Friday, December 30, 2011

Mattie Mitchell Poster

A commemorative poster featuring Mattie

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Newfoundland's Greatest Frontiersman

This Christmas, my Mom gave me a copy of the book "Mattie Mitchell: Newfoundland's Greatest Frontiersman." Actually, I should say she got everyone a copy: my brother, his kids, and my kids. The book is a collection of reminiscences of Marie Sparkes, grand-daughter to this remarkable Mi’kmaw. As it says in the book's description: "Now, for the first time, Mattie Mitchell's legendary deeds are revealed in full, comprehensive detail." I've already flipped through it a bit, and I'm looking forward to sitting down and learning more about him.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mi'kmaq Dance Tradition

The Native Dance website has some great video and audio files of Mi'kmaq dances and drum music. Listen to some very traditional sounding tunes that will take you back centuries. (Another interesting thing about this site is that you can translate the dance page into Mi'kmaw with a single click.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Learning the history

Memorial University has some interesting background info for people looking to find out more about Mi'kmaq culture and history. Categories include Traditional Mi'kmaq Culture, Mi'kmaq History, Pre-Contact Mi'kmaq Land Use, Groups and Land Claims, and Impacts of Non-Aboriginal Activities. Visit their site HERE.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"I go by canoe" - gwitna'm

I've always loved to canoe. There is something quintessentially Canadian about the dip and splash of a paddle on a clear, glassy lake. Early morning or at dusk, it just seems to peaceful. I find myself humming French-Canadian paddle songs (C'est l'aviron") or wishing I knew an appropriate native tune. Every summer, we go to a lake in the interior, and I have great memories of paddling around with my kids. Lately, my wife and I have been kayaking. (The photo is us!) Reading about Mi'kmaq culture, and Mattie's canoe makes me think this love of water is somehow in my genes! (Canoes and culture, Mi'kmaq canoe )

Thursday, October 13, 2011

mia'wj - the cat

My son Nathanael and his wife have two cats. When casting about for names, Nathan thought it would be fun to give one of them a Mi'kmaq name, just so he could use at least one traditional word everyday! They decided simply to call her "cat" which is the word mia'wj She's quite adorable and very smart too! (She's the dark one in the photo.)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Qalipu Band Established

How exciting! The Qalipu ("hal-lay-boo") Band was recently established on September 22, 2011. This is a great step forward for the Mi'kmaq of Newfoundland to maintain our culture and language. Here's a link to the official band page: The Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band. (Note: "qalipu" means cariboo. “Caribou, even in early times, were considered noble and dignified. Their uses are woven into the lifestyle and history of Newfoundland Mi’kmaq.” William P. Duggan of Corner Brook.)