October 1 in Nova Scotia marks not only the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month, but also the celebration of Treaty Day. Here in Nova Scotia, Treaty Day celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the 1752 Treaty of Peace and Friendship. In 1986, Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. proclaimed October 1 as Treaty Day to commemorate the key roles of Treaties and the relationship between the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq and the Crown.
Annually, Mi’kmaw communities from across Mi’kma’ki gather in Halifax on October 1 to enjoy various cultural events in celebration of the day. On this day, the Mi’kmaw Nation and the Crown also exchange gifts to acknowledge the unique and important relationship that exists between them. These annual ceremonies reaffirm the historic presence of Mi’kmaw who have occupied this land for thousands of years.
For more than 40 years, Cape Breton University has been committed to working with community leaders from Mi’kmaq communities across Unama’ki to support Indigenous learning, cultural preservation and research excellence.
As our story continues, the Calls to Action put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada are helping to guide our direction. In response to one of the Calls to Action in the Report, Unama’ki College and the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies Office will be closed on Monday, October 1, in observance of Treaty Day. Indigenous students will be exempt from classes to allow them to participate in Treaty Day celebrations being held across the province.