2The Mi’kmaq: Who We AreThe Native people of Nova Scotia all belong to the Mi’kmaq tribe.At the time of first contact with the European explorers in the 16th and 17th century they lived in what we now call the maritime provinces and the Gaspe peninsula.Later they also settled in New England and Newfoundland.The Mi’kmaq called themselves L’nu’k – the peopleThe term Mi’kmaq comes from their word nikmak - my kin friendsSpecific Curriculum Outcome: Students will be expected to demonstrate and understanding of who the Mi’maq people are, including their connections to the traditional lands called the Mi’ma’ki
3The Mi’kmaq: Who We Are Home Wigwam Could be built in a day and were put up by womenFive spruce poles lashed together at the top with split spruce root and spread out at the bottom. Braced just down from the top with a hoop of moosewood shorter poles offered support to the birch bark cover.Birch bark sheets were laid over the poles starting from the bottom and overlapping as they worked up the wigwam. Birch bark was used because it was waterproof and portable.Top was left open for smoke to escape
4The Mi’kmaq: Who We AreA separate bark collar covered the top in bad weatherFloor was lined with fir twigs, woven mats and animal furA large hide acted as the doorPainted with figures of animals and birdsThe largest wigwam housed people (for larger families a longer style with two fireplaces was built)
5Wigwam1930 St. Anne's Day, Chapel Island, Nova Scotia
6The Mi’kmaq: Who We Are Clothing Made from the skins of mammals, birds and fish.The skins were tanned by using animal brains, bird livers and oil and by smoking.Bone awls were used to make holes for sewing and animal sinew was separated into fine strands for thread.Decorated with geometric patterns and designs of birds, beasts and humans
7The Mi’kmaq: Who We ArePigments used for painting were red and yellow ochre from the earth, charcoal and ground white shells. These were mixed with fish roe or birds’ egg yolk.Decorated with animal teeth, claws, bone and quills were sewn into clothing.Feathers were sometimes used as ornaments
8The Mi’kmaq: Who We Are Tools Made from animal bone, ivory, teeth, claws, hair, feathers, fur, leather, quills, shells, clay, native copper, stone, wood, roots and bark.For example axes – made from grinding stone to a sharp edge and a smooth surface.These tools were in turn used to cut and carve wood – fine carving was done with beaver teeth
9The Mi’kmaq: Who We Are Transportation The Mik’maq canoe was wide bottomed and raised at both ends with the sides curved upwards in the middle. This design allowed them to canoe far out to sea as well as in shallow streams and even in rapids3-8 meters longBirch bark over a light wooden frameCould carry several hundred pounds but was light enough for one person to carryToboggans were used in the winter to carry heavy loads over the snow
11The Mi’kmaq: Who We Are Food The Mi’kmaq spent about all but six weeks along the sea coastSalmon, sturgeon, porpoises, whales, walrus, seals, lobster, squid, shellfish, eels and seabirds and their eggs made up the bulk of their diet.They also ate moose, caribou, beaver, and porcupine as well as smaller animals like squirrels.Berries, roots and edible plants were gathered during the summerMeat and fish were dried and smoked to preserve them
12The Mi’kmaq: Who We Are Pastimes Storytelling – stories could last several days and included singing, dancing and feasting.Everyone smoked – tobacco made from red willow bark, bearberry leaves and native tobacco plants.Waltes was a favorite dice game (played today)Contests of running, wrestling and shootingVarious ball games
13Mi’kmaqAll cultures and societies change over time. However, few peoples have faced the deliberate and systematic attacks on their culture that the Mi’kmaq people have endured. The very survival of the Mi’kmaq language and culture is a testimony to the strength of the Mi’kmaq and their oral traditions, values and customs.
14Our StoriesStorytelling has been an important way of teaching and learning in First Nations communities. Oral tradition provides cultural continuity through the sharing of stories, songs, history, personal experiences and social commentary. They reflect a unique world view and give meaning to the daily lives of individuals, families and the community. We will learn about special community events and ceremonies that sustain and nourish Mi’kmaq culture.Specific Curriculum Outcome – Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the role of storytelling in the First Nations cultures and an openness to listen to the voices of the First Nations peoples as they spoke of the Mi’kmaq experience
15Our StoriesRead section 1.2 “Oral Traditions” in the text Maliseet and Micmac: First Nations of the MaritimesPages (up to and including oral history)
16Our StoriesWhat is the importance of oral traditions and storytelling?How are oral works in contrast to the written word? Define creation stories and legends.What do they have in common? What can they be considered equivalent to? What is a tale? What do they describe? Describe storytelling. Why are they considered both entertainment and sources of information? Define Oral history
17Small group discussions – Our Stories In small groups identify what you believe to be the key elements of oral traditionWhy has this system worked for so long?
18Our stories – group answers Key elements of oral traditionProvides cultural continuityKeeps the family and community strongCan relate to real life situationsCan teach skill – cooking, building a houseSource of cultural identity and personal pride
19Why has this system lasted for so long Stories were changed to be more relevant to the generationCaptured the interest of the childrenIt became traditionSource of entertainmentIt was the only way to remember the history – there was no other way to record them
20QuestionsAfter reading the stories from section 1.2 how can you compare them to other stories that you have read? In what ways are they the same? Different?What kinds of stories do people tell in your house? What is the oldest story you know?Is it written down? Was it always written down?Compare the differences in a person’s language in each of the following cases: Telling a story, talking on the phone, having a face-to-face conversation, through the use of technology?Page 25 in text
21WampumWampum – used as a way of recording and sending messages. It consisted of purple and white beads made from the shells of quahog clams. The design of each string or belt indicated the type of message being sent and helped the messenger remember the specific contents.Considered very sacred and treated with great respect
22Wampum It was mainly used for the following: 1) Establish, maintain and terminate political relations.2) Establish and maintain family relationships and make marriage proposals.3) Show that people had positions of importance within a nation or local group.4) To perform spiritual ceremonies.5) To form alliances or make treaties and agreements with Europeans.
24To make Wampum today 2 cups baking soda 1 cup cornstarch 1 ¼ cups cold waterStir and bring to a boil for 1 minCover with a damp cloth and place on a cutting board until coolKnead and roll in a snake shapeCut in bead shapes put hole in with toothpicksAllow to dry for hoursString with heavy yarn and paint