This Month in History

September


- Wikumkewikús - Moose Calling Time

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 Shubenacadie.

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 pop.

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 - 2015 - NL Native Women's Group, Bay St. George Cultural Circle and Local Mi'kmaq Elders hold an event at Shoal Point to bring attention to the leaking oil wells and to sing healing songs and chants for the waters being poisoned by the leakage

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.

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.

1989 - 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 higher.

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 books.

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 Scotia.

1982 - Administration for the Burnt Church School is turned over to Chief Wilbur Dedam signing on behalf of the band in an official opening ceremony.

14 - 1911 - Millicent (Eunice) Chaisson, daughter of Lawrence and Josephine, is born in Degrau, NL.

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.

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 point."

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 Vincent University.

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.

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.

20 - 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 in Sheaves Cove, NL

1901 - Edmond Jesso and Mary Jane Young are married at Cape St. George and recorded in Port au Port, NL.

23 - 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 - Mi'kmaw Luc Benoit married Helene LeBlanc, born June 13, 1813 and recorded at St. Michael's Parish, in Margaree, NS 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 reserve.

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 2001.

1998 - Morley Googoo of Waycobah First Nation begins fourth consecutive term as chief.

26 - Official signing into existance of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band of Newfoundland

27 - 1903 - John Alfred Benoit, son of Jean Edward (Johnny-Mic) Benoit and Emily Ann Poirier is born in Marche's Point, NL.

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. Anne organization.

29 - 1983 - Mi'kmaw Tannery, the first commercial smoke tannery, opens in Gander, operated by the Glenwood Band of Newfoundland.

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 America.

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.

Acknowledgements/Sources

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. Renee Jeddore http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/2772

Jasen Benwah, Mi'kmaq Researcher, Cape St. George, NL



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