WHAT IS TREATY DAY?
Treaty Day is the day we celebrate the anniversary of signing the 1752 Treaty of Friendship and Peace between the Mi'kmaw Nation and the Crown. This particular Treaty was signed between “Jean Baptiste Cope, Chief Sachem of the Tribe of Mick Mack Indians, Inhabiting the Eastern Coast of Said Province,” and Peregrine Thomas Hopson, Governor of the Province of Nova Scotia.
The 1752 Treaty designated October 1st of each year as "Treaty Day." It is also the day that begins Mi'kmaw History Month.
When the English arrived in Mi'kma'ki, the Mi'kmaq Nation and the Crown signed treaties of peace and friendship in order to live in harmony with each other. Mi’kma’ki is the Mi’kmaq homeland that includes Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, the Gaspe Peninsula and Newfoundland. The 1752 Treaty showed the Crown’s intentions to make peace, provide trading posts, and protect the land and way of life for the Mi’kmaw people.
Each year on Treaty Day, the people of Nova Scotia gather to enjoy various events in celebration of Treaty Day. It’s important to celebrate treaty day as it's a way to work towards reconciliation. The day is a reunion for many Mi’kmaq, as well as a time for non-Indigenous to learn a part of our 13,000-year-old history. It’s a time for government officials and Mi’kmaw leaders to meet and exchange gifts to observe the day.
WHAT IS MI'KMAW HISTORY MONTH?
In 1993, Nova Scotia Premier John Savage and Mi’kmaw Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy declared October as the official month to recognize and celebrate Mi’kmaw culture and heritage.
Mi’kmaq History Month is a time for learning and unlearning. It is a time for the Mi’kmaq to be proud of our traditions and ancestors, who we carry with us today.
Each October, community activities and events, sharing and showcasing Mi’kmaw history, take place across Mi'kma'ki.
LOCAL MI'KMAW HISTORY
Miawpukek (Conne River) is the only federally recognized First Nation reserve in Newfoundland, while Epwikek (Flat Bay) is the only completely self-governed community in Newfoundland. Both are predominately Mi'kmaw communities. Other communities/municipalities in Newfoundland have both Mi'kmaq and non-Indigenous residents.
The governance of the Newfoundland Mi'kmaq falls under Nova Scotia and, more specifically, under the district of Unama'kik (Cape Breton) since this is where almost every Mi'kmaw person from Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) can trace their roots.