This Month in History

June - Nipniku's - Leaves Full Blossom Time

Pronounced (nib-bun-knee-goose)

Summer solstice is a time of renewal and the coming of summer, and the longest day of the year with the shortest night. It is a time for planting in conjunction with the new moon. It is the Strawberry moon when the wild strawberries start to bloom.

1 - 1975 - Archaeological work begins in northern Cape Breton under Ronald Nash of St. F.X. University. Ten students are hired to help in the work - six of whom are Mi'kmaq.

2 - The June 1997 issue of the Mi'kmaq Maliseet Nations News reports that Melissa Labrador of the Wild Cat Reserve was refused entry to the House of Commons because she carried an eagle feather. The federal government later extended an apology to Melissa.

3 - 1978 - Mary Webb of the Codroy Valley dies at age 97. A Mi'kmaw midwife, she is credited with delivering over 700 children in Newfoundland.

4 - 1992: Geraldine Kelly, daughter of Traditional Saqamaw Billy Joe, elected as Administrative Saqamaw at Conne River.

1994 - Traditional Saqamaw Mise'l reselected as Administrative Saqamaw at Conne River.

1726 - Ratification of 1725 Treaty is signed by 77 Aboriginal people.

1976 - Nine New Brunswick natives from Indian Island, Big Cove, and Tobique, begin a 900 mile canoe trip from Big Cove to Montreal to unofficially open the 21st Olympiad. They take 36 days to reach Montreal, 10 days more than anticipated. Taking part were: James Knockwood, Jim Milliea, Joe Francis, Joe Simon, Vince Knockwood, Roland Augustine, Gary Simon, Alonzo Augustine, and Allison Nicholas.

2002 - Mise'l Joe of Miawpukek First Nation, at Conne River, is re-elected chief for his fifth consecutive term. The date also marks his birthday and he is "given" two eagle feathers by a group of five eagles he had fed earlier that morning.

05 - 2016 - Construction started on the Sylvester Benoit Workshop and Garage, build to be a Community wood working shop where training will be given in the making of birch bark canoes, snow shoes and other traditional programs. It is located in the Benoit First Nation building basement floor.

6 - 1986 - Horton First Nation separates from Annapolis Valley to become a reserve in its own right under Chief Rita Smith.

1988 - Nova Scotia Conservative Cabinet Minister Ron Giffen tells 2nd Annual Assembly of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq that the government believes the 1752 Treaty applies only to mainland Nova Scotia.

7 - 1992 - Ben Sylliboy is elected Grand Chief at Chapel Island Pentecost Sunday celebrations. His blessing is received later at the Chapel Island Mission in July.

1997 - Daniel N. Paul receives honorary doctorate at Université Sainte-Anne and gives Convocation Address.

8 - 2001 - Tuma Young becomes the first Mi'kmaq speaking person to be called to the Bar of Nova Scotia and is sworn in at a special ceremony at his home reserve of Eskasoni First Nation.

9 - 1892 - Miss Elizabeth Frame compiles a list of Mi'kmaq place names in Nova Scotia for the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

1988 - Murdena Marshall of Eskasoni graduates from Harvard with a Master's Degree in Education. Marshall wears an eagle feather during graduation exercises as a "feather of accomplishment".

10 - 1862, according to the news from wandering Indians it was supposed that about the second of January 1862 in the woods about 12 miles from civilization, that nine persons perished from hunger. A funeral service was held for these persons in Sandy Point, Bay St. George. They are: Francois (Matthews?) aged 48; Marie his wife aged 46; Their children three boys and four girls: Marie aged 26, Julienne aged 13, Christine aged 3, Etienne aged 16, Francois aged 8, one boy no name, one girl no name. They were all Indians. A brother of the father brought the news.

1918 - Rita (Toney) Smith is born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, to Frank and Mary ( neé Bradford) Toney. She would become chief of Horton First Nation, and along with her husband was a noted basket maker.

1982 - June issue of the Micmac News reports the Grand Council - Sante' Mawio'mi - officially accepted the Smith-Francis orthography or writing system this month.

11 - 1991 - John Joe Sark, a Captain of the Grand Council, writes to member of Parliament Ethel Blondin to protest Canada's proposed construction of a 33 million dollar pavilion in Spain for Expo '92 to honour Columbus. He calls Canada's theme, "Discover Canada" an insult to the First Nations people of Canada.

11 - 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an apology to the residential school survivors.

13 - 1990: 24-year-old Shayne McDonald elected as Administrative Saqamaw of Miawpukek and the "Troubles" finally come to an end.

1987 - Debbie Robinson is elected chief of Acadia Band. She was also serving as President of the Yarmouth Native Women's Group, Vice-President of the Native Women's Association of Canada, President of the Native Women's Association of Nova Scotia, and as a member of the Yarmouth Affirmative Action Committee.

14 - 2002 - First Nations Governance Act is introduced in the House of Commons by Robert Nault, Minister of Indian Affairs & Northern Development. The Act would theoretically help First Nations vote on governance codes and make the Indian Act subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

16 - 1978 - Grand Council Captain Levi R. Denny passes away in Eskasoni. At one time he owned the largest Mi'kmaw operated store in Nova Scotia.

June 16, 1915 - An official enquiry into the circumstances associated with the death of Joseph Benoit, of Cape St. George, seaman of the Nfld. Royal Naval Reserve, who had been serving on the steam-drifter Loyal Star, at the time of the accident, was held at the Royal Hotel, Ramsgate,the day following the accident. Seven withnesses were examined, including John Benoit, a cousin of the deceased, (Webmaster's note: Joseph was the adopted and raised by the family of John) who was serving on the same ship and was with Joseph Benoit at the time of the accident. Sub -Lieutenant Lewin, who was in charge of the boat, explained that in order to save a ship from striking a mine, rifles would be fired. He said that their boat carried three such rifles, and added that any seaman might be expected to handle them, He understood that (Johnny-Joe) John Benoit was cleaning a rifle when the accident occurred. Capt. Grace and William Horne, the mate of he Loyal Star, were next examined. The latter had noticed that the boys had been great friends. He had also noticed how the death of Joseph Benoit had affected his companion. He was greatly excited and told the commander that he had the rifle on his knees when it became discharged accidentally. The other witnesses gave similar evidence. John Benoit stated that he was an ordinary seaman of the Loyal Star. He and the deceased had been boys together at Cape St. George, Newfoundland, and were both 18 years of age. They enlisted together, and were always great friends. At the time of the accident he was on watch, and the deceased was with him for company. He was sitting with the rifle on his knee, and the deceased was standing at his left. He did not think it was loaded, and did not know what made it go off, The boat was rolling and he had to move to keep his balance. He did not think his clothing touched the trigger. The Coroner regretted that this young life given to the service of his country should be lost in such a manner. After a brief deliberation the jury returned a Verdict of " Misadventure."

17 - 1984 - Marie Battiste of Potlotek is the first Mi'kmaw to receive a Ph.D. A graduate of the doctoral program at Stanford University in California, she will go on to develop a bilingual Mi'kmaq - English program for the Chapel Island School.

18 - 1982 - A special plaque is presented to the descendants of 22 Mi'kmaq who fought against Centralization in the 1940's in Chapel Island. The inscription on the plaque, in Mi'kmaq, says: "We thank the men who stayed and fought so that we would not be removed from our reserve in 1942. We will always teach our children to think a lot of our reserve, Chapel Island, and to continue to hold onto it very strongly in the future. Without you we would not be living in Chapel Island today."

Honoured at the presentation are: Peter Francis, Ben Marshall, Paul Nicholas, Stephen Paul, Thomas Battiste, Peter Battiste, Stephen Battiste, Joe Stephen, James Basque, Joseph Joe, Richard Johnson, Maurice Stephen, John Isaac, James Bernard, Richard Nevins, Alexander Marshall, Stephen Nicholas, Stephen J. Battiste, Noel Stephen, Noel Joe, Edward Johnson, and Captain Noel Marshall. The only surviving member of this group, Captain Noel Marshall, also receives a traditional Mi'kmaq costume.

2002 - Terry Paul is returned as chief of Membertou for his 10th consecutive term.

19 - 1974 - Newfoundland Non-Status Indians hold their First Annual General Assembly in Gander.

1998 - First meeting of the Mi'kmaq - Nova Scotia - Canada Tripartite Forum Executive Committee. Kji Keptin Alex Denny of the Sante' Mawio'mi is chair of the forum. The executive is composed of 13 Mi'kmaq chiefs, the Grand Chief, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs in Nova Scotia.

20 - 1972 - 18 year old Donald Marshall Jr. enters Dorchester Prison.

21 - National Indigenous Peoples Day -

1749 - Flotilla of British ships arrive in Chebucto Bay. They will establish a settlement on land the Mi'kmaq had been using for hundreds of years. The Mi'kmaq are heard to comment, "There goes the neighbourhood."

1750 - Governor Cornwallis and his Council increase the bounty on Mi'kmaq to fifty pounds sterling per head, up from the original bounty of ten pounds.

1996 - Beginning this year, Canada recognizes June 21 as National Aboriginal Day and later to be called National Indigenous Peoples Day.

22 - 1978 - St. Francis Xavier University graduates over 20 Mi'kmaq Alcohol and Social Counselors following a course of studies unique in eastern Canada.

1999 - The new chapel at Potlotek - Chapel Island is dedicated to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha by Bishop Colin Campbell. An Algonquin-Mohawk holy woman, Blessed Kateri was converted to Christianity in the early part of the 17th century and beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 22, 1980. A plaque is also unveiled honoring the late Noel Doucette, who was a driving force behind construction of the chapel.

23 - 1980 - Peter Poulette of Eskasoni is named Craftman of the Year by the Mi'kmaq Arts & Crafts Society.

2008 - Qalipu First Nation Mi'kmaq Band in NL and The federal government had reached an agreement in principle for status on June 23, 2008

24 - 1610 - Malpeltu Sikntasip -Chief Membertou is baptized by Abbé Fleché along with 21 family members. This union between the Mi'kmaq people and the Catholic Church will endure for over 400 years.

2019 - work started on preparation of the Mi'kmaw Heritage Park, Farm and Mawio’mi Grounds Enhancement Project in Cape St George, The program will start preparing the site for public outdoor cultural activities including building an access road, parking lot and dancing grounds. The park is operated by the Benoit First Nation Mi'kmaw Band.

1910 - Grand Chief John Denny Jr. along with other Mi'kmaq leaders visits Ste. Anne de Restigouche, Quebec, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Membertou's baptism.

1987 - Re-enactment of 1776 Watertown Treaty in Massachusetts sees Kji Keptin Alex Denny speak before the State Legislature, a first for a member of the Sante' Mawio'mi.

2002, Ktaqamkuk (Taga-ma-goog) Mi'kmaq Alliance established in Newfoundland. It was later dismantled by its leadership.

25 - 1987 - Conne River Reserve, as most people know it, or Aosamiaji'jij Miawpukek Reserve, as it is officially known, was established by orders-in-Council P.C. 1987-1293 and P.C. 1987-1294.

1941 - eight-four Ktaqamkuk Mi'kmaq left home to work overseas in the forestry left for overseas on the S.S. Burgeo: 0176, Larry Paul, Badger 0812, Gregory John, Conne River, 1352, Louis John, Glenwood, Home Guard 2580, Albert McDonald, Burnt Woods, Conne River 2582, Michael Francis McDonald, Burnt Woods, Conne River, Home Guard 2583, Luke Marshall, Conne River 3347, John Drakes, Conne River, Home Guard 3348, John Joe Drew, Conne River, Bay d 'Espoire 3351, Joseph Hinks, Conne River, Home Guard 3361, John Nicholas Jeddore, Conne, Bay d' Espoire, Home Guard 3362, Michael Joe, Conne River 3363, William Joe, Conne River 3364, Lewis E. John, Conne River

1761 - British officials meet Mi'kmaq at Lieutenant Governor Belcher's farm to ratify the Treaty of Peace & Friendship.

2002 - Harald Prins addresses the Wabanaki Confederacy gathering in Aroostook, Maine. A professor at Kansas State University, Prins is the author of the 1996 book, "The Mi'kmaq: Resistance, Accommodation, and Cultural Survival", and helped the Aroostook people gain band recognition in 1981. He also helped the Conne River Mi'kmaq of Newfoundland gain band status in 1985.

27 - 1996 - Mr. Justice John D. Embree issues his decision on the Donald Marshall Jr. eel fishing charge of 1993. It would be appealed the following year.

28 - 1984 - Miawpukek Mi'kmaq are registered under the Indian Act as "Indians" under Orders-in-Council P.C. 1984-2273 and P.C. 1984-2274.

1986 - Bill C-31 becomes law.

29 - 1989 - Afton residents Chief Peter and Sophie Pierro die within a few hours of each other at St. Martha's Hospital. Married in 1936, Peter served as chief of Afton for 16 years and compiled an English - Mi'kmaq dictionary.

30 - 1971 - Roy Gould, youngest Aboriginal chief in Canada (at age 21) resigns as chief of Membertou.

30 - 1948 - Sylvester Joseph Benoit, son of John Alfred Benoit and Millicent Chaisson and Edna May Benoit, daughter of Adolph Benoit and Nancy Jesso are married in Degrau, NL.


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.

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