This Month in History


August - Kisaqewiku's - Ripening Time

The August moon time is Kisaqewiku's (berry ripening time), a time when the harvest of many types of berries by both our people and our animal cousins around us.

1 - 1722 - Richard Philipp, British Governor of Acadia, proclaims it illegal for any Acadian to "entertain" a Mi'kmaw person; Prudane Robichau is subsequently imprisoned and put in irons for entertaining a Mi'kmaw in his home.

1918 - Captain Gabriel J. Sylliboy is the first elected grand chief of the Mi'kmaq, at age 44. He is chosen from among five other candidates: Frank Gould of Eskasoni, Samuel Joe of Malagawatch, Joe C. Marshall of Membertou, Stephen Paul of Barra Head, and Isadore Pierro of Wagmatcook.

1985 - Micmac News reports Dalhousie University has received $100,000 from the estate of a non-Aboriginal private donor to improve native education.

1995 - Patty Doyle-Bedwell is hired by Dalhousie University Law School as an assistant professor. She is the daughter of the late Harriet Battiste of Chapel Island and Frank Doyle of Rochester, N.Y.

1996 - John Basque passes away at age 74. He is the first chief elected in Chapel Island, 1958-1960.

2 - 1994 - Shayne McDonald, First and only aboriginal lawyer of Miawpukek and Ktaqmkuk called to the Newfoundland Bar.

3 - 1960 - Johnstown's Sacred Heart Church celebrates its 100th anniversary. The church houses the French altar brought to St. Peter's (Port Toulouse) in 1691. It was hidden by the French when the English captured Port Toulouse, only to be found by the Mi'kmaq and used by them for many years thereafter.

4 - 1896 - William Gabriel Paul is born in Mushaboom, N.S. Two of his 14 children would go on to be Chief of Millbrook First Nation - Lawrence Paul - and Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq and publisher of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News - Daniel Paul.

1993 - Eleven year old Amelia Peter Paul protects her grandmother Mary Jane Jadis from a knife attack in their home in Scotchfort, P.E.I. The little girl suffers 26 stab wounds and a partially severed finger but saves Mrs. Jadis. Amelia recovers from her injuries and is later awarded the Canadian Bravery Award.

5 - 1972 - Noel Doucette is elected chief of Chapel Island. He would resign March 21, 1973, after it became a paid position.

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7 - 1991 - Union of New Brunswick chiefs meet provincial representatives to discuss preservation of a Mi'kmaq cremation site on Skull Island in the Shediac Bay. The cremated bones of at least 7 people dating back to 1680 were found there.

1798 - George Benoit was born to Francois Benoit and Anne L'Official in Bay St. George, NL.

8 - 1995 - Stephen Labobe passes away. He was the last surviving veteran of WWII in Epekwitk, P.E.I. Gunner Labobe served in England, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany.

9 - 1970 - Noel Doucette, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, demands compensation for loss of Mi'kmaq lands.

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11 - 1860 - The Halifax Reporter describes the whites attending a reception for the Prince of Wales as "ladies and gentlemen", and refers to the Mi'kmaq present as "children of the forest".

12 -1824 - Francois Benoit, Sr of St. George's Bay in Nfld began construction of the vessel Jane in 1822 at Sandy Point. He registered the schooner on this day. His Captain was : Francis Benoit, Jr. The Jane registration # is : 1824024 ,size: 26 tons. Registered in St. John's, NL., certificate: August 12, 1824, ship's specifications: 1 Deck- 2 mask, lenght 38 feet 2 inches. Mi'kmaq can build bigger boats! Ship was lost in 1851.

1762 - Abbé Maillard dies in Halifax and is buried in St. Paul's Cemetery.

1997 - Charlie Greg Sark of Lennox Island leaves for Nepal, Katmandu, where he will work. He founded the First Nations Youth Society at Mount Allison University in 1992 and successfully lobbied for a Native Studies course in Aboriginal issues at Mount A.

13 - 1735 - Abbé Maillard comes to Louisbourg to begin his work on behalf of the Catholic Church among the Mi'kmaq.

1971 - Union of Nova Scotia Indians Research Director Stu Killen is quoted as saying, "The time has come my friends to re-write Indian history to talk among the Indian people about a whole concept of Indian Rights and Treaties to have the white men understand, acknowledge, and accept the whole field of Aboriginal Rights."

1997 - Canada's first elected female chief of an Aboriginal community dies at age 87 after a battle with cancer. Rachel Mary Marshall was elected chief of Millbrook in 1969 - a first in this country. Always concerned with the welfare of others, at age nine she wrote a letter to Ottawa to complain about a fellow band member not receiving enough food. Years later she met then Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien in Sydney and complained to him that Mi'kmaq were starving and needed improved aid. He said, "You don't look like you're starving to me." Her famous retort was, "Well, sir, you'd be fat too if all you could afford was Kraft dinner every day."
The mother of ten children, Chief Marshall was honoured for outstanding service by the Nova Scotia Native Women's Association in 1981, given an award from Millbrook First Nation for her years of service to the community in 1991, recognized by the Union of Nova Scotia Indians in 1994 for her active role in bettering conditions for Mi'kmaq in the province, and awarded the Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. Elders Award in 1995.

14 - Edna May Benoit passes into the spirit world. She is mother to Chief Jasen benwah of Benoit First Nation. She was Secretary of the Cape St George Indian Band back in the early 1970s at the beginning of the Mi'kmaq movement.

15 - 1993 - A friendship protocol is signed between the Société Nationale de l'Acadie and Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy, commemorating the close link between the Mi'kmaq and the French.

16 - 1874 - Gabriel J. Sylliboy, son of John and Mary (Barrington) Sylliboy is born on the Whycocomagh Reserve. He would become the first Mi'kmaq to be elected to the position of grand chief. Prior to his election the position had been hereditary.

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18 -1967 in an article in the Evening Telegram, Peter Jeddore, Unofficial Saqamaw of Miawpukek, speaks out issues on behalf of his Miawpukek Mi'kmaq.

1937 - Grand Chief Gabriel Sylliboy is congratulated by the Director of Indian Affairs on receiving the King's Coronation Medal. He would resign from his position as grand chief six years later in 1943 over the centralization issue.

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24 - 1851 - Louis Laisne and Nathalie Marche are married at Sandy Point, NL.

1993 - Donald Marshall Jr., Jane Mac Millan, and Peter Martin are seen eel fishing by a Department of Fisheries and Oceans officer in Pomquet Harbour, N.S. Later that day they are charged with violating federal fishing regulations.

25 - 1991 - Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. passes away.

26 - 1784 - 80 more Mi'kmaq men, women and children visited St. Pierre for 3 weeks, enroute to Baie d' Espoir to settle. Similar reports dot the Immigrating Nation's peoples' records throughout the 18th century. A century when they attempt to differentiate us from our Pi'tawkewaq relations, concoct tales of our hostility to the Pi'tawkewaq and begin saying we are only "visitors" and transients from Unama'kik and not aboriginal to the area.

2016 - Saqamaw Jasen Benwah brings First 5 day Mi'kmaw Language Camp Aug 26-30 to the Port au Port Pensula at Cape St. George, NL. with the help of the MBGRRA.

1971 - Thirteen year old Basil Joe, son of the noted poet Rita Joe, rescues four year old Bridgett Marshall from drowning at Eskasoni. He later receives the Bronze Medal for Bravery given by the Royal Canadian Humane Association.

27 - 1991 - Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces establishment of a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

1992 - Indian Brook band council is removed by an Order -in-Council. The Privy Council ruled the February 18, 1992 election invalid, the first time this had happened in Nova Scotia band history.

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29 - 1987 - Former students of the Residential School at Shubenacadie hold first reunion August 29th to 30th.

30 - 1851 - Henri LeJeune and Susan Duffenias are married at Sandy Point, NL.

1851 - Francois Benoit, Jr and Marie Duffenias are married at Sandy Point, NL.

31 - 1983 - Sante' Mawio'mi authorizes Professor Russell Barsh to act on its behalf before the United Nations. Kji - Sagmaw Donald Marshall Sr., Putu's Simon Marshall, Kji-Keptin Alex Denny, and Keptin Noel Marshall are re-affirmed by the Grand Council.


Mi'kmaq Resource Centre Book of Days for the Mi'kmaq Year
Micmac News 1970-1991
Micmac Maliseet Nations News 1992 - 2002
Mi'kmaq Past and Present: A Resource Guide N.S. Dept. of Education
Nova Scotia Virtual Archives Mi'kmaq Photo Collection On-Line
Mac Leod, Heather. Past Nature: Public Accounts of Nova Scotia's Landscape, 1600-1900
1995 St. Mary's University Ph.D. Thesis.
Mi'kmaq Association of Cultural Studies. Micmac Hymnal 1984.
Newton, Pamela. The Cape Breton Book of Days 1984 Sydney: University College of Cape Breton Press.
Paul, Daniel M. We Were Not the Savages: 21st Century Edition 2000 Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.
Paul-Martin, Patsy. Mi'kmaq Months of the Year From a series of posters produced for the Millbrook Literacy Center by Eastern Woodlands Publishing.
Reid, Jennifer. No Man's Land: British and Mi'kmaq in 18th and 19th Century Acadia
1994 Ph.D. Thesis University of Ottawa.
Ricker, Darlene A. L'sitkuk: the Story of the Bear River Mi'kmaw Community 1997
Lockport, N.S.: Roseway Publishing Co. Ltd.
Wicken, William. Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial 2002 Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Benwah, Jasen Sylvester, St. George's Bay Mi'kmaq Mi'kmaw Researcher, Cape St. Geoege, NL.
Renee Jeddore, Conn River, NL.

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