January – Frost Fish Runs

1 – Puna’ne’wimk – New Year’s Day
1801 – During this year lands are reserved for the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia by the colonial government.

1976 – Roy Gould named to Sydney Board of School Commissioners, the first Mi’kmaw in Eastern Canada to be offered such a post.

2002 – Daniel N. Paul is listed in Canada’s Who’s Who for his lifelong efforts and achievements in promoting human rights. It is his firm belief that we must diligently strive to accord all peoples human dignity and respect.

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2006 – Millbrook Chief Lawrence Paul is named Newsmaker of the Year by the Truro Daily News because of his successful economic development activities on behalf of his community.

3 –
1908 – Richard Mac Ewan is born in the community of Bear River. He would go on to serve six terms as chief, three of them by acclamation.

4 –
1998 – Seven year old Peter William Levi of Lennox Island, P.E.I., watches himself in his role as “Wowkwis” in the first episode of the television series “Emily of New Moon”.

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6 – Elekewia’timk aqq kaqiaq pestie’wa’taqatimk – Old Christmas
1945 – Acting Director of Indian Affairs’ welfare program writes in a letter to the member of Parliament for Antigonish – Guysborough, “…for many years the problem of how to administer the affairs of the small group of Indians in Nova Scotia has been a matter of serious concern and in order to place it on the soundest possible basis a partial consolidation of the Reserves and the gradual centralization of the Indian population has been decided upon.” This plan will have far reaching effects upon the Mi’kmaq of the province.

7 –
1973 – Musician Lee Cremo is invited to play his fiddle in Nashville, Tennessee.

2013 – Former Curator of Ethnology for Eastern Maritimes at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and current member of the Sante’ Mawi’omi, Stephen J. Augustine of Elsipogtog, assumes the role of Principal at Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University.

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1760 – According to the Nova Scotia Executive Council Minutes, “Roger Morris, with four of his Friends, having presented themselves to His Excellency and the Council, with Overtures of Peace, and represented that a considerable number of the Tribes of the Mickmack Indians, to which they belong, are assembled along the Coast not far from this Place, with the like Intentions, it was Resolved that they should be permitted to return to their Tribes with an Assurance that they may repair here with the utmost Safety, and that they will be amicably received, and further Treated with for Establishing firm and lasting Peace”.

10 –
1732 – The British in Nova Scotia hold a Council meeting at which plans are made for further surveying of Mi’kmaw lands in the province for the purpose of making land grants.

1979 – Official opening of the day school in Eskasoni.

1991 – The Mi’kmaq Maliseet Nations News is founded by publisher Daniel N. Paul, who became its publisher and editorial writer.

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1974 – Union of Nova Scotia Indians launches its campaign for Mi’kmaw rights and land claims; each chief was to bring the resolution back to his community.

2001 – Premier John Hamm, Chief Lawrence Paul, and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Robert Nault cut ribbon to officially open Millbrook’s “Power Centre” in Truro, Nova Scotia.

2016 – On this night the first class of the course “Learning from Knowledge Keepers of Mi’kma’ki” is offered for free online by Cape Breton University. The 12 week course is facilitated by Dean Stephen J. Augustine of Unama’ki College, CBU, with invited guest speakers from throughout Mi’kma’ki. The first class is seen by 12,500 people in over 20 countries!

12 –
1989 – Principal of Wagmatcookewey School, Murdena Marshall, takes Grades 5 and 6 ice fishing in the company of community Elders as they are taught a lesson in the Mi’kmaw language.

1998 – Queen of Prayer Annie Cremo (neé Denny) of Eskasoni is laid to rest and given full honours by the Sante’ Mawio’mi.

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1992 – In his presentation to the Assembly of First Nations Circle on the Constitution, Eskasoni Chief Leonard Paul says, “There should be no compromise of the humanistic values of trust, honesty, integrity, justice, honour, pride, and respect. And it is critical that these values are incorporated in the Canadian Constitution and that the notwithstanding clause be abolished from the Constitution if it purports to compromise Aboriginal self-government.”

2016 – “Gentle Warrior,” a song created by students of Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, is performed at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for the Rita Joe Project. The nationwide competition involved writing a song based on the late Mi’kmaw poet’s iconic work “I Lost My Talk.” Featured singer is Kalolin Johnson with rapper Devon Paul and powwow singer Thunder Herney.

15 –
1973 – First reading of a bill in the House of Commons, lowering the voting age to 18 in elections for reserve chiefs and councilors.

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1991 – Assembly of First Nations Chief Leonard Tomah of Woodstock First Nation addresses members of the European Parliament to explain issues confronting Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

17 –
1831 – In his letter to Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland, Rev. George Morris says: “Since my return to Rawdon having their [the Mi’kmaq] destitute condition before my eyes and having been requested by their Chief Benjamin Paul or as he is named in his Commission Louis Benjamin Pominout to express their wants and wishes in a Petition to his Excellency I consented to do so with the hope that should his Excellency be enabled to grant relief sufficient to meet the expence of their care some person might be found in Halifax who would undertake to provide them with clothing. Perhaps provisions might be more cheaply procured in the Country and rather than the Indians should fail of relief in this point also. I would become responsible for the due appropriation of whatever sum his Excellency may think proper to devote to this purpose. I speak with reference to the Indians in Rawdon only. The Chief tells me he is disabled by a lameness from being the Bearer of his Petition.”

2011 – Viola Robinson is appointed Chair of the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council by Premier Darrell Dexter.

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2016 – Seven Mi’kmaq including Pauline Doucette of Eskasoni are enrolled in a commercial and residential electrician program sponsored by the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO). After completing the course participants become first year apprentices.

19 –
2016 – Heritage Day Flag unveiled today was inspired by the designs of five students, one of whom is Lyric Gould of Eskasoni. The following month the Mi’kmaq Maliseet Nations News features a beautiful photograph of Lyric, her illustration, and the flag itself.

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1913 – In his letter to the Assistant Deputy & Secretary of Indian Affairs, Inspector C.G. Parker writes: “I have the honour to report on matters in connection with Sydney reserve, Cape Breton County, N.S. The question of removing these Indians was first raised by Mr. Gillies in Sept. 1899. The Indians at that time consented to a surrender on condition that a new reserve be provided for them on Kings road not less than 5 acres. At that time the form of surrender seems to have been submitted for the consent of all the Indians of Cape Breton. The question of the ownership of the reserve seems to be an open one. The land was originally set aside by the Province of Nova Scotia as an Indian reserve in 1882. At that time it was used as a common camping ground for Indians coming into Sydney selling their wares. It does not seem to have been the property of any particular band. I presume, however, that in the event of these Indians who are at present resident on the land consenting to a surrender, such surrender would be sufficient. If, however, the land is to be still considered the property of all the Indians on the island then negotiations would have to be taken up with the Indians of Inverness, Victoria, Cape Breton, and Richmond Counties. Since the first attempt to remove them, several efforts have been made to gain their consent to a surrender, all of which have proved of no avail.”

21 –
1926 – Benjamin Pictou, James Pictou, Stephen J. Fraser, and Joseph Paul of Annapolis sign a land surrender of 572 acres in the New Liverpool Road Reserve, Nova Scotia.

2008 – Former chief of Pictou Landing, Raymond Francis, dies on this day. Chief of the reserve in the 1970s and 80s, Francis started the movement to resolve the problems resulting from pollution in the Boat Harbour area.

22 –
1991 – Work begins in Bear River on a tapestry featuring the history of the Annapolis Valley over a 400-year period. Local Mi’kmaq are asked to make the first of the nine planned panels because “They were here first,” director of the Fort Anne Historic Park said.

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1841 – Grand Chief Pausauhmigh Pemmeenauweet writes to Queen Victoria asking for help for his starving people.

1843 – Joseph Howe tells the House of Assembly that 100 pounds will be set aside each year for the Indians in Nova Scotia primarily to purchase blankets and coats for them.

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1850 – Census has many categories, “M” or “F,” “deaf,” “dumb,” “blind,” “idiotic,” “lunatic,” “coloured,” and “Indian.”

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1989 – Official launch in Truro, N.S. of the video “Ktapehagn Kaqui-Theik – The Song Says It All,” featuring Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe. Produced by the Mi’kmaq Association for Cultural Studies, the video is the first of a planned eleven-part series.

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1868 – In his letter to H. L. Langevin, Secretary of State, Samuel Fairbanks of the Crown Lands Office writes: “I may remark in the first instance as to the Indian Lands, that they consist of Lots situate in different parts of the Province…they were from time to time Reserved by Orders in Council, and subsequently by Revised Statutes…Upon entering upon my duties as Commissioner I found these Lands had been greatly neglected – the lines were not fully defined trespass committed upon them, and numerous Squatters had taken possession built upon and improved portions of them – Most of these Evils have been checked – and amongst other Legal Enactments authority was given to confirm the titles of the Intruders upon payment of a reasonable Consideration – the benefits to be invested for the benefit of the Indians under the Control of the Governor in Council.”

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1839 – The Guardian newspaper reports: “The spirit of revenge is still smothering in their [the Mi’kmaq] bosoms and although they make their canoes, and their snowshoes, and their baskets…and are indebted to the inhabitants in whose neighbourhood they live for the sale of them it is only the lack of opportunity, or the settled conviction that their hostility is unavailing, which prevents that spirit from breaking forth in all fury or its wonted cruelty.”

1987 – Simon Denny receives prestigious M. G. Griffiths Plaque presented by the Royal Life Saving Society at the Lieutenant Governor’s residence in Halifax for a rescue he made in December of 1985.

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1833 – We’koqma’q is established. Originally called Whycocomagh, it would not officially be declared a band until May of 1958.

2018 – A statue honouring Edward Cornwallis is removed from a park in Halifax after council voted 12-4 the day before to place the bronze figure in storage. The original cost of the statue was $20,000 in 1931, paid for by the Canadian National Railway, Nova Scotia, and Halifax; the removal cost is estimated at $25,000, 87 years later. During deliberations Halifax council members felt the statue was a barrier to reconciliation between the municipality and Mi’kmaw people. It was reported that an eagle soared overhead as the statue of Cornwallis was taken down.

Return to Book of Days for the Mi’kmaw Year