Each October, and throughout the year, school communities focus on the history, culture and achievements of the Mi’kmaq community. This is also an opportune time for each of us to reflect on our own understanding of the contributions and traditions of the Mi’kmaq community. The theme of Mi’kmaq History Month 2019 is L’nui’sultinej – Let’s Speak Mi’kmaw.
The following is an excerpt from the provincial Mi’kmaq History Month 2019 poster:
Language is at the heart of Mi’kmaw culture and knowledge. In this International Year of Indigenous Languages, we celebrate our ancestors who have preserved and protected our language over many generations. Speakers say that our language is based on actions or ‘doing.’ Rather than saying what something is, more often in Mi’kmaw a word says what something does. The language is also flexible since there are many ways to express oneself. Because of this, the context of who, why, where and when someone speaks is very important. The language contains a great deal of humour and imagery. Words and phrases are rich in teachings and worldviews, and are often anchored in the landscapes and seascapes of Mi’kma’ki.
Throughout the year, and especially in October, teachers in the Strait Region incorporate a variety of educational approaches and activities in their classroom instruction in an effort to highlight the connection of our past to today and how this information shapes our understanding. Schools organize a number of activities to enhance classroom instruction including student research and discussion, visitations, performances, guest speakers, sharing of artifacts, to name a few. In addition, in honour of Mi’kmaq History Month, schools will fly the Mi’kmaw Flag, play the Mi’kmaw honour song and the Mi’kmaw version of O Canada, and share facts regarding the Mi’kmaw during their daily morning announcements. In addition, Miranda Gould, Coordinator of Mi’kmaw Education Services for the Strait Regional Centre for Education, is available to visit schools to share a Mi’kmaq cultural workshop.
In the spirit of reconciliation, the Strait Regional Centre for Education encourages students, staff, parents/guardians, families and community partners to share in the celebration of Mi’kmaq History Month 2019.
There are a number of valuable educational on-line resources included below that will provide information and insight into the contributions of people of Mi'kmaq heritage in Nova Scotia, Canada and the world.