Treaty Day took on renewed symbolism today, Oct. 1, as the provincial government and the Mi’kmaq signed an agreement to launch a long-term Treaty Education initiative.
“Partnering with the Mi’kmaq on Treaty Education is an opportunity to not only advance our relationship with the Mi’kmaq but to engage Nova Scotians in a conversation about our shared treaty relationship and how we can work together for the future prosperity of our province,” said Premier Stephen McNeil, who is the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
“Treaty Education is a long-term generational process and both parties recognize it is important to take the time to build a strong foundation of knowledge and resources by working closely with elders and education professionals.”
“Together the Mi’kmaq and the province have begun to plant the seeds of justice and responsibility, so that future generations will understand our shared history and shared responsibility in Nova Scotia,” said Chief Leroy Denny, chair of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey.
“It is important that we create the opportunity and resources to learn that the treaties were the building blocks of Canada, and that we have all benefited from the peace and friendship treaties.”
Provincial government and Mi’kmaq officials will work together to develop specific Treaty Education programs and services for the education system, the provincial civil service and the broader public.
The importance of that treaty relationship, and the achievements and leadership of eleven Mi’kmaq elders and youth were honoured in a Treaty Day awards ceremony.
Provincial officials and Mi’kmaq representatives presented awards to elders and youth from Mi’kmaq communities across the province. The award winners are:
Grand Chief Donald Marshall, Senior Memorial Elder Award
— Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy (We’koqma’q)
— Ma’git Poulette(We’koqma’q),
Chief Noel Doucette Memorial, Youth Achievement Award
— Levi Marshall (Membertou)
— Haley Marie Bernard (Pictou Landing)
— Mary Chauntel Gould (We’koqma’q)
Sister Dorothy Moore, Educational Scholarship
— Charlene Paul-Francis (Eskasoni)
— Carol Anne Johnson (Eskasoni)
— Natalie Gloade (Millbrook)
— Rebecca Scirocco (Membertou)
Grand Chief Donald Marshall, Senior Memorial Scholarship
— Graduate: Ashley P. Julian (Sipekne’katik)
— Undergraduate: Dennis Gould (We’koqma’q)
“Treaty Day provides an opportunity to recognize the important contributions from Mi’kmaq youth and elders,” said Premier McNeil.
Treaty Day began in 1986 with the signing of a proclamation by then Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr., and marks the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia.