alexander Michael, Bernie Googoo, Margaret Poulette, John N. Prosper, Ryan J. Googoo
  • Nov. 1, 1994 – Nov. 1, 1996 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors: Alexander Brian Googoo, Edward Googoo, Henry Joseph Googoo, Ryan Joseph Googoo, Alexander Joseph Googoo
  • Nov. 1, 1996 – Oct. 31, 1998 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors: Stuart Basque, Alexander Brian Googoo, Edward Googoo, Henry Joseph Googoo, Marie Josephine Googoo, Alexander J. Michael.
  • Nov. 1, 2000 – Oct. 31, 2002 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors: Jason Bernard, Alexander Brian Googoo, Henry Joseph Googoo, Joe Googoo, Sheldon Googoo, and Anthony Phillips.
  • Nov.1, 2002 – Oct. 2003 – Chief Morley Googoo
  • Feb. 2004 – Oct. 31, 2006 – Chief Alexander “Sandy” Googoo, Councillors: Jacob Martin Bernard, Jason Bernard, Edward Googoo, Ryan Googoo Jr., Joseph Phillips, Henry Googoo, Bernard “Bernie B.” Googoo, and Annie Bernard (Daisley).
  • Nov. 1, 2006 – April 28, 2011- Chief Morley Googoo.
  • Currently councillors are Cyrus John Bernard, Jason Bernard, Bernard Googoo, Joseph (Morley) Googoo, Kenneth Googoo, Robert Andrew Gould, Anthony James Phillips, and Stanford Zachariah Phillips, and Wayne Prosper.  Morley Googoo was chief but a new election had to be held when he was elected Regional-Chief of the AFN for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on April 28, 2011.  At that time Roderick Albert Googoo was elected chief.

The Grand Chief of the Mi’kmaw Nation, Benjamin W. Sylliboy, lives in We’koqma’q.

All research for this outline of We’koqma’q collected and compiled courtesy of Karen Barnard.  Population information for these communities came from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.