May – Frog Croaking Time

1 –
1604 – French explorer Samuel de Champlain reaches the coastal waters off Nova Scotia. In the months that follow he will visit Mi’kmaq along the coast thus cementing a relationship that will last until 1761.

1978 – For the second year, Margaret Johnson captures the Craftwoman of the Year Award at the General Assembly of the Micmac Arts & Crafts Society.

2010 – Former chief of Membertou (1967-69) and veteran of the Second World War and Korea, Lawrence Paul passes away at age 84. Active in Mi’kmaw politics, Paul is particularly remembered for his tireless fight against alcohol abuse. Paul was instrumental in setting up the Native Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselling Association of Nova Scotia. He received an honorary doctorate from University College of Cape Breton in 1995.

2011 – Atlantic Canada’s Business Magazine names Millbrook Chief Lawrence Paul one of the area’s Top 50 Chief Executive Officers.

2012 – Kji-keptin Alexander Denny L’nui’sultimkeweyo’kuom, the L’nu Language Lab of Cape Breton University’s Unama’ki College is officially opened in a ceremony at CBU and streamed live over the Internet. A video honouring the late Alex Denny is shown, featuring Joe B. Marshall, Albert Marshall, Eleanor Bernard, Andrew Denny, and Patrick Johnson.

2020 – The 277th Annual St. Anne Mission in Potlotek is cancelled by the Mi’kmaw Grand Council in response to concerns regarding the possible deleterious effects of Covid-19.

2 –
1997 – The Mi’kmaw community of Pictou Landing opens its band-operated school, the motto of which is “Pride in Heritage; Success in Education.” Grade One student, Frankie Denny, and Elder, Mrs. Mary Bernard, officiate at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

3 –
1987 – Cameron Paul has high score at 2nd Membertou Handicap Bowling Tournament with 130 points.

1991 – At a Powwow held at Indian Brook, George Paul urges those present to remember Mi’kmaw traditions and keep the old ways alive. The weekend features chanting and drumming.

4 –
1762 – Belcher Proclamation gives protection to Mi’kmaw treaty rights.

1995 – Mildred Milliea of Elsipogtog is appointed to the Order of Canada.

5 –
1985 – Kitty Gallagher receives honorary degree from St. Francis Xavier University in recognition of her 50 year teaching career at King’s Road and Membertou reserves.

1999 – Singer/actor Tom Jackson kicks off his Dream Catcher Tour ’99 with a 3 hour concert in the gym in the community of Millbrook.

2008 – Zachary Croft, son of Noel Croft & Jill Wolfe performs an Honour Song for staff and students of the Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy as part of Music Day.

2017 – The National Arts Centre Orchestra under Alexander Shelley performs I Lost My Talk, a multi-media presentation based on the poem by Rita Joe at the Dan K. Stevens Memorial arena in Eskasoni. Many of the attendees expressed their great pride in the performance. Noted Mi’kmaw singer Kalolin Johnson sings We Shall Remain (It Wasn’t Taken Away) and hearts almost visibly swell on this stellar day! AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde is among luminaries at this event.

6 –
1982 – Austria recognizes Sante’ Mawio’mi as a sovereign power.

2003 – Donald Marshall Jr. undergoes lung transplant surgery in Toronto.

7 –
1974 – Mrs. Theresa Moore is the first Mi’kmaw to be elected president of the Catholic Women’s League at St. Anthony Daniel Parish in Sydney.

8 –
1820 – Indian Brook reserve is established.

1991 – Mi’kmaw skeletal remains that languished in the Archaeology Department of Memorial University for 32 years are returned to the Mi’kmaq in P.E.I. on this date for interment. The remains were originally found in Blooming Point, P.E.I, August 12, 1959.

1998 – Mount Saint Vincent University confers Honorary Doctorate of Humanities upon Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe.

2019 – The book titled Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice by L. Jane Mc Millan is launched at Cape Breton University and later in the community of Membertou on this day. “Junior’s Jane” is resplendent in a beautiful beaded necklace depicting the iconic Donald Marshall Jr.

9 –
May 2002 issue of the Mi’kmaq Maliseet Nations News reports Noel Knockwood has received the 2002 National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Knockwood was given the award for his work in re-establishing and encouraging Mi’kmaw spirituality in the Maritimes. He was also the first Mi’kmaw Sergeant -at- Arms of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 2000.

10 –
1986 – Former chief of Restigouche, Tony Dedam, graduates from the University of Southern California with a Master of Public Affairs degree at age 42. He served as chief from 1976-1980.

11 –
1978 – Joe B. Marshall sets up symbolic tollbooth near Eskasoni to protest failure of provincial government to make needed highway improvements. He is later charged.

1992 – At Convocation Exercises at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Eleanor Johnson of Eskasoni receives her master’s degree. Her work, “Mi’kmaq” is the first thesis written entirely in the Mi’kmaw language.

12 –
1988 – Josephine Peck of Wagmatcook is the first graduate of the Mi’kmaq Bachelor of Social Work program during Convocation Exercises at Dalhousie University.

1997 – Former Big Cove Chief Albert Levi receives honorary doctorate from Mount Allison University. He served as chief from 1967-1993, and was instrumental in the formation of the Union of New Brunswick Indians. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984.

13 –
1969 – First planning meeting of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians takes place in Amherst. From this a working committee was formed which would meet in July of that year.

1971 – Acadia band gains official status. Prior to that the five reserves comprising it were represented by a spokesperson.

1979 – John Joseph Sark becomes the first Mi’kmaw in P.E.I. to graduate from the University of Prince Edward Island. He obtained a B.A. in Political Science.

14 –
1756 – Governor Charles Lawrence of Nova Scotia authorizes his officers to “annoy, distress, take and destroy the Indians inhabiting the different parts of this Province, wherever they are found; and all such as may be aiding or assisting them”. According to noted Mi’kmaw historian Daniel N. Paul, author of the book We Were Not the Savages, this document has never been rescinded by Great Britain or Canada.

15 –
1999 – Listuguj holds a special ceremony to mark completion of the translation of the New Testament into Mi’kmaw.

16 –
May 1991 issue of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports a Mi’kmaw curriculum being developed by the Nova Scotia Department of Advanced Education will focus on stories based on the Paul family of Indian Brook. Featuring William Paul, 99, his daughters Jane and Mary, and granddaughter Violet Lewis, the series will cover 100 years of Mi’kmaw life in Nova Scotia. Mr. Paul raised 14 children in the Mi’kmaw community.

2017 – The book Visioning a Mi’kmaw Humanities – Indigenizing the Academyedited by Marie Battiste is officially launched at Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University. Several contributors are on hand to read from their work including Stephen J. Augustine, Nancy Peters, Lisa Lunney Borden, and Jaime Battiste.

17 –
1988 – Yarmouth band hall completely destroyed by fire (Acadia band).

2001 – Chief Mise’l Joe is appointed to the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board.

18 –
1986 – The first mass is celebrated at stylized wigwam design church, Sacred Heart, at Millbrook, Nova Scotia.

19 –
1982 – The May issue of the Micmac News reports there are no funds available to build a breakwater to protect the burial grounds at Malagawatch.

20 –
1991 – The Aroostook Micmac Basket & Basketry Tools Exhibit opens. Featured artisans include Eldon Hanning, Harold Lafford, Donald & Mary Sanipass, with basketry tools made by David Sanipass and Wilfred Sanipass.

2002 – Mi’kmaw and Acadian representatives attend the eight day “Festival Nouvelle France” in France. Featured are three documentaries telling the story of the Mi’kmaq in early Atlantic Canadian history.

2013 – Keptin Stephen J. Augustine of the Mi’kmaw Grand Council and Principal of Unama’ki College, CBU, is the keynote speaker at a conference in Navarre of the Basque Country on `The Universe of the First Nations – The Relationships with the Basques’.

21 –
1506 – Christopher Columbus dies.

22 –
2008 – Millbrook hosts the grand re-opening of the Millbrook RCMP Detachment.

23 –
1991 – Great-grandmother Rose Knockwood Morris of Gold River graduates from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Social Work.

24 –
1984 – Mary Rose Julian of Eskasoni is awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medal for Highest Academic Standing during graduation exercises at the University of New Brunswick. Delores Sock of Big Cove, B.Ed., receives the Governor General’s Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Education. The two Indigenous students are awarded the only education medals given by UNB that year.

25 –
2001 – Roderick Marshall of the Mi’kmaw community of Millbrook receives Bachelor of Law degree from University of British Columbia.

26 –
1992 – Listuguj holds founding meeting of the Overseers Tribal Council. Gary Metallic is appointed spokesperson.

1993 – Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe is awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree during Convocation at Dalhousie University, Halifax.

1996 – Indian Affairs and Northern Development announces plan to spend $1.3 million to upgrade water and sewer systems in five Indigenous communities – Red Bank, Millbrook, Burnt Church, Afton, and Wagmatcook. Residents are relieved they will no longer have to control their output!

2009 – Mi’kmaw educator Thomas Leo Battiste dies after a battle with cancer at age 65. He received his master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Development in 1975.

27 –
1870 – Minutes of the Executive Council note “a grant of land [be given] to the Indians of Conne River, Bay d’Espoir; – The Council concurred in the propriety of the application and referred the matter to the hon:Surveyor General with the view of carrying its object into effect.”

1944 – Indian agent at Eskasoni, J. A. Mac Lean, writes in a letter to the Director of Indian Affairs, “approximately 75 per cent of the Micmac in Nova Scotia were opposed to centralization”.

28 –
1925 – Donald Marshall Sr. is born on the King’s Road Reserve in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

1971 – Incident that took the life of Sandy Seale and sent Donald Marshall Jr. to prison for eleven years takes place in Wentworth Park, Sydney.

1992 – A traditional sweat lodge ceremony led by George Paul is held at Pont de Roche to commemorate unveiling of a plaque dedicated to five Mi’kmaq whose remains were finally laid to rest after spending over 30 years at Memorial University. Nine people participate in the event including two RCMP officers.

1998 – Exhibition of photographs of twelve Mi’kmaw artisans by Nancy Ackerman is officially opened by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

2008 – Eskasoni holds its second open forum on governance in the Eskasoni Cultural Centre featuring presentations by Joe B. Marshall, Viola Robinson, and Herb George.

2013 – Former chief of Millbrook, Lawrence Paul, dies. Paul was elected for 14 consecutive two-year terms and was Co- Chair of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs, but he will best be remembered as the driving force behind economic development in his community.

29 –
1975 – The Union of Nova Scotia Indians, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, and the Nova Scotia Department of Education sponsor symposium at Dalhousie University on the topic of race discrimination in school textbooks.

1992 – The Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs – Mi’kmaq Education Authority officially sign the framework agreement on education. Thirteen chiefs and Tom Sidden, Minister of Indian Affairs & Northern Development, sign the agreement in Eskasoni.

1999 – Kiana Mae Forsyth, granddaughter of the late Annie Mae Pictou Aquash, wins “Best Overall” in the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Children’s Parade. Eighteen month old Kiana of Indian Brook wore a white dress and rode in a modified birch bark canoe!

30 –
1986 – Native Council of Nova Scotia President Viola Robinson attacks federal Conservatives for “perpetuating policies of apartheid and ‘bantuism’ in Canada” at the opening of the 12th Annual General Assembly.

31 –
1978 – Alex Christmas is returned as chief of Membertou.

Return to Book of Days for the Mi’kmaw Year