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 2018 is World War I Mi’kmaw Veterans.
The following is an excerpt from the provincial Mi’kmaq History Month 2018 poster:
This year we commemorate our sma’knisk, Mi’kmaw warriors and soldiers from World War I. During this 100th anniversary year, we remember those who fought for Mi’kma’ki, the homeland of the Mi’kmaq. Some returned home, others made the ultimate sacrifice for their families and communities.
More than 200 Mi’kmaw sma’knisk from across Atlantic Canada enlisted to serve – at least 89 were from Nova Scotia. Many sma’knisk drew on their hunting skills and wilderness experiences, acting as guides, snipers and scouts. Coming from isolated communities where Mi’kmaw was the first language, sma’knisk overcame language barriers and cultural differences during their service.
We celebrate, honour and thank Mi’kmaw sma’knisk – for their courage and dedication that protected generations to come.
Throughout the year, and especially in October, teachers in the Strait Region incorporate a variety of educational approaches and thought-provoking 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 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 and community partners to share in the celebration of Mi’kmaq History Month 2018.
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.