Written and created by the Mawita’jik Planning Committee
Mawita’jik, held on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, marks the beginning of the summer solstice. Many Indigenous people have celebrated their culture and heritage on this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. In 2020, the event was offered online as we all worked to keep our communities safe. Instead of hosting a multi-day gathering, we present here, a sampling of some of the drumming, dancing, and storytelling performances that would have been showcased at the Mawita’jik celebration for you to enjoy.
Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Nova Scotia Communities Culture & Heritage, Halifax Regional Municipality and Halifax Public Libraries have worked together to offer this unique virtual celebration in 2020, and hope you continue to enjoy in years to come.
Indigenous Day Flag Raising & Proclamation
We are very thankful to Mayor Mike Savage for starting off the celebration with the Indigenous Day Flag Raising (2020) in Grand Parade Square in Halifax and reading the official Halifax Regional Municipality Proclamation of Indigenous Day. Deb Eisan, Chair of the Mawita’jik Planning Committee & Elder, shared the Opening Prayer.
Welcome to Mawita’jik 2020
Pam Glode, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre offers a welcoming statement, followed by co-hosts Garrett Gloade, Culture Protocol Coordinator of Millbrook First Nation; and Cheryl Copage-Gehue, Indigenous Community Advisor for HRM.
Kepmite'tmnej, Mi'kmaw Honour Song
Honour Song can be sung by one voice or with many around the big drum. Raymond Sewell has provided us with his version of the Mi’kmaq Honour Song. Raymond is a musician from the Mi’kmaq community of Pabineau, New-Brunswick.
Downie Wenjack Legacy Space Virtual Tour
The opening of the Mawita’jik 2020 was filmed on location in the Downie Wenjack Legacy Space. Halifax Regional Municipality is the only city in Canada to have a Legacy Space located in their city hall. Please take this opportunity to join us on a virtual tour of the HRM’s Legacy Space.
Men’s Traditional Dance
Shared by Lydon Levi, Elsipogtog First Nation.
Old Style Fancy Dance & Demo
Shared by Kyanna Kingbird, Head Mi’kmaw Woman.
Traditional Drumming & Fancy & Jingle Dance Demonstration
Shared by Iron Tide, Drum Group, Millbrook, NS; and Teyah Milliea, Fancy Dancer; Patience Sylliboy, Jingle Dancer.
Aunt Sheila’s Mi’kmaw Indian Tacos
It wouldn’t be a Mawita’jik without having an Indian Taco. If you ever attended an Indigenous gathering, you would have seen the line up for the famous Aunt Sheila’s Mi’kmaw Indian Tacos. Sheila Nevin is from Sipekne’katik First Nation and has utilized her family secret recipes to make this a must have, staple dish at local powwows and events.
Song & Storytelling - Indigenous
By Fawn Wood & Dallas Waskahat
Comedy & Storytelling - Indigenous
By Tonia Jo Hall
Inuit Throat Singing
Francis Palliser-Nicholas (Rigolet, Nunatsiavut) and Dora Takatak (Sanikiluaq, Nunavut) have created this video to share with us snap shots of Inuit Throat Singing.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls
The Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre has created a beautiful dream catcher to remember our stolen sisters. Here is a video about the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls project on display at the MNFC in Kjiputkuk.
Mothers of Nokomis: Women’s Drum Group
The all women’s drum group is based out of the Mi’kmaw Friendship Centre and the Mi’kmaq Child Development Centre in Kjipuktuk. They drum and sing to send their prayers and support to all our Indigenous women.
As we opened this event with a prayer, it is our tradition to close our cultural events with a prayer as well. Elder Debbie Eisan of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre will lead us in the closing prayer.
Happy Indigenous Peoples Day
*All videos were prerecorded and created by the artist & amateur videographers.