Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October is Mi’kmaq History Month

"Mi’kmaw history and culture is like a puzzle that has many different pieces. It is our stories and legends that help put all the pieces of the puzzle together into a picture we can call our own." - Mi’kmaq Association for Cultural Studies. 

Read more about Mi’kmaw history and culture on the website of the Mi’kmaq Association for Cultural Studies

Mi’kmaw people have enriched our province with their legends, art, music, spirituality, and language. Enjoy this selection of stories about the culture, language and history of native peoples of Nova Scotia:

We Are the Dreamers: recent and early poetry by Rita Joe

"A book of new poems from Cape Breton Mi`kmaw writer Rita Joe, Order of Canada recipient and respected spokesperson. These poems offer evidence of author’s continuing journey to understand and to share the unique combination of native spirituality and Christianity that is her daily life. Her poems are small, tough monuments, left in our care. This book is a keeper. “

Stones and Switches by Lorne Joseph Simon

“Stones and Switches takes the reader into the world of the Mi’kmaq during the depression era - a world where beautiful legends and terrible spiritual powers meet; a world where a hard-working people struggle against poverty, racism and lethal epidemics; a world where one sensitive, young man, caught by events, questions the idea of free will and is tempted to do something - even something wrong - in order to assert his will.”

Cibou by Susan Young de Biagi

"Sensitive and enlightening, Cibou is set in 17th-century Mi'kma'ki, territory of the Mi'kmaq of Maritime Canada. The story is that of a young Mi'kmaw woman and her relationship with Jesuit missionary Anthony Daniel - a historical figure who was stationed in Cape Breton - and his brother, Captain Charles Daniel who had established a French fishing and trading post there. Susan Biagi has woven a marvelously intuitive tale ... at once beautiful and harsh, observing the simple and dangerous lives of cultures interacting on the threshold of new world history."

Six Mi’kmaq Stories retold by Ruth Holmes Whitehead, illustrated by Harold McGee

"These six Mi’kmaq stories are great tales, brilliantly retold by Ruth Whitehead. They have their roots firmly planted in the collective life of a people who had made Nova Scotia their home for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. They offer us a rare and valuable insight into the powerful relationship between the Micmac and the often surprising world in which they lived."

The World Above the Sky by Kent Stetson

“17-year-old Eugainia St Clare Delacroix - the Living Holy Grail - is transported from certain death at the hands of her enemies to the safety of the New World. The year is 1398. Fleet commander Prince Henry Sinclair clings to the dying Templar dream of establishing a New Arcadia with Eugainia enthroned at its beating heart. Eugainia lands, weakened and near death, on the Atlantic coast of present-day Canada. She meets Mimktawo'qu'sk of the peaceful tribe of Mi'kmaqs. In the time of the Two made One, Mimktawo'qu'sk and Eugainia redefine divinity and forge a new and shining world.”

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