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Finally, after years of living in denial, residents of St George's Bay and the Port au Port Peninsula (who do not live on Reserves) who are of strong Mi'kmaq blood
lines are admitting to their aboriginal connections. Today, residents are openly joining the local native bands and proving documented proof of their lineage. I , for one, am proud to be Mi'kmaq. A descendant of a proud people who have suffered a great injustice by the Europeans invaders and their descendants. I prefer to look ahead at a re-immergence of our culture. A new appreciation of who we are and where we came
from. The future will be built by the cooperation, respect and interaction of all those who live on our ancestoral lands. Our sucess will be built upon this.
What We Are Called:
Mi'kmaq is plural while Mi'kmaw is singular, but over the years, Micmac
had become the more commonly used name. Other variations are Mííqmaq, Mííkmaq, and Mi'mkaq.
Their name comes from the word: nikmaq from their own language meaning "my kin-friends or
allies." Other names used for Micmac were: Ktaqmkuk Mi'kmaq, Cape Sable Indians, Gaspesian (Gaspesien, Micmac of Gaspéé), Matueswiskitchinuuk (Malecite "Porcupine Indians"), Shonack (Beothuk "Red Indians"), Souriquois (French), and Tarrateen (British).
I am not an Indian:
I would like to point out that we are not Indians nor are we discendants of the peoples of India. This was a European slang that came from
greedy merchants looking for a shorter route to India. The accidently "Discovered" continents of America were occupied by a great federation
of many aboriginal peoples who lived in peace and harmony, for the most part, with each other before the invasion of the Europeans. Our people
had great respect for the land and the animals. There was a natural balance and interaction that existed. Are we aboriginals
and natives? Yes!
The Mi'kmaq Language is Algonquian, distinct from the Abenaki to the
South and with some traits associated with the languages of the Montagnais and Cree in Quebec. (Check out the link to the Mi'kmaq On-line
dictionary). Throughout the Mikmaq territories he Mi'kmaq language is still spoken at home in most communities and use either English or French as their second
language. Overall though, we have been on the brink of losing the our native language and I hope it is revived and taught to all who want to
enrich their lives. I, for one, hope to one day learn the language. On the Port au Port Peninsula, in Newfoundland (Ktaqmkuk ) french was often
the first language- while our native language was not.
The Mi'kmaq are divided into a number of Sub-Tribes based on territory. The Mi'kmaq homeland (Mi'kma'ki) was traditionally divided into seven hunting districts, each with its own chief. In 1860 the Mi'kmaq added another district, Taqamkuk, in Ktaqmkuk, for a total
of eight. Taqamkuk (Tagamgoog) refers to southern Newfoundland. See Mi'kmaq
Ktaqamk (Newfoundland) Mi'kmaq Bands:
- Ktaqamkuk Mi'kmaq Alliance
- St. Albins Mi'kmaq Band
- St. Theresa's Mi'kmaq Band
- Corner Brook Indian Band Council,
- Benoit's Cove Indian Band Council,
- Flat Bay Indian Band Council,
- St. George's Indian Band Council,
- Port au Port Indian Band Council,
- Ilnu Wunji Mi' kamawey Mawi' omi (Indian Head First Nations)
- Exploits Indian Band Council,
- Glenwood Mi'kmaq First Nations, and
- Gander Bay Indian Band Council
Ktaqmuk (Newfoundland) Mi'kmaq communities:
- Miawputek (Conne River) - Only Reserve: Samiajij Miawpukek
- (Nujio'qoniik) Bay St. George-Port au Port Peninsula,
- (Elmastukwek) Bay of Islands, Benoit Cove, & Corner Brook,
- (Akilasiye'wa'kik Qospem) Gander Bay, Glenwood, and the Northern Peninsula.
Copyright © 2002 Jasen Benwah. All rights reserved
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Created January 27, 2002