Cape Breton University’s Unama’ki College will host more than 70 national and international delegates this September for a unique symposium which brings together Basque and Mi’kmaw peoples to discuss their shared history.
Hereditary Chief and Associate Vice President of Indigenous Affairs and Unama’ki College Stephen Augustine says there are long-standing connections between the two Indigenous groups, which warrants further exploration.
“The geographic area of Unama’ki and its ancient transatlantic connections with the Western seaboard cultures of Europe — including Basque, Irish, Welsh, and Scots — makes Cape Breton University the perfect setting to host a cultural exchange event of this kind,” says Augustine. “The potential impacts and benefits of this gathering for the Mi’kmaq and Basque are important: both in terms of each individual’s sense of community, historical place, and shared sense of survival, and the broader communities learning from each other’s perseverance and cultural reconciliation.”
The conference will explore a wide variety of topics relating to Indigenous peoples’ roots in the North Atlantic and will feature presentations from British paediatrician, geneticist and writer Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer; retired Parks Canada underwater archeologist Dr. Robert Grenier; internationally renowned architect Douglas Cardinal; Curator of North American Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution Dr. Dennis Stanford along with many others.
The conference will take place September 27 and 28, 2018, at the Boardmore Theatre on the Cape Breton University campus. Registration is now open, with early-bird tickets available until July 27, 2018. For more information on conference presenters and agenda, visit www.cbu.ca/atlantiar or phone Alyce Maclean at 902-563-1395.