Mi’kmaq History Month Reading List

Wi’kipatmu’k Mi’kmawey - Honouring of the Mi’kmaw Way

In 1993, October was designated as Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia. Beginning with Treaty Day on October  and lasting all month long, we celebrate and honour the culture and traditions of the Mi’kmaq peoples, and work to build awareness of the contributions and importance of the Mi’kmaq Nation to Nova Scotia and to Canada.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Mi’kmaq History Month and, in this spirit, we are pleased to share with you 25 works by Mi’kmaq authors and artists.

List created by HfxPL_LocalHistory

Alan Syliboy lives in the Millbrook First Nations community, and has an extensive background in the arts. Ranging from textiles and acrylics to music and story telling, Mr. Syliboy draws inspiration from indigenous Mi’kmaq culture and traditions. For more information, please visit www.alansyliboy.ca/.

Chief Theresa Meuse was born and raised in the Bear River First Nation community, and is a First Nations educator and the author of a number of books. In 2007 she, alongside two other women, established the first all-female band council in the Maritimes, and perhaps in Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.danielnpaul.com/TheresaMeuseMi%27kmaqAuthor.html.

Ruth Holmes-Whitehead is a well-known Mi'kmaq historian and ethnographer, who has worked with the Nova Scotia Museum for over 40 years. In 2014 she became the recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia. For more information, please visit https://cch.novascotia.ca/stories/niniskamijinaqik-ancestral-images.

Rita Joe was a renowned Mi'kmaq poet from Cape Breton. A survivor of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, her poems focused on Mi'kmaq culture, as well as on the atrocities that she and others in the community faced, and continue to face. In 1989, Rita Joe was appointed to the Order of Canada, and in 1997 she was awarded the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now called Indspire). For more information, please visit https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/rita-joe/.

Laurie Lacey is a traditional medicine maker and artist, with both Mi'kmaq and Irish ancestry. With an extensive background in Aboriginal medicine, Mr. Lacey now focuses his time on educating others about traditional plant medicines. For more information, please visit http://herbalccha.org/?page_id=229.

Dr. Pamela D. Palmater is a Mi'kmaq citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. A practicing lawyer specializing in Indigenous law, politics, and governance; Dr. Palmater has received many awards and honours for her legal work on behalf of First Nations communities. For more information, please visit http://www.pampalmater.com/.

Dr. Daniel N. Paul is a Mi'kmaq Elder, author, and human rights activist. His acclaimed first book, "We Were Not the Savages," is one of Canada's first history books written from an Indigenous perspective. In 2002, Dr. Paul received the Order of Nova Scotia, and in 2005 he received the Order of Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.danielnpaul.com/.

Isabelle Knockwood is a Mi'kmaq Elder and residential school survivor from Indian Brook Reserve, Nova Scotia. Her master's thesis work focuses on the Canadian Prime Minister's apology to residential school survivors, and its effect on Canada and all Canadians. For more information, please visit http://mikmawarchives.ca/authors/isabelle-knockwood.

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