October 1 is Treaty Day in Mi’kma’ki. Since 1986, on this day, all citizens of Nova Scotia are invited to remember and reaffirm the treaties signed between Mi’kmaq People and the British Crown. The purpose of Treaty Day is to promote the public awareness of Mi’kmaq history and culture for all Nova Scotians, and to recognize the continued importance of these treaties. As such, since 1993, October is recognized as Mi’kmaq History Month. This is a month to recognize and celebrate Mi’kmaq culture, and to educate ourselves on Mi’kmaq history. Across the provinces there are events that showcase this history.
For Treaty Day, we acknowledge that our members work in institutions that are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the Treaties of Peace and Friendship, which Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, and Passamaquoddy Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1726, and were reaffirmed in subsequent treaties. These treaties did not deal with the surrender of land and resources, but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik title, and established rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.
You can read these treaties here:
The ongoing validity of these treaties means that we are all Treaty people. As educators, CUPE 3912 members have particular opportunities to include treaty recognition and education, and Mi’kmaq culture and knowledge in our work. There is a growing list of resources on diversifying our classroom practices on our website, and look for upcoming workshops on diversity and inclusion. Take some time to learn about treaties, decolonization, and Mi’kmaq culture and heritage this month, and to reflect on how this can be incorporated into our teaching.
For more information on Mi’kmaq History Month: https://mikmaqhistorymonth.ca
To learn more about Treaty Day visit: https://www.unsm.org/treaty-day