Message from the Chief – July 5th 2024


Today marks the first day of the powwow trail here in our province, Ktaqmkuk, ‘land across the water’.

Powwow is not something most of our generations are able to remember as a Mi’kmaq tradition here on the island. As the first point of European contact, most of our language and traditions were lost before many other nations across the country lost theirs. It is regrettable that these traditions were broken, but we are truly fortunate to have rich oral history, and the kindness of other nations that have generously shared knowledge that is allowing us to revitalize our cultural practices.

Ceremonies and celebrations are an integral part of any culture, and mark wonderful opportunities to gather with our friends and families. We have visitors from other nations, drummers, dancers, and vendors who are all ready to celebrate and share. These times inspire talented artists and crafters, offer healing through ceremony, and are truly a celebration of the vibrancy and identity of Indigenous people.

Not all Indigenous people take part in ceremonies or cultural practices. This does not make them less Indigenous. Some of us had the good fortune of hearing our grandparents speak in their native language, and others received passed-down knowledge of the land, following traditional paths and trails, knowing which plants are medicine, and understanding how to take cues from our animals when bad weather is coming our way. Each of us can embrace our culture and practices in a way that is authentic to our experience and speaks to what we are comfortable with as individuals.

Our traditions are varied, and our teachings must be held close to our hearts and minds. Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are welcome to attend the many celebrations throughout the year. Sharing these experiences allows us a unique and beautiful opportunity to learn from one another and support the continued path toward reconciliation.

Credit: Marcus Gosse
Credit: Marcus Gosse