Mi'kmaq history and people: February – or Apiknajit

Compiled by Jasen Sylvester Benwah

je'sn penwa
Spotted Wolf

Pjila'si (Welcome). February – or Apiknajit as it is known to the Mi’kmaq is the month of very strong sun and blinding snow. During this time Mi’kmaq historically kept inland near water hunting moose, caribou, beaver and bear.

The feeding of Apuknajit is a time of giving thanks to the Spirits during the most difficult time of winter. It is a ritual which is performed on the night of January 31st.

“When darkness has settled, food is put out into the night preferably on an old stump or near a tree and offered to the Spirits. In days gone by, eel skins and fish heads were offered. An elder would lead the family to a stump, give thanks for surviving thus far and ask for additional assistance until spring.

Nik Phillips, shares the following prayer:

Wela'lin Apuknajit wjit ta'n tel ankweywin,

aq ta'n mu teli-kewjiek,

aq ta'n mu teli-aptaqna'luek,

aq apoqnmuinen wjit wejku'aq wla na'kwekl.


Thank You Apuknajit for taking care of us,

for keeping us warm,

for feeding us,

and for helping us in the coming days.

Many interesting things have happened in this month in the history of the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq such as:

Wela’lin and thank you for allowing me to share these facts with you.

February 15, 2005

Apiknajit is pronounced (ah-book-gn-mah-jit)


Website Copyright © 2005 Jasen Sylvester Benwah