Sure Thing: Treaty Day

Wednesday, October 1 at various locations around the city

The Mi’kmaq community of Nova Scotia will gather in Halifax on October 1 to celebrate Treaty Day, commemorating the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1752. This treaty has great historical importance to both Mi’kmaq and non-Mi’kmaq communities within Nova Scotia, as it marks the day the Crown and the Mi’kmaq nation used treaties to settle disputes and share the territory, while protecting the land and way of life of the Mi’kmaq people.Treaty Day was created by the Supreme Court of Canada to reaffirm the importance of the Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1985, and in October 1986 was declared an official public holiday. It also marks the beginning of Mi’kmaq history month in Nova Scotia which was formed as a collective effort in 1993 by former premier John Savage and Mi’kmaq Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy.Unlike previous years, there will be a special day of celebration for the community on Thursday, September 30, taking place on the Halifax Waterfront, with arts and crafts installations as well as dancing and drumming demonstrations. A free music showcase will start at 8pm as a gift from the Mi’kmaq community. Hosted by Candy Palmater, the night features the internationally recognized Nova Scotian Aboriginal drumming group Eastern Eagle, an exhibition by hoop dancer Samantha Lewis, followed by pop rockers The Relatives and finally a performance by the world-renowned finger-picking guitarist Don Ross.The event will begin with a morning service at St. Mary’s Basilica, followed by a veterans march to Grand Parade Square where the Mi’kmaq flag will be raised, ending with a ceremony at the Westin and a meal. Organizers say Treaty Day is a marker for peace and harmony between the Mi’kmaq and non-Mi’kmaq Nova Scotians, and hope for a diverse crowd of supporters.

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