Revitalizing Mi'kmaq culture through education


Today, Mi’kmaq people are losing their connection to mother earth and honoring the elders due to loss of culture and language.

After the federal government tried to assimilate all the "Indians" it became harder for the culture to gain back it's confidence, culture, and people. While the Residential Schools were busy "civilizing" and "assimilating" the Aboriginals, the Canadian government was busy taking over Aboriginal land without treaties. They also passed laws that controlled every aspect of Aboriginal's life. In these schools, Aboriginal women and men were sexually and physically abused, leaving them feeling hopeless and vulnerable. It went from our women being the backbone of our culture and being well respected, to being vulnerable and weak from the result of this. Because of the assimilation that was attempted, the men do not worship the woman as much as they used to. Intergenerational trauma is trauma passed through generations and generations that has a negative impact on the Mi'kmaq culture. The Mi'kmaq lost their cultural beliefs and traditions along the many years of colonization.

I believe that as myself and my peers for being the next generation, there needs to be more education on Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals to create reconciliation and ways we can work together properly. Also there needs to be more education to the younger Aboriginals with the culture because the knowledge should be passed on when they are older to keep the Mi'kmaq culture alive. As a fourth year Mi'kmaq student here at StFX I have seen great progress for reconciliation. The Mi'kmaq flag is now being raised permanently as opposed to being raised only in the month of October (Mi'kmaq history month). There are more courses being taught here at StFX relating to aboriginal students and also there  are Mi'kmaq language courses. The Aboriginal society has grown a lot since I have been here and had helped me a lot throughout these years of being in the StFX community. This is a great step forward in the difficult and long road to reconciliation.


Janet Patrice Dedam