Treaty Day and Mi’kmaq History Month

Official 2021 Mi'kmaq History Month Poster
Official 2021 Mi’kmaq History Month Poster

October 1 is Treaty Day in Mi’kma’ki. 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. 

History

In 1986, Grand Chief of the Mi’kmaq nation, Donald Marshall Sr., invited all Mi’kmaw to “observe October 1, 1986, and every year thereafter as Treaty Day to commemorate the unique and special relationship that exists between the Mi’kmaq and her Majesty.” Since then, on this day, all people in Nova Scotia are invited to remember and reaffirm the treaties signed between Mi’kmaq People and the British Crown. 

Similarly, since 1993, October has been recognized as Mi’kmaq History Month. This is a month to celebrate Mi’kmaq culture and history. Across the provinces there are events that showcase this history.

Mi’kma’ki and the Treaties

CUPE 3912 members work in institutions that are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This land 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. 

The Treaties of Peace and Friendship 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. 

Exploring Treaties and Treaty Relationships

On Treaty Day and throughout Mi’kmaq History Month, take some time to learn about treaties, decolonization, and Mi’kmaq culture and heritage. As educators, we can incorporate this knowledge into our teaching. This year’s theme for Mi’kmaq History Month is “Exploring Treaties and Treaty Relationships.” 

More information on the subject:

We are all treaty people.