Mi’kmaw History and People: December - Kesikewiku's - Chief Moon, winter Month
Pjila'si (welcome). In December, most Mi’kmaw traditionally would be living inland next to rivers, brooks, ponds and lakes. It was a time for trapping and hunting furred animals for food and clothing. At this time, young cod were taken under the ice. Many events in local Mi’kmaw history occurred during December and I have listed some of them as follows:
- December 3, 1841 – Peter Jesseau is born in the Kippens, Newfoundland and he is considered the first known permanent settler of Sheaves Cove, NL.but for some strange reason the settlement is named after a Sheaves from Port aux Basques.
- December 5, 1767 - A letter from Governor Hugh Palliser to the Earl of Shelburne stated that some 175 Mi'kmaq were reported along the coast in the Bay of Despair region and trading with French merchants (PRO 1767c).
- December 6, 1752 - Treaty Articles of Peace and Friendship renewed in enclosure in letter of Governor Thomas Hopson to the Earl of Holdernesse.
- December 7, 1857 – Jean Marie Lucas passes away in Baie St-George, NL. He was married to Henriette “Osithe” Lejeune of Bra d'Or, N.S.
- December 10, 1763 - A letter from Montague Wilmot to the Lords of Trade and Plantations is the first report of Mi'kmaq at St. Pierre within months of the French reoccupation that year (PANS 1863).
- December 1987 - Premier Brian Peckford of Newfoundland is quoted in the St. John's Evening Telegram, "The Micmac people were no more aboriginal to the island of Newfoundland than were the Peckfords, who came here in 1791." This attitude led to many problems with recognition of Mi'kmaq land claims on the part of the provincial government. Mi'kmaq have been travelling back and forth seasonally and staying in Newfoundland since time immortal.
- December - 2007 - Federal Parliment passed Jordan's Principal. Jordan’s Principle came into effect after the tragic story of Jordan River Anderson, a young boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Born with complex medical needs, Jordan received special treatment in a Winnipeg hospital for over two years. After doctors cleared him to return to his reserve, disputes over which level of government would pay for the in-home care — federal or provincial — meant Jordan was forced to spend over two more years in Winnipeg. He died in 2005 at the age of five in the hospital.
- December 11, 1985 - Federal cabinet agrees Miawpukek to be officially recognized as reserve. Province of Newfoundland is reluctant to agree and serious discussions do not begin until November 1986. They are notified officially on Feb 4, 1986. Reserve established June 25, 1987.
- December 12, 1765 - Letter from Governor Montague Wilmot to Lt. Col. James Pringle, (Regarding the Mi'kmaq) stating that "...nor indeed can I find out the law which prevents any of the King's subjects passing from any part of this Dominion to the other..." (PRO 1765b*****).
- December 14, 1982 - Saqamaw William Joe and Miawpukek Mi’kmaq file complaint against Newfoundland government for violations of human rights.
- December 15, 1923 – Valentine “Tiny” Young passed away in Clam Bank Cove, Newfoundland, known today Lourdes. He was married to Ann Nancy Benoit great daughter of Louis Benoit,Jr and Domitille Gaudet. He was grandson of Gabriel Lejeune and Sarah Riley originally from Bra d’Or, N.S.
- December 18, 1865 - Saqamaw Noel Jeddore, our traditional Saqamaw, who was forced into exile by Fr. Saint Croix, was born at the Indian Point in Head of Baie d' Espoir. His father Nicholas Jeddore and family owned the land in that flat area below Foodland.
- December 20, 1922 – Josephine Chaisson passes away. She is the great grand daughter of Francois Benoit and Anne L’Official. She was the second wife of Lawrence Chaisson. A direct descendant of Grand Chief Henry Membertou.
- December 22 - Winter Solstice...a time of celebration and renewal by the Mikmaq since time immortal.
- December 23, 1982- Saqamaw William Joe and Elder Martin Jeddore are killed in an automobile accident. Martin Jeddore was one of the first organizers of the Miawpukek Mi’kmaq.
- December 1973- NANL and Conne River protest the establishment of a provincial park at Jipu’ji’j Kueu Qospemk.
- December 24, 1765 - A letter from the Baron de L'Esperance stated that a boatload of Mi'kmaq arrived in Miquelon asking for food and complaining about the treatment received from the English (NAC 1766a).
- December 25 - Nipialasutmamk - Christmas Day.
- December 26 - Poqtamkiaq Pestie'wa'taqatimk - Boxing Day.
- December 26, 1905 – Adolph Benoit is born in De Grau, son of Joseph “Joe Mic” Benoit and Ellen Damois. He married twice, first to Anne Nancy Jesso and then to Isabelle Costaire.
- December 28, 1946 – Lawrence Chaisson, Sr passes away in De Grau, NL. He was married three times: Leonie Damois, Josephine Chaisson and Ann Nancy Benoit.
Welálin (thank you).
Cape St. George, NL.
November 29, 2005
Some of this information was assembled by the Mi'kmaq Resource Centre Book of Days for the Mi'kmaq Year. Used herein with permission.
- Renee Jeddore, Conn River, http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/2772.
- Jasen Sylvester Benwah, St. George's Bay Mi'kmaw Newfoundland Mi'kmaw Researcher 2003.
- St. George's Roman Catholic Diocese records.
- Benoit family oral tradition.
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