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Mi'kmaw Time Line

From Mi'kmaq Resource Guide 2000

956 - Norsemen made first contact with the Indians of Newfoundland

1398 - Henry St. Clair, a Scotsman, is believed to have landed in Guysborough Harbour and travelled to Pictou and Stellarton

1492 - Christopher Columbus landed in North America and claimed that he had discovered the New World

1497 - Acadia and Newfoundland visited by John Cabot, merchant and explorer under the orders of Henry VII of England. Cabot took formal possession of the land in the name of King Henry VII

1500 - Garpar Corte Real, a slave trader, captured several natives; some were believed to be Mi'kmaq. Corte Real's ship was lost at sea, although two of his ships returned to Portugal safely

1510 - Mi'kmaw Grand Chief Membertou was born

1534 - Jacques Cartier sailed with two ships to North America under the orders of King Francis I. Cartier traded furs with the Mi'kmaq and this is the first recorded incident of trade with Europeans

1537 - Bull Sic Dilexit, issued by Paul III in 1537 stated that Indians should not be deprived of their liberty property, or in any way be enslaved

1546 - The Descelieers Mappemonde showed the discovered areas in North America as well as the native fauna and Native people

1578 - Marquis de la Roche-Mesgoues received a commission from King Henri IV authorizing him to colonize North America

1598 - Marquis de la Roche-Mesgoues built a colony on Sable Island using 40 convicts to supply labour

1603 - Samuel de Champlain travelled to North America on an exploration voyage

1603 - Pierrede Giva, Sieur de Monts, Governor of Acadia, received a royal commission to colonize Acadia

1604 - The first Jesuit missionary Abbè Jessè Flèchè arrived at Port Royal

1606 - Marc Lescarbot's first contact with the Mi'kmaq. He wrote the earliest detailed records of Mi'kmaw life

1607 - French colonists evacuate Port Royal. While the French were gone, Grand Chief Membertou took responsibility for the encampment until the return of the French in 1610

1610 - The Concordat with the Vatican was signed. It affirmed the Mi'kmaq right to choose Catholicism, Mi'kmaq tradition, or both. Mi'kmaw Grand Captain Pesamoet spent a year living in France and he realized that a large number of French people would be settling in Acadia. It was necessary therefore, to form good relations with them. This meant accepting and protecting the Catholic religion

1610 - Chief Membertou was the first North American native to be baptized. Membertou, along with 21 members of his family were baptized by Abbè Jessè Flèchè as a sign of alliance and friendship

1621 - Sir William Alexander obtained a grant from the British King James I for all of Acadia. The territory that the Mi'kmaq called home was given the name "Nova Scotia"

1628 - St. Anne's Chapel was established by Vimont and Vieux Point. St. Anne was adopted by the Mi'kmaq as their patron saint

1632 - Capucins established a school at LaHave for Mi'kmaq children

1639 - Pope Urban VIII issued a statement that the Indians should not be enslaved or deprived of their liberty or property

1676 - Father Chrestien Le Clercq began his work in Gaspasia. He was the first to use hieroglyphic characters to teach Mi'kmaq

1713 - The "Submission and Agreement of the Eastern Indians" including those of the St. John River and eastward was signed at Portsmouth

1716 - Gaulin established a mission at Antigonish in order to induce the Mi'kmaq to settle and farm the land

1717 - A Church was approved for the Mi'kmaq of Anitgonish

1722 - The Indian War began in 1722 and lasted until 1726. Gaulin established a mission at Bras d"Or Lake. Phillips banned the sale of arms and ammunition to the Indians

1725 - Treaty with the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet signed in Boston. It was the first of several treaties to be signed between the British and the Mi'kmaq to establish a peaceful alliance

1726 - The 1725 Treaty was ratified and confirmed by all the Mi'kmaq tribes in Nova Scotia during talks at Port Royal

1735 - Pierre Maillard arrived at Louisbourg and began work on Mi'kmaw grammar

1744 - Mascarene requested that Gorham's Rangers keep the Mi'kmaq under control

1749 - Edward Cornwallis was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia. He was followed by over 2000 settlers who founded the settlement of Halifax

1749 - Treaty signed with the Indians at Chebucto and Saint John renewing the Treaty of 1725

1749 - In the continuing campaign in Chignecto, Cornwallis's instructions include a reward of ten guineas for the scalps of Mi'kmaq men, women, and children. The Lords of Trade disagreed with this "extermination" policy. The Mi'kmaw military began to decline after they lost the support of the French.

1752 - Treaty between Peregrine Thomas Hopson, Governor of the Province of Nova Scotia and Jean Baptiste Cope, Chief Sachem of the Mi'kmaq, was signed in Halifax. Grand chief Cope was assured that Britain intended to make peace, provide trading posts, and protect the land and the way of life of the Mi'kmaw people. This treaty designated October 1st as the date on which the Mi'kmaq would receive gifts from the British to "renew their friendship and submissions".

1753 - Thomas Wood started work on a Mi'kmaw grammar dictionary and bible

1753 - Up until 1756, Lawrence issued a proclamation ordering hostilities to be committed on the Mi'kmaq

1755 - A Mi'kmaw by the name of Paul Laurent requested hunting lands for the Mi'kmaq people

1758 - Louisbourg fell to the British for the last time - a vital turning point in Mi'kmaq resistance to the British presence

1758 - Lawrence issued a proclamation inviting immigrants to Nova Scotia and promising them land grants with no rents for 10 years

1760-61 - Mi'kmaq Chiefs discussed terms of peace with the British

1761 - Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed on Governor Belcher's farm. The "Burying of the Hatchet Ceremony" celebrated the successful conclusion of the treaties

1761 - Royal Instructions were issued to Governors, instructing them to enter into treaties with the various tribes; the said treaties were to be honoured and enforced without exception

1762 - Belcher's Proclamation stated that His Majesty was determined to maintain the just rights of the Indians to all lands reserved or claimed by them

1763 - The Royal Proclamation brought the management of Indian Affairs under central direction. It was an attempt to prevent the illegal seizure of native lands by the incoming British settlers

1764 - A plan for future management of Indian affairs was created

1776 - Treaty signed between Americans and delegates of St. John's and Mi'kmaw tribes. This treaty, signed at Watertown, stated that the Mi'kmaw Nation and America would help one another against any enemy. Most of the Mi'kmaq did not agree with this arrangement; therefore this treaty did not last.

1779 - The final treaty between the Mi'kmaq and the British was signed. The Mi'kmaq ceased to be a military threat

1782 - Loyalist refugees from New York fled to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The Mi'kmaw population was now outnumbered and no longer considered to be a threat to the British. They were placed on reservations

1783 - The Colonial Government of Nova Scotia granted licenses of occupations to several Mi'kmaw Bands which were merely confirmation of the existence of settlements already established

1786 - Charles Morris was commissioned to carry out an extensive survey of lands assigned to the Mi'kmaq

1789 - Schools for Mi'kmaw children were started

1794 - The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain was signed. The Mi'kmaw people were allowed to cross the international boundary without any hindrance

1800 - A committee was formed to study the plight of the Mi'kmaq

1801 - The Nova Scotia government allotted ten Indian reserves

1804 - Jean Mandè Sigognè compiled a book of Mi'kmaq translations

1807 - Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth ordered a census be taken of the Mi'kmaw population

1820 - Charles Morris was ordered to submit a plan for tracts of land which were to be given to Mi'kmaw Indians

1822 - The Mi'kmaq of St. George's Bay, Newfoundland, built their own schooner

1840 - Silas T. Rand, a Baptist Minister, compiled a Mi'kmaw dictionary

1841 - Grand Chief John Denny Jr. was born. Denny was to become the last Mi'kmaw Grand Chief to acquire his title by succeeding his father

1848 - Abraham Gesner, the Indian Commissioner, settled 14 families at Shubenacadie

1850 - An Act for Lower Canada defined the term "Indian" and established the criteria for eligibility for Indian status

1851 - The criteria for Indian status in the 1850 Act was revised to state that Indian ancestry would be through the male line. If a native woman married a non-native, her child could not claim Indian status.

1855 - The Nova Scotia government enacted legislation for the purpose of taking title to all lands reserved for the exclusive use of Indians and to hold it in trust for them

1859 - An Act was passed which allowed squatters to buy the land on which they were trespassing. This allowed settlers to obtain land set aside for the Mi'kmaq

1866 - Samuel P. Fairbanks, Commissioner of Crown Lands and Indian Affairs, prepared a schedule of lands to be set apart for the Mi'kmaq

1868 - The Indian Act was created

1876 - The Indian Act establishes the Department of Indian Affairs. In order to become a Canadian citizen, natives had to relinquish their Indian status

1894 - Father Pacifique translated prayers into Mi'kmaq

1900 - The Mi'kmaw flag was first raised in Restigouche, Quebec, on October 4, and in Halifax in 1901

1914 - Over 150 Mi'kmaw men signed up during World War I

1918 - Gabriel J. Sylliboy became the first elected Grand Chief at a ceremony in Chapel Island

1929 - Rex v. Sylliboy became an important precedent setting case in which the Treaty of 1752 held not to give the Mi'kmaq of Cape Breton Island immunity from the Lands and Forests Act. This was overruled in 1985 by the R. v. Simon case

1930 - The Residential School in Shubenacadie opened. It closed in 1967. It was used as a means of speeding up the process of assimilation

1939 - Over 250 Mi'kmaq signed up during World War II

1942 - The Indian Affairs Branch introduced centralization programs in Nova Scotia. The aim of centralization was to relocate the Mi'kmaq to reserves located at Eskasoni and Shubenacadie

1945 - The Veterans Land Act grant was used to buy houses for veterans returning from World War II

1950 - Over 60 Mi'kmaq enlisted for service in Korea

1951 - Revisions were made to the Indian Act which removed the ban against performing traditional ceremonies as well as the clause forbidding Indians from entering public bars

1956 - The Canadian Government granted citizenship to Indians

1958 - Eight of eleven Mi'kmaq bands in Nova Scotia took control of their own affairs, including the management of band funds

1960 - The Canadian Government permitted Indians to vote in federal and provincial elections without any loss of their status under the Indian Act

1969 - The Union of Nova Scotia Indians was formed

1969 - Trudeau introduced the "White Paper Policy" which was an attempt to make native people adopt the values and culture of Canadians of European descent. It would eliminate special status for native people and repeal the Indian Act

1969 - The Citizen Plus, also known as the "Red Paper" was presented to Prime Minister Trudeau. It was a response by the Indian Chiefs of Alberta rejecting the provisions of the White Paper

1970 - The federal government began funding native groups and associations to conduct research into treaties and Indian rights

1971 - The White Paper Policy was withdrawn

1972 - The Nova Scotia Native Women's Association was formed

1973 - The Acadia Band became the twelfth band in Nova Scotia

1974 - The Micmac Association of Cultural Studies initiated a new writing system for Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq

1975 - The Native Council of Nova Scotia was formed by the Mi'kmaq and MAètis

1977 - The Mi'kmaw Grand Council and UNSI presented their Aboriginal Rights position paper to the Minister of Indian Affairs

1980 - The Francis/Smith writing system became the official writing system for the Mi'kmaw language in Nova Scotia

1981 - The Constitution Act recognized existing Aboriginal and treaty rights

1982 - Treaty and Aboriginal rights were recognized under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. In 1995 the Indian Affairs Minister issued department policy which recognized inherent right to self-government

1983 - Mi'kmaq petroglyphs were found in Bedford, Nova Scotia

1985 - James Matthew Simon vs. The Queens, a Supreme Court ruling held that the 1752 treaty was still valid and enforceable

1985 - Mi'kmaq Family & Children's Services was established to serve the native communities of Nova Scotia

1985 - Bill C-31 went into effect. This bill permitted the reinstallment of 8,000 individuals to Indian status

1986 - The Grand Chief of the Mi'kmaq announced that October 1st would be known as "Treaty Day" to commemorate the relationship between the Mi'kmaq and Her Majesty

1986 - The Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. prosecution was established by the Executive Council of Nova Scotia by Order in Council on October 28th, 1986

1986 - The Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq was established by the band councils of six mainland Nova Scotia First Nations

1987 - Meech Lake Accord recognized Quebec as a "distinct society", a right denied to First Nations people

1989 - The Dalhousie Law School Programme for Indigenous Blacks and Micmacs was established

1990 - First publication of the Micmac Nation News which would later become the Micmac-Maliseet Nations News

1990 - The Marshall Inquiry Report highlighted the inadequacies of the Nova Scotia justice system in regard to the Mi'kmaq

1991 - The Micmac Heritage Gallery opened its doors at Halifax

1992 - The Mi'kmaw Cultural Alliance was established at Hants East Rural High School

1993 - A Policing Agreement was signed by the Nova Scotia and federal governments with the Union of Nova Scotia Indians

1994 - The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia and Ronald A. Irwin, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development signed an accord which would allow Mi'kmaq jurisdiction over education

1995 - The Canadian Government launches plans for negotiating Aboriginal self-government

1995 - The Minister of Indian Affairs issued department policy which recognized an inherent right to self-government

1996 - The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples' five volumes based on a five year study were released

1996 - Lee Cremo became the first recipient of the First Nations Category of the East Coast Music Awards

1997 - Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia, the province of Nova Scotia, and Canada, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Tripartite Forum

1997 - Education jurisdiction transferred to the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. It was the first agreement in Canada to transfer jurisdiction for education from the federal government of Canada to First Nations communities

1997 - Delgamuukw v. British Columbia proved the existence of Aboriginal title within Canada. It provides a test for the proof of Aboriginal title and the content of which that entails

1997 - 100th anniversary celebration of St. Anne's Church on Merigomish Island

1998 - Micmac Native Friendship Centre celebrated its 25th anniversary

1998 - Eskasoni High Tech High School opens

1998 - Chapel Island opens Mi'kmawey Poteletekewey Kina'matno'kuom for grades primary to eight

1998 - 25th anniversary of the Wally Bernard Memorial Indian Youth Hockey Invitational

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This excerpt from the Mi'kmaw Resource Guide 2000 was made possible through the collaboration of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq, and the Native Council of Nova Scotia. The Second Edition - 2000 was made possible through the Tripartite Education Committee and was funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Aboriginal Affairs, Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, and Canadian Heritage and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Project Coordinators were Tim Bernard, of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq, Rosalie Francis of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, and Spencer Wilmot of the Native Council of Nova Scotia. Contributors included Bernie Francis - Mi'kmaq translation, Kristie Gehue, Julie Martin, Clayton Paul - research, and Mary Martha Sylliboy of Eastern Woodland Publishing. P.O. Box 1590, Truro, N.S. Canada, B2N 5V3, Telephone 902-895-2038.