July – Animal Fur Thickens Time
1 – Kanata Ajipuna’q – Canada Day
1984 – Noel Doucette resigns as president of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians.
1995 – Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy officially opens the 400 meter Mi’kmaw Trail – Mi’kmaw- awti’j – at Louisbourg.
1762 – In his letter of July 2, Jonathan Belcher writes to the Lords of Trade, “If the Proclamation had been issued at large, the Indians might have been incited to have made extravagant and unwarrantable demands, to the disquiet and perplexity of the New Settlements in the Province.”
1997 – Thirteen Mi’kmaw chiefs of Nova Scotia sign the Tripartite Forum Memorandum of Understanding with the federal and provincial governments. The forum is initiated to resolve issues among the three governments.
1991 – The Millbrook band council and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq honour five elders: Bill Paul, Martha Julian, Rachel Marshall, Mary Ann Brooks, and Sandy Julian.
2008 – Miawpukek hosts its 13th Annual Traditional Powwow with MC Mike Doucette from Eskasoni.
1975 – Important archaeological site is found on Ingonish Island. A large site, it was occupied by Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic Indian peoples. Artifacts found date back 7,000 to 9,000 years ago. The site is named Geganisg, a Mi’kmaw word meaning ‘remarkable place’.
1982 – Sister Veronica Matthews celebrates 25 years with the Sisters of St. Martha. She is the daughter of Michael and Agnes Matthews of Eskasoni.
1985 – The Union of Nova Scotia Indians signs agreement with the province of Nova Scotia giving the former control of their own family and children services.
1985 – Minister of Indian & Northern Affairs David Crombie makes a speech in Toronto on the occasion of the reinstatement of Mary Two Axe Early – the first person in Canada to officially regain the status she lost 47 years earlier. Crombie announces, “The Act is a first step toward recognizing in law self-government for Canada’s native peoples.” The Act abolished enfranchisement and recognized the right of Aboriginal communities to control their own membership.
2008 – Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy, Chief Misel Joe, and Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams attend the unveiling of a plaque in honour of Mi’kmaw guide and explorer Sylvester Joe at Miawpukek. Sylvester Joe lived in the Bay d’Espoir region in the first part of the 19th century and his help made the work of the Geological Survey of Canada possible in Newfoundland.
Included in the festivities was recognition of the sacred island site designated specifically for eagle burials. Deceased eagles from all over Newfoundland are brought to Saqamaw Misel Joe for a special ceremony and burial on the island, indicative of the eagle’s importance in Mi’kmaw culture.
1982 – Micmac News reports in its July issue that contestants in a pie eating contest held in Membertou in the 12-14 year age category threw the remainders of their pies at acting judges of the event, Eleanor Ginnish and John Edward Kabatay, after they named Tina Paul the winner!
1998 – Crew of the Spirit Wind leaves Miawpukek – Conne River – Newfoundland to paddle to Potlotek – Chapel Island – Cape Breton in the hope of reaching it by July 26. The journey is later released as a documentary film made by Cathy Martin.
1724 – At a council meeting held this day at the home of Lieutenant Governor John Doucett in the garrison at Annapolis Royal, a motion is carried to execute a Mi’kmaw hostage at random to insure submission among the rest of the Mi’kmaw populace. As a result of this decision, a young Mi’kmaw warrior is later hanged.
1880 – Joseph Snake dies in Prince Edward Island. In 1859 he was appointed Head Chief of the P.E.I. Mi’kmaq by the Queen’s Commission. He was born in 1786 near Murray Harbour.
1993 – John Joe Sark, representing the Grand Council attends a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Working Group on Indigenous Populations. Several interventions on behalf of the Grand Council are made.
1923 – Margaret Pictou LaBillois is born in Eel River Bar, New Brunswick. An Aircraftwoman First Class during WWII, she worked on photographs to help map the Alaska Highway. LaBillois would go on to become the first female chief of a Mi’kmaw reserve in New Brunswick and a staunch promoter of Mi’kmaw language, handicrafts, and culture in Eel River Bar. She was the recipient of the Order of Canada in 1996 and the mother of fourteen children. Margaret passed away April 19, 2013 as she approached her nintieth birthday, both well respected and well loved.
1988 – Powwow ’88 closes in Halifax. Held at Seaview Park, July 6-10, the event attracts over 5,000 visitors.
1969 – First organizational meeting of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians is held, attended by chiefs and councilors. This followed from the original working committee established in May of that year.
1988 Michael Wayne Francis of Pictou Landing dies in a three vehicle accident on the Trans Canada Highway. A gymnasium honouring the Olympic torch bearer would later be opened in his memory.
1994 – Solicitor General of Canada, Herb Grey, Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy, and Nova Scotia Premier John Savage sign a Canada – Nova Scotia – Unama’ki Police Service Agreement to set up the first native police force in Atlantic Canada.
1971 – Charles Labrador elected as first chief of Acadia after it was officially given band status on June 8, 1965.
1896 – Benjamin Edmond Christmas is born in Port Morien, N.S., the son of Chief Joseph and Madeline (neé Richards) Christmas of the King’s Road Reserve. Elected chief in 1919, he helped move the reserve from King’s Road to its current location and changed its name in honour of the first grand chief, Membertou. Married to Jane Denny, Ben learned much about Mi’kmaw prayer and hymns from her father Peter Paul Denny Sr. Christmas was a respected translator and prayer leader until his death in 1966.
The July 1993 edition of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports a new office building constructed on Gottingen Street in Halifax will not be named “Cornwallis Court” as originally planned. Due to the efforts of Daniel N. Paul, the Cornwallis Court sign is removed and with it any homage to the late Lord Edward Cornwallis.
1606 – Marc Lescarbot sees his first Mi’kmaq:
“Having never seen any before, I did admire the first sight, their fair shape and form of visage. One of them did excuse himself for that he had not brought his fair beaver gown, because the weather had been foul.”
1976 – President of the Union of New Brunswick Indians presents a petition to Queen Elizabeth II regarding “illegal abrogation of traditional and Aboriginal lands and rights of the Mi’kmaw and Maliseet people of New Brunswick”. The petition urges the Queen to “redress the injuries perpetrated on the Micmac and Maliseet people.”
1986 – Waltes Tournament is the highlight of the Nova Scotia Indian Summer Games at Cambridge Reserve in the Annapolis Valley.
1752 – Governor Edward Cornwallis and the Council revoke their earlier proclamations of 1749 and 1750 offering a bounty on Mi’kmaq scalps.
1991 – Launch of the newly published book, “Paqtatek – Policy and Consciousness in Mi’kmaq Life” at Pages Bookstore, Charlotte Street, Sydney.
1999 – The canoe Spirit Wind with its Mi’kmaw crew led by Sagamaw Mi’sel Joe arrives in Neil’s Harbour, Cape Breton, after completing a journey from Newfoundland across the Cabot Strait to Nova Scotia. Such a journey had not been made in over a hundred years.
1776 – The Mi’kmaq and the United States government sign a friendship and alliance agreement known as the Watertown Treaty.
1998 – At the Third Annual Watertown Treaty Day Parade, there is a recitation of the poem “Sma’knis” written by the late Will Basque. He is credited with discovery of the Watertown Treaty in the 1970’s and had passed away earlier in 1998 from a heart attack.
2007 – The Bear River Pride Group host a one – day information session.
July 1991 Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports launch of the book, “Metepenagiag – New Brunswick’s Oldest Village” at Red Bank First Nation. The book by Patricia Allen, illustrated by Roger Simon, is a history of Red Bank, where over 100 archaeological sites have been studied, including Oxbow and the Augustine Mound.
1974 – Clearing begins on land intended for the Abenaki Motel near Truro, N.S. This is the first wholly Mi’kmaq owned motel in the Maritimes.
1991 – July issue of the Micmac News reports Bernd Christmas, son of Elizabeth and Stephen Christmas, is the first Mi’kmaw student to graduate from Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School the previous June.
1900 – Grand Chief John Denny makes Peter Paul Denny Sr. an elegeoit of Mi’kmaw prayers and hymns in a ceremony at Chapel Island. The son of Paul and Susan (neé Phillips) Denny of Eskasoni, he was a noted reader of hieroglyphics and taught Father Pacifique. He was the father of Jane Denny, who married Chief Ben Christmas of Membertou, who shared his father-in-law’s interest in the Mi’kmaw language.
1978 – “Poems of Rita Joe” published by Abenaki Press.
1997 – 100th Anniversary of Merrigomish Island Mission. Many residents of Pictou Landing First Nation are descendants of the original Mi’kmaq on Indian Island.
1996 – Chief Noel Doucette of Chapel Island, formerly of Membertou, dies at age 58 in Victoria General Hospital. The son of Noel and Cecelia (neé Christmas) Doucette, he was a prominent figure on the Mi’kmaw political scene in Nova Scotia throughout his life.
1984 – For the first time in 65 years, more than 100 native people walk to the site of the old Fort Folly Reserve in New Brunswick to mark St. Anne’s Day. Fort Folly was finally deserted in the 1930’s. According to legend, gold coins seen on the shores of the Petitcodiac near Fort Folly during low tide were thought to be the last remains of pirate treasure buried in the area.
26- St. Anne’s Day – Se’t A’newimk.
1750 – Father Pierre Maillard settles in Chapel Island, where he made his first sermon eight years earlier. Father Maillard learned the Mi’kmaw language and later devises a written text based on it. Still remembered by the Mi’kmaq, one of the streets in Membertou First Nation was named after him nearly 240 years after his death.
1940 – Alexander Denny is born this day. He would go on to serve as the Kji-Keptin (Grand Captain) of the Grand Council until his death in 2004. His outstanding attributes of leadership, patience, honour, and humour and his activities on behalf of Mi’kmaw sovereignty on an international level have made him one of the most influential figures in the contemporary Mi’kmaw world, where his legacy continues to live on.
1964 – Donald Marshall Sr. is elected grand chief following the death of the former Grand Chief Gabriel Sylliboy, who had passed away the previous May.
1982 – Twins are reunited: the Cremo twins – Margaret and Mary – are reunited at Mission in Afton. Margaret Whitely who had lived in the United States for the past 25 years finally sees her twin sister Mary Sack of Shubenacadie again.
1992 – New Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy is sworn in at ceremonies at Chapel Island during 250th anniversary celebrations.
1997 – John Martin is elected chief of Gesgapegiag, defeating 19 other candidates. This would be the community’s first public swearing in ceremony.
1989 – For the first time, a Catholic Bishop, Colin Campbell, leads Mission at Chapel Island.
2014 – Former chief of Millbrook, Steve Marshall Sr., dies. Described as a community role model and humanitarian Marshall will long be remembered for his support of Aboriginal rights, his compassion toward all, and his gentle humour.
1979 – Bob Rupert reports that Vivian Basque’s (neé Denny) claim that it never rains on Chapel Island during the St. Anne’s Procession on Sunday is true!
1987 – Darrell Googoo of Indian Brook wins a 5-mile race with a time of 28 minutes, 29 seconds in the 10th Annual Indian Summer Games held at Chapel Island. Stephen Marshall comes in second with a time of 29 minutes, 32 seconds, but later places first in the 10 mile run with a time of 62 minutes, 29 seconds.
1989 – For the first time in twenty years, the Union of Nova Scotia Indians executive is brought back for another two year term by acclamation, making it the third consecutive term for President Alex Christmas, VP Mainland Reg Maloney, VP Cape Breton Roderick Googoo, and Secretary/Treasurer Carl Gould.
1992 – Eskasoni ambulance drivers Noel Joe and Marcus Simon rescue an abandoned baby beaver on the Northside East Bay Highway. “Wally” as he is later named will be cared for at the home of Eugene and Sylvia Denny until he can be returned to the wild.
1727 – English forbid any trading between the Mi’kmaq and the French in Acadia.
1991 – Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports that Graydon Nicholas of Tobique is the first Aboriginal person in Atlantic Canada to be appointed to the Bench. He was sworn in as Judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick.
1986 – Former chief of Restigouche, Alphonse Metallic dies at age 58. He rose to national attention in 1981 when he refused to accept provincial jurisdiction over fishing rights. A published linguist with two Mi’kmaw dictionaries to his credit, he was also a member of the National Council of Elders, the Grand Council, Assembly of First Nations, Council of Quebec Indians, Mi’kmaq Association of Cultural Studies, and the Membertou Signtasimegeoeim Advisory Board.
August – Ripening Time
1722 – Richard Philipp, British Governor of Acadia, proclaims it 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 – Captain 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-Aboriginal 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.
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”.
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.
1896 – William Gabriel Paul is born in Mushaboom, N.S. Two of his 14 children would go on to be Chief of Millbrook First Nation – Lawrence Paul – and Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and publisher of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News – Daniel N. Paul.
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!
1972 – Noel Doucette is elected chief of Chapel Island. He would resign March 21, 1973, after it became a paid position.
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.
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 7 people dating back to 1680 were found there.
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.
1970 – Noel Doucette, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, demands compensation for loss of Mi’kmaw lands.
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.
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”.
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.
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 Aboriginal 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 from Millbrook for her years of service to the community in 1991, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1991 – Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. passes away.
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.
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 ruled the February 18, 1992 election invalid, the first time this had happened in Nova Scotia band history.
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.
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.
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.
September – Mate Calling Time
1986 – Fire destroys the Residential School in Shubenacadie.
2009 – Champion of Aboriginal and treaty rights in Nova Scotia, Viola Robinson is named a recipient of the province’s highest award, the Order of Nova Scotia. Robinson received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Dalhousie University and actually graduated with a law degree in 1998. Recipients of the Order of Nova Scotia may use the initals after their names, so she will be ‘Viola Robinson O.N.S.’
1995 – An estimated 5,000 people gather in Tobique, New Brunswick for a two day festival featuring Native North American talent at the Wabanaki Music Festival. Charlen Paul, who attended with her children said they loved having their own native festival…as well as having their own soda pop.
1783 – Ignoring the fact that the Mi’kmaq already own the land, the British government sets aside 10 land grants for the Mi’kmaq under “licenses of occupation” at St. Margaret’s Bay, Sheet Harbour, St. David’s Bay, and along the Stewiacke, Remsheg, Antigonish, Philip, Merigomish, Macan, and Shubenacadie rivers.
1985 – Micmac News reports the graves of Mi’kmaq buried in North Sydney’s Holy Cross Cemetery have long been neglected and are obscured by grass. The paper also publishes the names from twenty grave sites.
2013 – Membertou’s Parents Against Drugs hold their fourth annual walk, accompanied by drumming by Jeff Ward.
2000 – In the month of September, Barbara Johnson is awarded her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Foundations from Dalhousie University. She also becomes the board administrator for the Potlotek Board of Education in that year.
2017 – The biography Daniel Paul: Mi’kmaw Elder by Jon Tattrie is published today. Daniel N. Paul is a noted Mi’kmaw writer, historian, and recipient of both the Order of Nova Scotia and Order of Canada who has worked unflaggingly on behalf of the Mi’kmaq in both the 20th and 21st centuries!
1988 – The Micmac News reports Chegoggin Site in Yarmouth is the second oldest archaeological site in Nova Scotia, proving the southern part of the province had an Indigenous population 4,000 years ago.
2002 – Official opening of the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources in Eskasoni. Its aim is to monitor and protect the sustainability of the Bras d’Or Lakes.
2016 – The Sport and Wellness Centre officially opens in Membertou today. Ground was broken for the 6000 square foot building in 2014 and the 19 million dollar complex was completed two years later. Chief Terry Paul and band councillor Allister “Buster” Matthews are the first community members to skate on the ice rink!
1891 – Apocryphal Tales Department: Narrows Bridge built over Halifax Harbour collapses during a hurricane. The area is believed to be “cursed” according to Mi’kmaw legend. (A young bride was caught with another man and killed there by her husband, a chief). It was prophesied the first bridge would collapse in a hurricane while the second would go down in silence – which it did 18 months after its construction. Marine geologists say in the case of the first bridge, the cribs were not strong enough to support the structure. In 1970 at the Mac Kay Bridge opening, a Mi’kmaw medicine man was asked to remove the curse.
1981 – Daniel N. Paul is appointed Nova Scotia District Superintendent of Lands Revenues & Trust by the Department of Indian Affairs.
1989 – The Wallace Bernard Memorial Centre opens in Membertou.
2001 – Eskasoni celebrates the christening of its new million dollar vessel, the Dr. Granny. The boat is named in honour of Margaret Johnson, who was known by all by the sobriquet “Dr. Granny”. She was in fact awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Francis Xavier University in 1994. Dr. Granny said she was proud and honoured to have the boat named after her and quipped in her usual style, “I wish it could be mine!”.
2017 – St. Francis Xavier University announces the five year, $300,000 John Jerome Paul Chair for Equity in Mathematics Education. The chair will be held by Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden whose work will center on teaching and math achievement for First Nations and African Nova Scotian students.
1970 – Bus service is inaugurated in Bear River for school children and school attendance correspondingly becomes higher.
1983 – Norman John Dennis is born in an ambulance en route from Eskasoni to St. Rita’s Hospital in Sydney.
1988 – Native Council of Nova Scotia releases the third in their series of language books.
1996 – New Brunswick Telegraph Journal carries this quote from lawyer Henry Bear about logging in the province, “This is another chapter in a true New Brunswick story involving relationships between its people and those of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet peoples. Relations between Mi’kmaq and Maliseet peoples and non-Aboriginal peoples have, with some exceptions, been seen as painful and unjust by the Aboriginal peoples. This was because before their very eyes, and even up to the present day, territorial lands have been illegally occupied, converted and wasted, regardless of Mi’kmaq and Maliseet protests and reliance on these same lands for their economic, social, political and cultural survival. Their ongoing protests to various government bodies were made regarding these illegal encroachments by non-Aboriginal squatters and foreign businessmen, but no action to intervene and protect Maliseet and Mi’kmaq interests occurred until recently, even though the government was and is bound to do so under its promises and guarantees contained in King George’s Royal Proclamation of 1763, a document now forming part of the Canadian constitution.”
2006 – Fernwood Publishing brings out its third edition of We Were Not the Savages by Daniel N. Paul.
1749 – Governor Edward Cornwallis builds a fort and says, “If the Indians do begin [hostilities] we ought never to make peace with them [but] root them out entirely.”
1992 – Chief Frank Meuse Jr. of Bear River re-buries 2,000 year old bones given to him by the Nova Scotia Museum for proper interment. Meuse respectfully buried the remains in the Mi’kmaw cemetery in Kejimkujik Park and later was to see a black bear which he took as a sign he had conducted the affair properly.
1971 – Stephen Maloney of Millbrook captures the Maritime Cat & Coon Hunt Association Championship for the second consecutive year.
1969 – Union of Nova Scotia Indians is organized as the representative body for all Aboriginal peoples in Nova Scotia.
1982 – Administration for the Burnt Church School is turned over to Chief Wilbur Dedam signing on behalf of the band in an official opening ceremony.
1984 – Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. has audience with Pope John Paul II in Halifax. Visiting the Isaak Walton Killam Children’s Hospital, the Pope touches Reggie James Poulette of Eskasoni, who was a patient there at the time of the Papal visit.
1993 – The Mi’kmaw Grand Council convenes for the first time since 1902 in Big Cove, New Brunswick. Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy is invited to swear in Chief Vincent Simon.
1808 – In a letter to G. Sproule, William Odell writes, “The result of their [the Mi’kmaq] continued effort was that Eel Ground…[was] reserved for them in 1807; but of the original 20,000 acres only 10,000 remained at this point.”
1994 – The literary efforts of seventeen First Nations women are featured in the book, “Kelusultiek: Original Women’s Voices of Atlantic Canada” launched on this day by the Institute for the Study of Women, Mount Saint Vincent University.
1999 – Supreme Court of Canada releases its decision on the Donald Marshall Jr. eel fishing case appeal of 1997. Five justices – Binnie, Cory, Lamer, Iacobucci, and L’Hereux-Dube overturn decision of the lower courts, dismissing charges against Marshall. Justices Gonthier and McLachlin do not agree. Justice Binnie commented: “In my view the 1760 treaty does affirm the right of the Mi’kmaw people to continue to provide for their own sustenance by taking the products of their hunting, fishing and other gathering activities, and trading for what in 1760 was termed necessaries.”
1611 – Grand Chief Membertou dies in Digby County, Nova Scotia. Though he is over 100 years old, his exact age is unknown.
1980 – New school officially opens in Whycocomagh.
1987 – 88-year-old Kitty Robinson presents David Sanipass, president of the Aroostook band of Mi’kmaq with a property deed for 12 acres in Maine, giving the Mi’kmaq band a land base. Mrs. Robinson asks his permission to be buried on the land.
1991 – Ben Sylliboy is chosen as interim successor to the late Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. Mr. Sylliboy would be elected grand chief the following year.
1943 – The war ship HMCS “Micmac” is blessed in Halifax. A number of Mi’kmaw leaders are present to witness the event and pray and sing in Mi’kmaw, including Chief Joseph Julien and William (Dowie) Paul.
1968 – Lance Corporal Vincent Bernard USMC is killed in action in Vietnam; Will Basque writes the poem “Sma’knis“, dedicated to Bernard.
1779 – Several Mi’kmaw bands in New Brunswick sign the Treaty of 1779 with the British.
2013 – Lt. Governor of Nova Scotia J. J. Grant presents the Community Spirit Award to Chief Gerard Julian of Paqtnkek in honour of progress made by the community. As the Annual Powwow began an eagle flew overhead.
1996 – Kerry Prosper of Afton takes down a moose with a single arrow on Hunter’s Mountain. The shot is made with a 65-lb. pull, recurved bow handmade by Jack Howard.
2017 – The Mi’kmaw Interpretive Centre officially opens at the Fortress of Louisbourg. A year of planning between Parks Canada and the five Mi’kmaw communities in Cape Breton went into creation of the space. Participants in the ceremony included John Sylliboy, Lindsay Marshall, Clifford Paul, Graham Marshall, and Stephen J. Augustine on a hot, sunny day in Louisbourg!
1808 – The Minutes of Council for New Brunswick set aside reserves for Eel Ground, Big Hole, Indian Point, Red Bank, Tabusintac, Burnt Church Point, and Burnt Church River and order that “licenses of occupation be given to the Indians…”.
1982 – Chief Alex Christmas presents a $257,000. cheque on behalf of Indian Affairs and Membertou to the city of Sydney for purchase of 45.6 additional acres of land for the Membertou reserve.
2008 – A letter from the Deputy Minister of Fisheries & Oceans Canada indicates the Canadian Coast Guard does not intend to use the name of Edward Cornwallis on any new vessels, while the ship already named “Cornwallis” will be replaced.
1971 – Linkletter Hotel in Summerside, P.E.I. refuses accommodation to Mr. Cyrus Sark and family.
1989 – Mi’kmaq hold peaceful protest at a proposed gravel mining quarry on the eastern side of Klu’skap’s (Kelly’s) Mountain in Cape Breton. The whole dispute would later be the subject of a book in the Lund Series in the History of Religions called “A Landscape of Left-Overs: Changing Conceptions of Place and Environment Among Mi’kmaq Indians of Eastern Canada” by Anne Christine Hornborg and published in Stockholm in 2001.
1998 – Morley Googoo of Waycobah First Nation begins fourth consecutive term as chief.
2008 – Historic meeting is held in Eskasoni when Premier Rodney Mac Donald and his cabinet travel to Cape Breton to meet the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. Among their discussions is the issue of the Sydney Tar Ponds.
2011 – In a joint news release the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs John Duncan, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Peter Penashue, and interim Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations Band Chief Brendon Sheppard announced that the Qalipu Band in Newfoundland and Labrador had been recognized with standing by the Canadian government under the Indian Act. The Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations Band has more than 20,000 members, with offices in St. George’s, Grand Falls – Windsor, Glenwood, and Corner Brook.
1993 – Nova Scotia Amateur Hockey Association announces it will penalize players who made racist remarks at a hockey game in Oxford with suspensions. The ruling came after a complaint by 14 year old Justin Johnson.
1997 – Elders Pearl Googoo and Caroline Gould are honoured in Waycobah for their years of service to the Friends of St. Anne organization.
2011 – Donald Julien of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq officiates at a ribbon cutting ceremony to open Dalhousie University’s Native Education Counselling Unit on South Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
2016 – Descendants of Joseph and Kate Michael and Noel and Judina Marshall, who vanished during a canoe trip from Eskasoni to Big Pond in 1936, gather to lay the spirits of their ancestors to rest. Retired RCMP officer Joe Michael investigated their disappearance but refrained from disclosing details, choosing instead to focus on a celebration of their lives. A monument in their honour is planned to be unveiled in March 2017.
1983 – Mi’kmaw Tannery, the first commercial smoke tannery, opens in Gander, operated by the Glenwood Band of Newfoundland.
1993 – Representatives of the Mi’kmaq meet with Parks Canada officials at Kejimkujik National Park to discuss designation of rock carvings at the Park. These petroglyphs form one of the largest sites in North America.
2016 – Mi’kmaw lawyer, ethnobotanist, and CBU Indigenous Studies professor Tuma Young is the featured interview on CBC Radio’s Information Morning today. The series showcases the lives of significant Unama’ki leaders.
1971 – September’s Micmac News quotes linguist Paul Proulx as saying “being a Micmac today is like having all the history of North America written in German. The first thing that happens is a sense of alienation and foreignness about your own culture and identity.”
2001 – First Nations Art Gallery opens at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
2016 – As their water crisis continues, Potlotek receives 24 pallets of 4-litre water jugs through the efforts of Eskasoni, Crane Cove Seafoods, and Big 8 Beverages Ltd. In explaining why Eskasoni is helping the other community Chief Leroy Denny says, “The people of Potlotek have always been good to us, especially during the annual St. Anne Mission in late July. Their homes have always been open during mission time.”
October – Animal Fattening Time
1 – Kisaknutmamkewey Na’kwek – Treaty Day
1749 – Governor Cornwallis, in a Council meeting, gives this response to a Mi’kmaw declaration of war: “to declare war formally against the Micmac Indians would be a manner to own them a free and independent people, whereas they ought to be treated as so many Banditti Ruffians, or Rebels”.
1944 – St. Anne’s Mission Church is established in Membertou by funds raised by community members. Chief Ben Christmas spearheads fund drive through his ticket sales.
2000 – Historic plaque ceremony takes place at Kejimkujik to celebrate Mi’kmaw habitation in the area.
2002 – Tripartite Forum ratifies the Smith-Francis Orthography as the official Mi’kmaw writing system.
2007 – Daniel N. Paul is awarded the Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. Memorial Elder Award, presented to him by the grandcChief’s widow, Caroline Marshall, and Premier Rodney Mac Donald. Paul receives the award in recognition and appreciation for his outstanding contribution to the Mi’kmaw community and to Nova Scotia.
2016 – The theme of Mi’kmaq History Month is Wi’kipatmu’k Mi’kmawey – Honouring of the Mi’kmaw Way. The poster this year features the idea of Reconciliation and Resilience.
1749 – Governor Cornwallis issues orders to “annoy, distress, take or destroy the Savage commonly called Micmac”, and offers a reward of 10 guineas for every Mi’kmaw taken or killed.
1998 – New high tech high school is opened in Eskasoni by Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jane Stewart.
2002 – Daniel N. Paul becomes the first Mi’kmaw to be inducted into the Order of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia government’s press release states that Paul is a passionate writer who gives a voice to his people by revealing a past that the standard histories have chosen to ignore, and by bringing new understanding and perspective to the past, he seeks to teach all people what damage racism can do.
1829 – In the Minutes of Council, it is noted Lord Dalhousie wrote to the Legislative Council to figure out a plan “to protect [Mi’kmaw lands] from encroachment and trespass the Indians now complaining that a great part of their land had been settled by intruders, and that others had stripped them of their wood.”
1991 – Official opening of the multi-million dollar resort complex at Kingsclear.
1900 – Mi’kmaw flag is raised for the first time in Restigouche, Quebec.
1971 – John Leonard Toney and Vincent “Frenchy” Bernard begin their duties as police in Eskasoni. They have no car, no office, no supplies, and no weapons.
1986 – Helen Martin retires from the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association after 15 years.
2013 – Dalhousie University awards Daniel N. Paul an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree. Paul gives the Convocation Address which includes this paragraph:
“In 1938, the year I was born a status Indian on Shubenacadie Indian Reserve, we were classified by the British North America Act as Wards of the Canadian Crown, a status that gave us the same legal rights as drunks and insane persons. Resulting from the trust responsibilities for Indians and Indian lands that the BNA Act placed on the Canadian government, it, in 1876, enacted the Indian Act to provide it with the legal means to responsibly administer its constitutional responsibilities. Among the Act’s racist provisions was one that made it illegal for lawyers to work for us without first obtaining permission from the Federal Crown. All federal Indian Affairs programs, including education and health, were begot by politicians and bureaucrats with one goal in mind – solve the Indian Problem, assimilate the Tribes out of existence.”
1985 – The October issue of the Micmac News reports Alan Toney of Cambridge shot a rare 29 point buck in the first week of the hunting season in the Annapolis Valley.
2004 – Donald M. Julien of Millbrook receives the Order of Nova Scotia.
1981 – In October of this year at the request of Pictou Landing Chief Raymond Francis, Daniel N. Paul sets in motion the legal action that would later see the band awarded additional lands and 35 million dollars in compensation for pollution at Boat Harbour.
1763 – King George III’s Royal Proclamation protects Mi’kmaw hunting grounds. It stated the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia would not be “…molested or disturbed…”.
1985 – Fifteen basket ‘peddlers’ take part in an historic train ride through Nova Scotia to commemorate the practice of Mi’kmaq crafts people who rode the trains to sell their wares from door to door. Some of the people taking part were: Victor Christmas, Keith Christmas, Angeline Phillips, Pearl Googoo, Mary Bernard, Rita Smith, William and Alice Googoo, Rita Roadknight and her mother Nancy Christoff, Caroline Gould, Margaret Johnson, Martha Lewis, Mary Rose Gould, and Mary Paul.
2011 – Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Morley Googoo meets with the National Panel on First Nation Elementary & Secondary Education. Googoo holds the AFN portfolio on education.
2016 – Essissoqnikewey Siawa’sik L’nuey Kina’matinewo’kuom School opens in Eskasoni. It is the first fully Mi’kmaw speaking school in Canada, providing its students with a Mi’kmaw language immersion program.
1985 – 97 year old Nancy Christoff of Indian Brook shares traditional Mi’kmaw culture with 5 year old great-grand-daughter Sherry Nevin at Arts & Trade Show in Halifax, October 8-10.
1994 – Lorne Simon, 33, of Big Cove passes away. His first novel “Switches and Stones” would be published later that fall by Theytus Books in British Columbia. Lorne had been awarded the Simon Lucas Scholarship for Achievement in Creative Expression.
2008 – The late Nora Madeline Bernard of Millbrook receives a posthumous Order of Nova Scotia. Founder and president of the Shubenacadie Residential School Association in 1987, she was also instrumental in launching a class action suit on behalf of residential school survivors.
1910 – Father Pacifique blesses the new prayer house at Eskasoni – The Chapel of the Holy Family. Copies of historic documents in Mi’kmaw and English are laid under its cornerstone.
1986 – Attorney General Ron Giffen announces a public judicial inquiry into wrongful conviction of Donald Marshall Jr.
1976 – “Micmac Magazine” radio show goes on air on CHER Radio in Sydney and CIGO in Port Hawkesbury. A half-hour show, it was hosted by Conrad Paul of Sydney.
1977 – There is currently no Mi’kmaw presence at the Fortress of Louisbourg and officials say that if the Mi’kmaq can provide historical documentation, they will consider employing Mi’kmaq as animators.
1999 – Talented Mi’kmaw fiddler and performer Lee Cremo passes away.
1872 – Joseph Julien is born in New Glasgow, N.S. to Noel and Madeline (neé Sylliboy) Julien. He would be a leading figure on the Mi’kmaw religious and political scene until his death at age 85.
1993 – Official opening of the new wigwam shaped church at Indian Island, New Brunswick. The community had been without a church for nearly 37 years.
1972 – First exhibit of the costumes, tools, crafts, and paintings of the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Iroquois, Woods Cree, Plains Cree, Sioux, Blackfoot, Nootka, and Eskimo peoples opens at the Nova Scotia Museum.
The October 1996 issue of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News features photographs by Clayton Paul. One is of Indian Brook resident Norman Brooks, who won a job in a logging camp when he was 15 by cutting down ten more trees than the camp foreman!
1923 – The Sunday Leader reports Charlottetown Mi’kmaw Barney Francis, competing for the Abegweit Amateur Athletic Association made history by “registering a thrilling upset victory at the mile race at the Canadian Track & Field Championships in Halifax”. His time of 4:32:05 upset the previous Maritime record and was to stand until 1938.
1982 – Dalhousie University Arts Centre is the venue for the first Atlantic Indian Arts & Crafts Festival.
2008 – Len Thomah Sr., of Woodstock, New Brunswick, dies today after a long struggle with cancer. He was one of the founding members of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat and will be remembered for his positive energy and attitude.
2011 – Executive Director of the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre in Halifax, Gordon King, retires after 32 years of service.
1989 – Eugene Denny bags first moose under the one-year conservation agreement. The moose weighed 970 pounds and had a 32-point rack.
1998 – The Micmac Native Friendship Centre in Halifax celebrates its 25th anniversary.
1986 – Holland College, P.E.I. graduates nine native constables from the Atlantic Police Academy.
2016 – The Truro campus of the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture officially changes the name of River Road to Sipu Awti during Mi’kmaw History Month. Earlier in the year the Grand Council flag is permanently installed on campus to acknowledge it is situated in traditional Mi’kmaw territory.
1749 – Excerpt from a letter transcribed by Père Maillard from the Mi’kmaq to the government of Nova Scotia: “The place where you are building dwellings, where you are now building a fort, as it were, to enthrone yourself, this land of which you wish to make yourself now absolute master, this land belongs to me. I have come from it as certainly as the grass, it is the very place of my birth and of my dwelling, this land belongs to me. It is God who has given it to me to be my country forever.”
1741 – Governor De Quesnel awards medals and commissions to Mi’kmaw chiefs – helpful allies against the English.
1744 – Massachusetts Governor William Shirley declares war on the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet in response to a request from the Governor of Nova Scotia, Jean Paul Mascarene. A bounty is offered for the scalps of Mi’kmaw and Maliseet men, women, and even children.
1993 – Chief Noel Doucette of Chapel Island is reported in the Chronicle Herald as asking the Nova Scotia Transport Minister to share the cost for a sidewalk after three people are injured in three separate traffic accidents October 16, 17, and 18. Despite speed limits there is a tendency for vehicles to speed along the stretch of highway.
1997 – The Nova Scotia Museum launches its web site “Mi’kmaq Portraits Collection”.
1987 – As of October 20, 1987, after passage of Bill C-31, band membership at Afton rises by 104 members, going from 476 as of December 31, 1986 to 537 by October, 1987.
2001 – Ada Benoit of Miawpukek, Newfoundland, becomes the first Aboriginal person to graduate from the Dalhousie University Nurse Practitioner Program.
1988 – Angry picketers demonstrate outside a Nova Scotia cabinet meeting in Truro to protest violations of Mi’kmaw treaty rights. President and Vice President of the Nova Scotia Native Council, Viola Robinson and Dwight Dorey lead the protest. Mr. Dorey is resplendent in a suit of prison stripes.
2016 – Historic wrong made right: a monument is unveiled on King’s Road in Sydney on the site of the former Kun’tewiktuk reserve whose residents were forced to move to Membertou in the early part of the 20th century. The memorable evening begins with unveiling of the monument near the Medical Arts Building, a candlelight walk from King’s Road to Membertou, and a feast for community members and friends in the Convention Centre. With the acquisition of the property Chief Terry Paul says Membertou has “come full circle”.
2007 – Launch of the book “The Stone Canoe: Two Lost Mi’kmaq Texts” by Elizabeth Paul, Peter Sanger, and Alan Syliboy takes place at Cape Breton University as part of a Maritime tour.
2016 – Aonach /Mawio’mi: Sharing Our Paths conference takes place in Wagmatcook on this day. Intended to promote knowledge sharing between Mi’kmaq and Gaels participants include hereditary chief and dean of Unama’ki College Stephen Augustine, executive director of Gaelic Affairs Lewis Mac Kinnon, Canada Research Chair in Musical Traditions Heather Sparling, treaty education lead with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey Jaime Battiste, Wagmatcook chief Norman Bernard, and CEO of the Gaelic College and former premier of Nova Scotia Rodney Mac Donald.
1971 – The Cape Breton Post notes that Mi’kmaw children are advised not to speak Mi’kmaw in school. With the resurgence of interest in Mi’kmaw culture, a mere 13 years later the language is promoted and taught to children at the Potlotek school. Things can change.
1995 – Josephine Peck from Wagmatcook becomes the recipient of the Stephen Hamilton Outstanding Achievement in Education Award.
2001 – Chief Lawrence Paul and Fisheries Minister Herb Dhaliwal cut the ribbon to officially open Millbrook’s new 1.25 million dollar wharf in Sheet Harbour. It can house up to 10 boats and has ice making capability.
1996 – Rita (Toney) Smith passes away having served as chief of Annapolis-Horton for three terms. She and her husband Abraham were also known for their skill in basketry. Their work is displayed at the Indian Arts Centre, Ottawa.
2011 – Viola Robinson is appointed lead negotiator for the Kwilmu’km Maw-klusuaqn Negotiations Office by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs.
2016 – Membertou band senior advisor Dan Christmas is appointed to the Senate by the Trudeau government. Christmas served with the Union of Nova Scotia Indians for 15 years and is widely recognized for his work in Aboriginal and treaty rights, justice, education, health care, and the environment. An honorary Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University, Christmas is also the recipient of the National Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Award and the Sparks Award from Novaknowledge. Currently chair of the Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative (CEPI), Dan Christmas has given steadfast and meaningful service over the years, including membership on the committee that produced the Ivany Report. He is married to the well-known artist Arlene “Dozay” Christmas.
1993 – Donald Marshall Jr. is formally charged with illegally fishing eels on August 24, of that year.
1999 – Donald Marshall Jr. is quoted in the Globe & Mail, “We belong on this land, we’re going to live on this land, and we’re going to stay on this land.”
1838 – In response to a questionnaire on the number of Mi’kmaq and their living conditions in Cape Breton, Joseph Howe writes: “There are about 130 families in the island – the Micmac tribe – generally degraded – attributed to the loss of their hunting grounds – the aged and helpless are very miserable.”
2001 – Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Robert Nault publishes a piece in the Halifax Herald advising replacement of the Indian Act with a “First Nations Governance Act.”
31 – Skite’kmujuia’timk – Hallowe’en
1872 – Joseph Julien is born in Pictou County. He would later become chief of Membertou in 1911 and chief of Millbrook in 1917. He died February 6, 1957.
November – Frost Month
1 – Nepkik Alasutmelsewujik – Prayers for the Dead – All Saints Day
1993 – Under the authority of the Grand Council, Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy and 13 members of Afton, Membertou, and Shubenacadie participate in a Mi’kmaq Atlantic Salmon Harvest on the Margaree River in Cape Breton. Department of Fisheries and Oceans had offered the Mi’kmaq 1,000 salmon from the Margaree if they would sign communal license agreements. The Mi’kmaq refuse to sign, choosing instead to take no more than 15 salmon because of declining stocks.
1990 – First issue of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News is published this month.
1984 – Charles Blaise Young’s deer kill scores 172 Boone & Crockett Record Club points – an unofficial record. Elders call the animal a ‘swamp buck’ which means he could eat well and easily conceal himself, thus accounting for his large size.
1998 – The Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs declare the planned tree clearing associated with the Sable gas pipeline is an infringement on Aboriginal title and may disturb sacred and archaeologically significant sites.
1993 – Nimbus Publishing launch Daniel N. Paul’s ground-breaking book, “We Were Not the Savages”. Nearly 300 people attend the event including Nova Scotia Premier John Savage, who apparently, was one of the Savages. A review by historian Geoffrey Plank describes the book as “…unique, in chronological scope and the story it tells, covering the last three centuries of Mi’kmaq history in detail. It is also extraordinary in the way it presents a distinctive voice [for] the Mi’kmaq…Prior to the appearance of …this book it was common for historians to downplay or even deny the violence inflicted on the Mi’kmaq…by European and Euro-American colonizers. …it is important to recognize that we have far too few histories written by Native American authors – very few indeed that cover as extensive a time span as this book does.”
1994 – Official opening of the Eskasoni Mi’kmaq Recreation Centre. Elder Dan K. Stevens cuts the ribbon to officially open the rink.
2011 – Shirley Bear and Viola Robinson are inducted into the Order of Canada in recognition of their service to the interests of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
2016 – Pictou Landing officially opens its new band administration building.
1971 – Donald Marshall Jr. is found guilty in the death of Sandy Seale.
1972 – The November issue of the Micmac News reports Clarence Gloade is the lone resident of the Gold River Reserve. He wonders what will become of the reserve if the Nova Scotia Department of Highways goes ahead with its planned highway through Gold River.
1985 – Indian Affairs Minister David Crombie tours Eskasoni and is presented with a list of demands.
1973 – Crane Cove Oyster Farm Ltd., which opened in Eskasoni two years earlier, harvests its first crop.
1925 – Several Mi’kmaw families move from the King’s Road Reserve to Caribou Marsh as a result of a 1915 court order.
1987 – Sod is turned for a new multi-purpose, $500,000 facility at Millbrook.
11 – Sma’knis Na’kwekm – Remembrance Day –
We recall that during World War I, every eligible Mi’kmaw male in Sydney enlisted.
1945 – Leo Cope of Millbrook loses his life on the last day of the Second World War.
1985 – War Memorial is unveiled at Membertou inscribed with 178 names of Mi’kmaw veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
1985 – Dr. Marie Battiste is named Woman of the Year by the Sydney Business & Professional Women’s Club.
1978 – Allison Bernard is elected chief of Eskasoni after an unsuccessful bid in 1976.
2004 – Saint Mary’s University awards Millbrook Chief Lawrence Paul an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law Degree.
1995 – Margaret Pictou LaBillois of Eel River Bar is appointed to the Order of Canada.
1995 – Mi’kmaw Education Authority changes its name to Mi’kmaw Kina’masuti (Mi’kmaw Education).
2000 – Head Chief of New Brunswick, Peter J. Barlow passes away.
2005 – Daniel N. Paul, author of We Were Not the Savages: 21st Century Edition is appointed to the Order of Canada. The introduction statement at the Investment Ceremony states: “Dr. Daniel N. Paul is a powerful and passionate advocate for social justice and the eradication of racial discrimination. As an author, journalist, consultant, and volunteer, he has been an outspoken champion of First Nations communities across Nova Scotia for more than 30 years. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre, and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq have all benefitted from his consensus building skills and commitment to the community. Through his newspaper columns and his book, We Were Not the Savages, he has helped to restore the proud heritage and history of the Mi’kmaw Nation.”
1997 – Ronald Jacques is elected chief of Listuguj, while sons Paul, Rodney, and Roland are elected as councilors.
2005 – Sister Dorothy Moore, originally from Membertou, is officially invested into the Order of Canada.
1794 – Signing of the Jay Treaty by Great Britain and the United States means Mi’kmaq may pass freely between Canada – U.S. border.
1975 – Supreme Court of Canada upholds 1763 Proclamation in Stephen Isaac case.
2001 – Eskasoni High School students choose Elder Wilfred Prosper as Role Model of the Year, exemplifying the Mi’kmaw attributes of wisdom, humility, honesty, patience, truth, and love.
2004 – The largest conference centre in Cape Breton officially opens in Membertou. The Membertou Trade & Convention Centre cost $7.2 million and spans 47,000 square feet in total.
2007 – Former Chief of Eskasoni Allison Bernard Sr. passes away after an extended battle with cancer. A chief for 22 years, Bernard was instrumental in the creation of social and educational programs in the community.
1985 – The Supreme Court of Canada finds in favour of James Simon of Shubenacadie, who appealed his conviction of illegally possessing a rifle and cartridges. He contended the 1752 Treaty exempted him from such prosecution and the Supreme Court concurred.
1996 – Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples is made public after being tabled in the House of Commons.
2001 – Archaeologists and staff of Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq find an 11,000 year old scraper on the Mi’kmawey – Debert site. The scraper would have been used to clean caribou hides.
1752 – Treaty is signed by Jean Baptiste Cope (Chief Copit or “Beaver”), Andrew Hadley Martin, Gabriel Martin, and Francoise Jeremie and His Majesty and subjects and the Governor of Nova Scotia Peregrine Thomas Hopson Esquire.
1991 – Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. receives posthumous Tom Miller Award for Human Rights.
1998 – Charges are laid against 22 Mi’kmaq for logging on Crown Land in Colchester and Hants Counties, Nova Scotia.
1994 – Prosecutor Michael Paré comments to Mr. Justice John D. Embree: “It is probably inevitable however this case resolves itself, that this case will be on its way to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and perhaps, in all likelihood, on its way to the Supreme Court of Canada.” – regarding the trial stemming from the 1993 illegal fishing charges against Donald Marshall Jr.
2007 – A 10 mile walk from Red Bank to Eel Ground takes place in New Brunswick. The walk is organized by Natasha Patles to begin the healing process as the communities recover from the effects of suicide earlier in the year.
25 – 2011 – The book “Aboriginal Sport Heroes: Atlantic Canada” by Jason Peters is launched at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.
2015 – A panel on `Indigenizing the University’ is held at Cape Breton University in light of the recommendations on higher education of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Panel members are Elder Albert Marshall from Eskasoni, CBU Student Support Officer Janice Basque from We’koqma’q, and Dean of Unama’ki College & Aboriginal Learning at CBU Stephen J. Augustine from Elsipogtog.
2007 – Membertou welcomes the Cape Breton Regional Police Service – Membertou Division, a seven man squad which replaces the RCMP who had been a presence on the reserve for the preceding five years.
1982 – Terry Paul and Bernie Francis of Membertou receive awards from the Cape Breton Running Circuit.
1792 – Lt. Governor Macarmick grants Chapel Island to the Mi’kmaq. Chiefs Francis Baske and Michael Tomma receive permission to construct a church there. Baske and Tomma resided in what is now Westmount, Nova Scotia.
Morley Googoo, Mike Downie, and Pearl Achneeponeskum, sister of Chanie Wenjack, make an announcement on creation of the Gord Downie – Chanie Wenjack Fund Legacy Project at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax. Googoo’s idea for a Legacy Room Project calls on Canadian businesses (particularly in the realm of hospitality) to dedicate rooms in honour of Chanie Wenjack who died in 1966 while trying to run away from a residential school in northern Ontario. Downie’s brother Gord, of the musical group The Tragically Hip produced a 10 song album, graphic novel, and animated film based on Chanie’s affecting story.
1851 – News is received today that Chief Michael Dennie, aged 90, had died earlier in November at Crow Harbour, Guysborough.
1992 – The Burnt Church Training Centre is officially opened by Chief Wilbur Dedam and New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna.
December – Winter Month
1979 – Opening of show at Albert White Gallery features wall hangings by Suzanne Swannie based on Mi’kmaw designs executed by Margaret Johnson, Patricia Dennis, Phyllis Denny, Francis Paul, and Marlene Christmas.
1995 – Over 150 Big Cove residents gather at the local school to participate in World Aids Day.
1985 – The first meeting of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq takes place with Chief Rita Smith of Glooscap (Horton), Chief Lawrence Paul of Millbrook, Chief Roderick Francis of Pictou Landing, Chief John Knockwood of Shubenacadie, and founding Executive Director Daniel N. Paul. The organization is officially registered 3 days later on December 5, 1985.
2013 – Mi’kmaw political leader, respected Elder, Grand Council keptin, and former chief of Indian Brook Reg Maloney passes away this evening in hospital. A long time proponent and defender of Mi’kmaw rights Maloney will be remembered for his humour and humility as well as his service to Mi’kma’ki.
1938 – Daniel N. Paul is born in a small log cabin on Indian Brook Reserve. He would go on to become a commissioner of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and the Nova Scotia Police Commission, founder/publisher of the Mi’kmaq-Maliseet Nation News, founding executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, inductee of both the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada, columnist for the Halifax Chronicle Herald, and author of We Were Not the Savages, first edition published in 1993, updated twentieth century edition published in 2000, with another updated edition released in 2006 entitled First Nations History – We Were Not the Savages – Third Edition.
2004 – Much loved and respected former journalist, publisher, entrepreneur, and politician Roy Anslem Gould dies in Membertou, Nova Scotia. Founder of the Micmac News, Native Communications Society of Nova Scotia, Native Friendship Centre (Halifax), and one of the founders of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, Roy was also the youngest chief in Canada when he was elected in 1969, and the first Mi’kmaw in Eastern Canada to be named to the Sydney Board of School Commissioners in 1976. Roy was co-ordinator of the annual Treaty Day observances and past co-ordinator of the Wallace Bernard Memorial Youth Hockey Tournament.
2011 – In a television interview on CBC with Peter Mansbridge, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo says, “I think this is the notion of being gripped as a country to seize a moment, when perhaps, even out of a crisis the likes of which we have just been learning about in Northern Ontario…we will make sure that we stand not only with them…but will also gravitate to those success stories: the education success that the Mi’kmaq have forged out in Atlantic Canada that are achieving graduation rates pushing 80 per cent…”
1752 – Treaty Articles of Peace and Friendship renewed in enclosure in letter of Governor Thomas Hopson to the Earl of Holdernesse.
1917 – “Turtle Grove” a Mi’kmaw community at Tuft’s Cove is destroyed by the Halifax Explosion. The history of Tuft’s Cove remains unknown and the village is never re-built. An oil painting of a Mi’kmaw encampment at Tuft’s Cove, circa 1837, still exists, attributable to William Eager (1796-1839). In 2007 Mi’kmaq gather in Dartmouth on this day to remember those who perished.
1985 – Micmac News reports Dr. Paul Robinson, speaking at a Mi’kmaq Association of Cultural Studies Conference, says Mi’kmaq should realize their language is being replaced by English.
1985 – Simon Denny rescues Junior Johnson, who had fallen through the ice at Eskasoni.
1976 – “No Trespassing” sign erected at 3:15 p.m. at entrance to Membertou is removed 45 minutes later. Discriminatory nature of sign is cited as reason for its removal.
1987 – Premier Brian Peckford of Newfoundland is quoted in the St. John’s Evening Telegram, “The Micmac people were no more Aboriginal to the island of Newfoundland than were the Peckfords, who came here in 1791.” This attitude led to many problems with recognition of Mi’kmaw land claims on the part of the provincial government.
1991 – Noel Raymond Knockwood receives a Meritorious Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights at Province House, Halifax.
1992 – The late Chief Richard McEwan is honoured at the 25th Anniversary Dinner of the Human Rights Commission held at the World Trade and Convention Centre. Daughter Judy McEwan accepts a certificate on behalf of the family. McEwan was chief of Bear River First Nation from 1963 – 1975 and died in 1991 at age 83. He compiled a Mi’kmaw dictionary and published “Memories of a Micmac Life” in 1987.
2007 – The Bear River community Christmas dinner is held at the Cultural Centre. Chief Theresa Meuse and councillors Holly Meuse and Lorraine Melanson entertain celebrants with a carol sung a capella.
1997 – Danny Christmas of Membertou receives the Tom Miller Human Rights Award at City Hall in Sydney.
1976 – Fire destroys St. Anne’s Church at Chapel Island.
1989 – Chapel Island band enters funding arrangement with the Government of Canada. Days later a $51,000. pumper is purchased to enhance the reserve’s fire fighting capability. Fire Chief Lindsay Marshall says the converted Ford F450 1.5 ton truck can pump 3,000 gallons of water per minute.
1991 – Judge Graydon Nicholas receives the 1991 Human Rights Award from the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission. Nicholas grew up in Tobique.
1999 – Horton hosts its Elders Christmas Tea and honours past chiefs Louis Peters/ Bear River, Michael Francis/ Annapolis Valley Band, Rita Smith/ Horton, and Joseph Peters/Horton.
1999 – Seymour Doucette of Eskasoni represents Canada at the World Bench Press Championships in Vaasa, Finland. The Mi’kmaw flag is raised among the flags of other participating nations.
1853 -The Petition of Francis Paul, Gorman Paul, Louis Paul, and other Mi’kmaq to Queen Victoria says, “The woods have been cut down; the moose and the caribou, the beaver and the bear, and all other animals, have in most places nearly disappeared. The streams no longer yield their former supplies of fish. So that it is now utterly impossible for us to Obtain a livelihood in the way our creator trained us.”
1985 – The film, “Our Lives in Our Hands” produced by Harald Prins and Karen Carter premieres in New York at the Kaufmann Theatre. The film shows traditional basket making among the Aroostook County Mi’kmaq.
1995 – William Julian “Checker” Bernard, age 81, dies in Eskasoni. He was the last surviving WW II veteran in Eskasoni and served for 64 years as Chief of Police for the Grand Council at the St. Anne Mission, Chapel Island.
1725 – Agreement is signed in Boston ending 3 years of war between Massachusetts, North Hampshire, Nova Scotia, and the Abenaki, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Mi’kmaq.
1964 – A final Christmas party is held for students of the school at Membertou reserve. In 1965, students would move to the non-Aboriginal schools in Sydney.
2015 – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission releases its final, 4,000+ page report on this day. Justice Murray Sinclair says “Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships. There are no shortcuts.” The TRC’s logo shows seven flames in a circle, each representing one of the Seven Sacred Teachings: Truth, Humility, Honesty, Wisdom, Respect, Courage, and Love.
1971 – The December issue of the Micmac News reports the jackpot at the Eskasoni Parish Bingo is $460. and rising!
1986 – Nova Scotia Aboriginal Affairs Minister Edmund Morris says the province will oppose Mi’kmaw sovereignty, comparing the Mi’kmaq to Separatists in Quebec.
2008 – Keptin Walter Daniel Denny of Eskasoni passes away at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital on the anniversary of his mother Clara (Gould) Denny’s death. His father was Keptin Levi R. Denny.
1995 – Halifax District School Board passes a motion to implement the first Aboriginal, Black, and Visible Ethnocultural Anti-Racism Policy in Nova Scotia.
1985 – Micmac News celebrates its 15th Anniversary at a party for past and present employees.
1878 – Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper features a drawing rendered by H.A. Ogden depicting the presentation of Mi’kmaw men to the Marquis of Lorne in the Council Chamber of the Provincial Building in Halifax, November 26, 1878.
1955 – Mrs. Sally Sark of Pictou Landing, upon returning from a selling trip in Amherst, loses her footpath in a blinding snowstorm and perishes. Known as “Old Sally”, Mrs. Sack was 101 years old. When asked about her health Old Sally said, “I am an old tree. I withstood the storms almost 100 winters, but my eyes are a little dim and my hands are becoming lazy, and if God calls me, I will go like a wind.”
25 – Nipialasutmamk – Christmas Day.
1975 – Boston Globe reports the 250 year old remains of an Aboriginal child currently on display at the Phillips Academy’s Peabody Museum will be buried in a Waponoag graveyard. This was largely due to the lobbying of Mi’kmaw Gill Gallant who said, “Speaking as an Indian for Indian people, we’re not extinct and we don’t like being treated as though we were.”
2004 – Kji Keptin Alexander Denny passes away. Grand Captain since 1968, he was a founding member of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, National Indian Brotherhood, and recipient of the Tom Longboat Award, to list but a few of his accomplishments. A proponent of Mi’kmaw language and culture throughout his life, he leaves behind a significant legacy for his people and a sense of loss for the many who knew and loved him.
26 – Poqtamkiaq Pestie’wa’taqatimk – Boxing Day.
1824 – The Halifax Journal reports that Chief Andrew Meuse of Bear River had journeyed to England to request a land grant from the British government so his family and friends could farm in Nova Scotia.
1976 – Mr. Andrew Francis, 83, dies on this day at the North Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Pugwash. The son of Andrew and Adelaide (Ogden) Francis he served overseas in both the First and Second World Wars. Mr. Francis was predeceased by his wife, the former Madeline Pictou and both his daughters, Christina and Kathleen.
1978 – Peter Wilmot dies at age 106. He is estimated to have killed over 300 moose in his lifetime, the last when he was 98. He also served as chief at Pictou Landing.
1784 – Cape Breton is a separate colony. Mi’kmaq on the island give assistance to the settlers to help them through the cold winter months.
1993 – Native women’s rights activist Helen Martin passes away on New Year’s Eve. Mrs. Martin, aged 71, was the daughter of Chief Ben Christmas and Jane (Denny) Christmas. Mrs. Martin served as the first president of the Native Women’s Association of Nova Scotia, and Vice President of the National Native Women’s Association. A ribbon cutting the following month at the Millbrook Family Treatment Centre was dedicated to her memory.
Micmac News 1970-1991
Mi’kmaq Maliseet Nations News 1992 – 2016.
Mi’kmaq Past and Present: A Resource Guide N.S. Dept. of Education
Guide to Bill C-31: An Explanation of the 1985 Amendments to the Indian Act Native Women’s Association of Canada, 1986.
Nova Scotia Virtual Archives Mi’kmaq Photo Collection On-Line
Dictionary of Canadian Biography On-Line, Vol.1 produced by University of Toronto & Laval University, 2000.
Campbell, G.G. (ed.) “Ensign Prenties’ Narrative of Shipwreck at Margaree Harbour, 1780” in Castaway in Cape Breton. Ron Caplan (Ed.). Wreck Cove, NS: Breton Books, 2001. pp.1-79.
Species at Risk Calendar Based on the Mi’kmaw Lunar Cycle produced by Environment Canada, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Parks Canada Agency, & Indian & Northern Affairs Canada, 2007
Mac Leod, Heather. Past Nature: Public Accounts of Nova Scotia’s Landscape, 1600-1900 St. Mary’s University Ph.D. Thesis, 1995.
Mac Millan, Leslie Jane. Mi’kmawey Mawio’mi: Changing Roles of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council from the Early Seventeenth Century to the Present” 1996 Dalhousie University M.A. Thesis.
Mansbridge “One on One”, CBC Television; Interview with AFN Grand Chief Shawn Atleo, Dec. 5, 2011; courtesy of S. Inglis.
Mi’kmaq Association of Cultural Studies. Micmac Hymnal 1984.
New Brunswick Telegraph Journal Saint John, New Brunswick September 10, 1996.
Bartlett, Richard H. Indian Reserves in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. Studies in Aboriginal Rights No.9, University of Saskatchewan Law Centre, 1986
National Archives of Canada, RG10, v.459, pp.356-365; RG10 v.2911, file 185-723-9A.
Newton, Pamela. The Cape Breton Book of Days. 1984 Sydney: University College of Cape Breton Press.
Nova Scotia Executive Council Minutes Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management, RG1, v.188, pp.114-117.
Paul, Daniel M. We Were Not the Savages: 21st Century Edition. 2000 Halifax: Fernwood Publishing; and personal correspondence, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014.
Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management, RG1, v.430, Doc.176; .
Paul-Martin, Patsy. Mi’kmaq Months of the Year. From a series of posters produced for the Millbrook Literacy Center by Eastern Woodlands Publishing.
Prosper, Kerry, J. McMillan, A. Davis & M. Moffitt “Returning to Netukulimk: Mi’kmaq Cultural & Spiritual Connections with Resource Stewardship & Self-Governance” in The International Indigenous Policy Journal, V.2, Issue 4, 2011. (Reference is from CO127/213.ff.8-25, 19 PANS m/f 13, 1932 in Allen, 2000, p.111)
Reid, Jennifer. No Man’s Land: British and Mi’kmaq in 18th and 19th Century Acadia. 1994 Ph.D. Thesis, University of Ottawa.
Ricker, Darlene A. L’sitkuk: The Story of the Bear River Mi’kmaw Community. 1997, Lockport, N.S.: Roseway Publishing Co. Ltd.
Whitehead, Ruth Holmes Micmac Quillwork. Halifax: The Nova Scotia Museum, 1982.
Wicken, William. Mi’kmaq Treaties on Trial. 2002 Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
We have striven to be as accurate as possible in the dates provided. Please contact the Mi’kmaq Resource Centre if you feel there has been an error or omission. Any suggestions are most welcome.