Mi’kmaq History Month

October 1st is Treaty Day in Nova Scotia. The day acknowledges and honours the establishment of friendly relationship between the Crown and the Mi’kmaq People. Treaty Day also highlights the significant role treaties play in maintaining peace and friendship between nations. The Crown and the Mi’kmaq People began signing Treaties from the early 18th century.

From 1725 to 1728, the British Crown and the Mi’kmaq People of the Maritime Provinces of Canada signed what became known as the first Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Several other Treaties between the Crown and the Mi’kmaq People followed, including the final Treaty of 1779 that focused primarily on military peace.

Mi’kmaq History Month is a period that is dedicated to increasing public awareness of Mi’kmaq history, culture, heritage, and contributions to Nova Scotia and beyond.

2021 marks the 28th anniversary of the acknowledgement of Mi’kmaq History Month. The observance of Mi’kmaq History Month started in 1993 following a declaration by then Premier of Nova Scotia John Savage and Mi’kmaq Grand Chief, Ben Sylliboy.

The Municipality of the County of Kings acknowledges and appreciates the rich cultural heritage, legacy and contributions of the Mi’kmaq People.

To increase public awareness of Mi’kmaq history, heritage, culture and contributions, the Municipality of the County of Kings conducted a month-long Mi’kmaq history radio vignettes that reached over 36,000 people.

Treaties highlights:
  • Treaty of 1726: This treaty brought an end a three year long war between New England and the Wabanaki. The Wabanaki was a political alliance of the major aboriginal communities living in Atlantic Canada. The alliance was composed of four societies: the Mi'kmaq, the Maliseet, the Passamaquoddy and a loosely-allied group of communities living between the Penobscot and the Kennebec Rivers. This allied group is often called the Abenaki.
  • Treaty of 1749: This treaty reaffirmed the 1726 treaty, but did not in any way modify it. Important to note is that the 1749 Treaty was only signed with the Maliseet and with one Mi'kmaq community.
  • Treaty of 1752: The 1752 treaty reaffirmed the 1726 treaty and also modified it by formalizing a commercial relationship between the British and Mi'kmaq. This provision was outlined in the treaty's fourth article: 'It is agreed that the said Tribe of Indians shall not be hindered from but have free liberty of Hunting and Fishing as usual and that if they shall think a Truck house needful at the River Chibenaccadie (Shubenacadie), or any other place of their resort they shall have the same built and proper merchandise lodged therein to be exchanged for what the Indians shall have to dispose of and that in the mean time the said Indians shall have free liberty to bring for Sale to Halifax or any other Settlement within the Province skins, feathers, fowl, fish or any other thing they shall have to sell where they shall liberty to dispose thereof to the best Advantage.'
  • Treaties of 1778 and 1779: These Treaties were necessitated by disturbances between the Mi'kmaq and the colonists, raising fears that some communities were siding the United Colonies (now United States) against Great Britain.

For more information on the work of the Municipality of the County of Kings to increasing public awareness of Mi’kmaq history and advancing reconciliation, contact the Municipality’s Diversity Specialist, Kenisha Gordon at kgordon@countyofking.ca.