The Mi'kmaw People
The history of Mi’kmaw people is very long and our homeland, called Mi’kma’ki, is very large. There have been people living here for more than 11,000 years! Mi’kma’ki, is made up of all of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and large areas of New Brunswick, the Gaspé Peninsula, and Newfoundland.
While many histories are written only from historical documents, understanding our past and our homeland requires the understanding of many different kinds of information. In the past, Mi’kmaw people learned about their culture and history through stories and legends. These oral (spoken) histories are very important to understanding our past. In addition, because our history is so old, we use sciences like archaeology and geology to help us tell our stories.
Mi’kmaw history and culture is like a puzzle that has many different pieces. Some pieces come from geology, which tells us about the environment in the past. Other pieces come from archaeology, which tells us about where and how our ancestors lived. We also use historical documents that were written mostly by Europeans, since it was rare for Mi’kmaw people to write their histories down on paper.
Most of all, we listen to each other especially to the Elders in our community—because it is our stories and legends that help put all the pieces of the puzzle together into a picture we can call our own.