This Month in History


July - Peskewiks - Birds Shed Feathers Time

Pronounced (bess-gay-we-goose)

1 - 1984 - Noel Doucette resigns as president of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians.

1995 - Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy officially opens the 400 meter Mi'kmaq Trail - Mi'kmaw- awti'j - at Louisbourg.

2 - 1762 - In his letter of July 2, Jonathan Belcher writes to the Lords of Trade, "If the Proclamation had been issued at large, the Indians might have been incited to have made extravagant and unwarrantable demands, to the disquiet and perplexity of the New Settlements in the Province."

1997 - Thirteen Mi'kmaq chiefs of Nova Scotia sign the Tripartite Forum Memorandum of Understanding with the federal and provincial governments. The forum is initiated to resolve issues among the three governments.

3 - 1991 - The Millbrook band council and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq honour five elders: Bill Paul, Martha Julian, Rachel Marshall, Mary Ann Brooks, and Sandy Julian.

4 - 1975 - Important archaeological site is found on Ingonish Island. A large site, it was occupied by Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic Indian people. Artifacts found date back 7,000 to 9,000 years ago. The site is named Geganisg, a Mi'kmaw word meaning 'remarkable place'.

5 - 1982 - Sister Veronica Matthews celebrates 25 years with the Sisters of St. Martha. She is the daughter of Michael and Agnes Matthews of Eskasoni.

1985 - The Union of Nova Scotia Indians signs agreement with the province of Nova Scotia giving the former control of their own family and children services.

6 - 1982 - Micmac News reports in its July issue that contestants in a pie eating contest held in Membertou in the 12-14 year age category threw the remainders of their pies at acting judges of the event, Eleanor Ginnish and John Edward Kabatay, after they named Tina Paul the winner!

7 - 1998 - Crew of the Spirit Wind leaves Miawpukek - Conne River - Newfoundland to paddle to Potlotek - Chapel Island - Cape Breton in the hope of reaching it by July 26. The journey is later released as a documentary film made by Cathy Martin.

8 - 1880 - Joseph Snake dies in Prince Edward Island. In 1859 he was appointed Head Chief of the P.E.I. Mi'kmaq by the Queen's Commission. He was born in 1786 near Murray Harbour.

9 - 1993 - John Joe Sark, representing the Grand Council attends a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Working Group on Indigenous Populations. Several interventions on behalf of the Grand Council are made.

10 - 1988 - Powwow '88 closes in Halifax. Held at Seaview Park, July 6-10, the event attracts over 5,000 visitors.

11 - 1969 - First organizational meeting of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians is held, attended by chiefs and councilors. This followed from the original working committee established in May of that year.

12 - 1994 - Solicitor General of Canada, Herb Grey, Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy, and Nova Scotia Premier John Savage sign a Canada - Nova Scotia - Unama'ki Police Service Agreement to set up the first native police force in Atlantic Canada.

13 - 1971 - Charles Labrador elected as first chief of Acadia after it was officially given band status on June 8, 1965.

14 - 1896 - Benjamin Edmond Christmas is born in Port Morien, N.S., the son of Chief Joseph and Madeline (ne Richards) Christmas of the King's Road Reserve. Elected chief in 1919, he helped move the reserve from King's Road to its current location and changed its name in honour of the first grand chief, Membertou. Married Jane Denny, Ben learned much about Mi'kmaq prayer and hymns from her father Peter Paul Denny Sr. and was a respected translator and prayer leader until his death in 1966.

The July 1993 edition of the Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports a new office building constructed on Gottingen Street in Halifax will not be named "Cornwallis Court" as originally planned. Due to the efforts of Daniel Paul, the Cornwallis Court sign is removed and with it any homage to the late Lord Edward Cornwallis.

15 - 1976 - President of the Union of New Brunswick Indians presents a petition to Queen Elizabeth II regarding "illegal abrogation of traditional and Aboriginal lands and rights of the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet people of New Brunswick". The petition urges the Queen to "redress the injuries perpetrated on the Micmac and Maliseet people."

15 & 16 - 2006 The Bay St. George Mi'kmaq Cultural Revival Committee holds it's first annual Pow wow in Flat Bay, NL. The Committee included Chiefs of the 6 Local Bands; Indian Head 1st Nation, Port au Port Indian Band, St. Georges Indian Band, Flat Bay Indian Band and Benoit 1st Nation with Chief Jasen Benwah.

16 - 1986 - Waltes Tournament is the highlight of the Nova Scotia Indian Summer Games at Cambridge Reserve in the Annapolis Valley.

17 - 1776 - The Mi'kmaq and the United States government sign a friendship and alliance agreement known as the Watertown Treaty.

18 - 1999 - Saqamaw Mise'l, along with Donny Benoit, Gerard Jeddore, Andrew Joe, Ricky Jeddore and Sulian Joe landed at our holy site of Chapel Island, Unama'kik (Cape Breton) having paddled a birch bark canoe, SAPE'UTKWJU'SN, from Cape Ray, Ktaqmkuk. This trip was planned and made to both commemorate and prove that such journeys were indeed made by our forefathers. We built the canoe using traditional methods, materials and tools.

1991 - Launch of the newly published book, "Paqtatek - Policy and Consciousness in Mi'kmaq Life" at Pages Bookstore, Charlotte Street, Sydney.

1999 - The canoe Spirit Wind with its Mi'kmaq crew led by Sagamaw Mi'sel Joe arrives in Neil's Harbour, Cape Breton, after completing a journey from Newfoundland across the Cabot Strait to Nova Scotia. Such a journey had not been made in over a hundred years.

19 - 1998 - At the Third Annual Watertown Treaty Day Parade, there is a recitation of the poem "Sma'knis" written by the late Will Basque. He is credited with discovery of the Watertown Treaty in the 1970's and had passed away earlier in 1998 from a heart attack.

20 - St. George's Bay, NL. Mi'kmaq couple, Francois Benoit and Anne L'Official, have their marriage reavalidated at St. Pierre in 1790

- July 1991 Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports launch of the book, "Metepenagiag - New Brunswick's Oldest Village" at Red Bank First Nation. The book by Patricia Allen, illustrated by Roger Simon, is a history of Red Bank, where over 100 archaeological sites have been studied, including Oxbow and the Augustine Mound.


21 - 1974 - Clearing begins on land intended for the Abenaki Motel near Truro, N.S. This is the first wholly Mi'kmaq owned motel in the Maritimes.


21 - 2014 - Benoit 1st Nation begins construction on the Mi'kmaq Cultural Centre in Cape St. George, NL

22 - 1948, the Newfoundland Referendum result was a victory for Confederation, with 78 323 votes (52.3%), over 71 334 votes (47.7%) for responsible government. Whole regions of the province were not included in the vote. The vote was as was rigged and currupt as the Merchants and Politicians.

21 - Spotted Wolf's birthday- je'sn penwa, founder of the St. George's Bay Mi'kmaq website, received his Mi'kmaw name while from a Mi'kmaq Elder. je'sn makes his family home in Cape St. George, out on the Port au Port Peninsula. He has made it his calling to do his part and revitalize the Mi'kmaq culture and identity to his people in Nujio'qoniik, Ktaqmuk.

1991 - July issue of the Micmac News reports Bernd Christmas, son of Elizabeth and Stephen Christmas, is the first Mi'kmaw student to graduate from Toronto's Osgoode Hall Law School the previous June.

23 - 1900 - Grand Chief John Denny makes Peter Paul Denny Sr. an elegeoit of Mi'kmaq prayers and hymns in a ceremony at Chapel Island. The son of Paul and Susan (ne Phillips) Denny of Eskasoni, he was a noted reader of hieroglyphics and taught Father Pacifique. He was the father of Jane Denny, who married Chief Ben Christmas of Membertou, who shared his father-in-law's interest in the Mi'kmaq language.

1978 - "Poems of Rita Joe" published by Abenaki Press.

24 - 1997 - 100th Anniversary of Merrigomish Island Mission. Many residents of Pictou Landing First Nation are descendants of the original Mi'kmaq on Indian Island.

1996 - Chief Noel Doucette of Chapel Island, formerly of Membertou, dies at age 58 in Victoria General Hospital. The son of Noel and Cecelia (ne Christmas) Doucette, he was a prominent figure on the Mi'kmaq political scene in Nova Scotia throughout his life.

25 - 1984 - For the first time in 65 years, more than 100 native people walk to the site of the old Fort Folly Reserve in New Brunswick to mark St. Anne's Day. Fort Folly was finally deserted in the 1930's. According to legend, gold coins seen on the shores of the Petitcodiac near Fort Folly during low tide were thought to be the last remains of pirate treasure buried in the area.

26 - 1919 - a year after the League of Indians of Canada was founded and a scheme to centralize Mi'kmaq in NS first arose and a year before Duncan Campbell Scott, Head of Indian Affairs in Canada, would state..."I want to get rid of the Indian. Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed", Saqamaw Gietol (We'jitu) Noel Jeddore was blessed as Saqamaw by Rev. P. F. Adams and Rev. S. St. Croix, PP.

1750 - Father Pierre Maillard settles in Chapel Island, where he made his first sermon eight years earlier. Father Maillard learned the Mi'kmaq language and later devised a written text based on it. Still remembered by the Mi'kmaq, one of the streets in Membertou First Nation was named after him nearly 240 years after his death.

1964 - Donald Marshall Sr. is elected Grand Chief following the death of the former Grand Chief Gabriel Sylliboy, who had passed away the previous May.

26 - Birthday of St. Anne - Ajipuna't Seta'n.

1982 - Twins are reunited: the Cremo twins - Margaret and Mary - are reunited at Mission in Afton. Margaret Whitely who had lived in the United States for the past 25 years finally sees her twin sister Mary Sack of Shubenacadie again.

1992 - New Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy is sworn in at ceremonies at Chapel Island during 250th anniversary celebrations.

1997 - John Martin is elected chief of Gesgapegiag, defeating 19 other candidates. This would be the community's first public swearing in ceremony.

27 - 1975 saw the official opening of Conne River sawmill.

1989 - For the first time, a Catholic Bishop, Colin Campbell, leads Mission at Chapel Island.

28 - 1979 - Bob Rupert reports that Vivian Basque's (ne Denny) claim that it never rains on Chapel Island during the St. Anne's Procession on Sunday is true!

1987 - Darrell Googoo of Indian Brook wins a 5-mile race with a time of 28 minutes, 29 seconds in the 10th Annual Indian Summer Games held at Chapel Island. Stephen Marshall comes in second with a time of 29 minutes, 32 seconds, but later places first in the 10 mile run with a time of 62 minutes, 29 seconds.

1989 - For the first time in twenty years, the Union of Nova Scotia Indians executive is brought back for another two year term by acclamation, making it the third consecutive term for President Alex Christmas, VP Mainland Reg Maloney, VP Cape Breton Roderick Googoo, and Secretary/Treasurer Carl Gould.

1992 - Eskasoni ambulance drivers Noel Joe and Marcus Simon rescue an abandoned baby beaver on the Northside East Bay Highway. "Wally" as he is later named will be cared for at the home of Eugene and Sylvia Denny until he can be returned to the wild.

29 - 1727 - English forbid any trading between the Mi'kmaq and the French in Acadia.

30 - 1991 - Micmac Maliseet Nations News reports that Graydon Nicholas of Tobique is the first Aboriginal person in Atlantic Canada to be appointed to the Bench. He was sworn in as Judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick.

31 - 1986 - Former chief of Restigouche, Alphonse Metallic dies at age 58. He rose to national attention in 1981 when he refused to accept provincial jurisdiction over fishing rights. A published linguist with two Mi'kmaq dictionaries to his credit, he was also a member of the National Council of Elders, the Grand Council, Assembly of First Nations, Council of Quebec Indians, Mi'kmaq Association of Cultural Studies, and the Membertou Signtasimegeoeim Advisory Board.


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, Bay St. George Mi'kmaw Researcher, Stephenville, NL.
Renee Jeddore, Conn River

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