October 1 is Treaty Day and marks the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia. Throughout the year, and especially in October, teachers incorporate a variety of educational activities in their classroom instruction to highlight the connection of our past to today and how this information shapes our understanding of our shared history. In addition, schools organize activities to enhance Treaty Education.
Treaty Day and Mi’kmaq History Month is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own understanding of the important history, culture, contributions, achievements and traditions of the Mi’kmaq community. The theme of Mi’kmaq History Month 2020 is Sqaliaqnn Tel-nenmumkl aqq Tel-we’wmumkl - Plant Knowledge and Use.
The following is an excerpt from the provincial Mi’kmaq History Month 2020 poster:
As Mi’kmaq, we have always recognized the important role that plants play in our culture and livelihood. From harvesting plants for nourishment and healing to the gathering of plants to make art and for use in ceremony, plants are and have always been, an essential resource for the Mi’kmaq. This year’s poster draws on this knowledge and highlights the significance of plants, not just as a source of food but as an integral part of Netukulimk – our way of life. Combining ancestral practices with a contemporary point of view, the poster features the four sacred colours and the four sacred plants as the primary motive. The use of traditional knowledge, along with scientific knowledge, helps to improve our understanding of the health and habitats of key plant species and allows us to better protect ecosystems across Mi’kma’ki.
In honour of Mi’kmaq History Month, schools will also 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 support schools.
In the spirit of peace, friendship and 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 2020.
We are all Treaty People.
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.