This Month in History
Wikumkewikús - Moose Calling Time
From the middle of September the Mi'kmaq fished and gathered shellfish. Then they moved to the tributaries of the larger rivers to take eel.
1 - 2003 - Jasen Benwah, local Mi'kmaw researcher, begins local (The Georgian Newspaper) column aimed at bringing awareness to the history, culture and fight of the local Mi'kmaq people.
2 - 1986 - Fire destroys the Residential School in
3 - 1995 - An estimated 5,000 people gather in Tobique, New
Brunswick for a two day festival featuring Native North American talent at the
Wabanaki Music Festival. Charlen Paul, who attended with her children said they
loved having their own native festival...as well as having their own soda
4 - 1985 - Micmac News reports the graves of Mi'kmaq buried in North
Sydney's Holy Cross Cemetery have long been neglected and are obscured by grass.
The paper also publishes the names from twenty grave sites.
5 - 1840 - Julien Chiasson, son of Phillipe Chiasson and Henriette Cormier is born. He was baptized Sept 7, 1840 in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia.
2000 - In
the month of September, Barbara Johnson is awarded her Doctorate of Philosophy
in Educational Foundations from Dalhousie University. She also became the Board
Administrator for the Potlotek Board of Education in that year.
6 - 1988 - The Micmac News reports Chegoggin Site in Yarmouth is the second oldest
archaeological site in Nova Scotia, proving the southern part of the province
had an indigenous population 4,000 years ago.
7 - 1868 - Valentine (Tiny) Young, son of Henri Lejeune and Susan Duffenias is baptised at about age 13.
7 - 1891 - Apocryphal Tales
Department: Narrows Bridge built over Halifax Harbour collapses during a
hurricane. The area is believed to be "cursed" according to Mi'kmaq legend. (A
young bride was caught with another man and killed there by her husband, a
chief). It was prophesied the first bridge would collapse in a hurricane while
the second would go down in silence - which it did 18 months after its
construction. Marine geologists say in the case of the first bridge, the cribs
were not strong enough to support the structure. In 1970 at the Mac Kay Bridge
opening, a Mi'kmaw medicine man was asked to remove the curse.
Wallace Bernard Memorial Centre opens in Membertou.
2001 - Eskasoni
celebrates the christening of its new million dollar vessel, The Dr. Granny. The
boat is named in honour of Margaret Johnson, who was awarded an honorary
doctorate from St. Francis Xavier University in 1994. Dr. Granny said she was
proud and honoured to have the boat named after her and quipped in her usual
style, "I wish it could be mine!".
8 - 1970 - Bus service is inaugurated
in Bear River for school children and school attendance correspondingly becomes
9 - 1983 - Norman John Dennis is born in an ambulance en route
from Eskasoni to St. Rita's Hospital in Sydney.
10 - 1988 - Native
Council of Nova Scotia releases the third in their series of language
11 - 1749 - Governor Edward Cornwallis builds a fort and says, "If
the Indians do begin [hostilities] we ought never to make peace with them [but]
root them out entirely."
1992 - Chief Frank Meuse Jr. of Bear River
re-buries 2,000 year old bones given to him by the Nova Scotia Museum for proper
interment. Meuse respectfully buried the remains in the Mi'kmaq cemetery in
Kejimkujik Park and later was to see a black bear which he took as a sign he had
conducted the affair properly.
12 - 1971 - Stephen Maloney of Millbrook
captures the Maritime Cat & Coon Hunt Association Championship for the
second consecutive year.
13 - 1969 - Union of Nova Scotia Indians is
organized as the representative body for all Aboriginal people in Nova
1982 - Administration for the Burnt Church School is turned over
to Chief Wilbur Dedam signing on behalf of the band in an official opening
14 - 1911 - Millicent (Eunice) Chaisson, daughter of Lawrence and Josephine, is born.
14 - 1984 - Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. has audience with
Pope John Paul II in Halifax. Visiting the Isaak Walton Killam Children's
Hospital, the Pope touches Reggie James Poulette of Eskasoni, who was a patient
there at the time of the Papal visit.
15 - 1993 - The Mi'kmaq Grand
Council convenes for the first time since 1902 in Big Cove, New Brunswick. Grand
Chief Ben Sylliboy is invited to swear in Chief Vincent Simon.
15 - 2005 - Benoit First Nation is registered with the Provice of Newfoundland and
Labrador as an official legal entity as a regional Mi'kmaw Band. It follows in the
footsteps of the Cape St George Indian Band that existed in the early 1970s under
Chief Adolph Benoit.
16 - 1808
- In a letter to G. Sproule, William Odell writes, "The result of their [the
Mi'kmaq] continued effort was that Eel Ground[was] reserved for them in 1807;
but of the original 20,000 acres only 10,000 remained at this
1994 - The literary efforts of seventeen First Nations women are
featured in the book, "Kelusultiek: Original Women's Voices of Atlantic Canada"
launched on this day by the Institute for the Study of Women, Mount Saint
17 - 1999 - Supreme Court of Canada releases its
decision on the Donald Marshall Jr. eel fishing case appeal of 1997. Five
justices - Binnie, Cory, Lamer, Iacobucci, and L'Hereux-Dube overturn decision
of the lower courts, dismissing charges against Marshall. Justices Gonthier and
McLachlin do not agree. Justice Binnie commented: "In my view the 1760 treaty
does affirm the right of the Mi'kmaq people to continue to provide for their own
sustenance by taking the products of their hunting, fishing and other gathering
activities, and trading for what in 1760 was termed necessaries."
18 - 1611 - Grand Chief Membertou dies in Digby County, Nova Scotia. Though he is
over 100 years old, his exact age is unknown.
1980 - New school
officially opens in Whycocomagh.
18 - 1987 - 88-year-old Kitty Robinson
presents David Sanipass, president of the Aroostook band of Mi'kmaq with a
property deed for 12 acres in Maine, giving the Mi'kmaq band a land base. Mrs.
Robinson asks his permission to be buried on the land.
19 - 1991 - Ben
Sylliboy is chosen as interim successor to the late Grand Chief Donald Marshall
Sr. Mr. Sylliboy would be elected Grand Chief the following year.
1943 - The war ship HMCS "Micmac" is blessed in Halifax. A number of Mi'kmaq
leaders are present to witness this event and pray and sing in Mi'kmaq,
including Chief Joseph Julien and William (Dowie) Paul.
21 - 1968 - Lance Corporal Vincent Bernard USMC is killed in action in Vietnam; Will Basque writes
the poem "Sma'knis", dedicated to Bernard.
22 - 1876 - Edmond Jesso, son of Peter Jesso and Elizabeth Barry is born
1901 - Edmond Jesso and Mary Jane Young are married in Port au Port, NL.
1996 - Kerry Prosper of Afton First Nation takes down a moose with a single
arrow on Hunter's Mountain. The shot is made with a 65-lb. pull, recurved bow
handmade by Jack Howard.
24 - Luc Benoit married Helene LeBlanc, born June 13, 1813 at St. Michael's Parish,
Margaree , daughter of Germain LeBlanc and Madeleine Cormier, on this day in 1832
at Margaree, Cap e Breton. Luc was one of five. He also had two maybe three
sisters. Luc, his brother Paul and George along with the widow of their brother
Isaac, who had drowned on July 31,1832 at Margaree, Cape Breton,
immigrated to Bay St. George, Newfoundland circa 1850.
1808 - The Minutes of Council for New
Brunswick set aside reserves for Eel Ground, Big Hole, Indian Point, Red Bank,
Tabusintac, Burnt Church Point, and Burnt Church River and order that "licenses
of occupation be given to the Indians".
1982 - Chief Alex Christmas
presents a $257,000. cheque on behalf of Indian Affairs and Membertou to the
city of Sydney for purchase of 45.6 additional acres of land for the Membertou
25 - 1971 - Linkletter Hotel in Summerside, P.E.I. refuses
accommodation to Mr. Cyrus Sark and family.
1989 - Mi'kmaq hold peaceful
protest at a proposed gravel mining quarry on the eastern side of Klu'skap's
(Kelly's) Mountain in Cape Breton. The whole dispute would later be the subject
of a book in the Lund Series in the History of Religions called "A Landscape of
Left-Overs: Changing Conceptions of Place and Environment Among Mi'kmaq Indians
of Eastern Canada" by Anne Christine Hornborg and published in Stockholm in
1998 - Morley Googoo of Waycobah First Nation begins fourth
consecutive term as chief.
27 - 1903 - John Alfred Benoit, son of Jean Edward (Johnny-Mic) Benoit and Emily Ann Poirier is born in (Luc's Point) Marche's Point, NL.
27 - 1993 - Nova Scotia Amateur
Hockey Association announces it will penalize players who made racist remarks at
a hockey game in Oxford with suspensions. The ruling came after a complaint by
14 year old Justin Johnson.
28 - 1913 - First mission held at St. Ann's Church, Conne River, NL. by two redemptorist Missionaries, Rev, Daniel Holland and Rev. Jos. McCandlisk.
- 1997 - Elders Pearl Googoo and Caroline
Gould are honoured in Waycobah for their years of service to the Friends of St.
29 - 1983 - Mi'kmaw Tannery, the first commercial
smoke tannery, opens in Gander, operated by the Glenwood Band of
1993 - Representatives of the Mi'kmaq meet with Parks
Canada officials at Kejimkujik National Park to discuss designation of rock
carvings at the Park. These petroglyphs form one of the largest sites in North
30 -1971 - September's Micmac News quotes linguist Paul Proulx
as saying "…being a Micmac today is like having all the history of North America
written in German. The first thing that happens is a sense of alienation and
foreignness about your own culture and identity."
2001 - First Nations
Art Gallery opens at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Mi'kmaq Resource Centre Book of Days for the Mi'kmaq Year
Micmac News 1970-1991
Micmac Maliseet Nations News 1992 - 2002
Mi'kmaq Past and Present: A Resource Guide N.S. Dept. of Education
Nova Scotia Virtual Archives Mi'kmaq Photo Collection On-Line
Mac Leod, Heather. Past Nature: Public Accounts of Nova Scotia's Landscape, 1600-1900
1995 St. Mary's University Ph.D. Thesis.
Mi'kmaq Association of Cultural Studies. Micmac Hymnal 1984.
Newton, Pamela. The Cape Breton Book of Days 1984 Sydney: University College of Cape Breton Press.
Paul, Daniel M. We Were Not the Savages: 21st Century Edition 2000 Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.
Paul-Martin, Patsy. Mi'kmaq Months of the Year From a series of posters produced for the Millbrook Literacy Center by Eastern Woodlands Publishing.
Reid, Jennifer. No Man's Land: British and Mi'kmaq in 18th and 19th Century Acadia
1994 Ph.D. Thesis University of Ottawa.
Ricker, Darlene A. L'sitkuk: the Story of the Bear River Mi'kmaw Community 1997
Lockport, N.S.: Roseway Publishing Co. Ltd.
Wicken, William. Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial 2002 Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
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Copyright webpage © 2002 Jasen Sylvester Benwah