Nova Scotia Archives

Mi'kmaw Community Gatherings

Family and Friends

The traditional way of life for the Mi'kmaq was nomadic, dictated by the availability of fish and game. Families moved seasonally along well-established routes from one location to another, following food sources and camping at the same locations year after year. Winter camps consisted of one or two families, and belongings were completely portable. Summer was the time of easiest living, when the greatest number of people could live on the resources of the smallest area. Summer villages, located near the water, often contained up to three hundred Mi'kmaq.

From time immemorial, a central council of chiefs (Mawio'mi) met every mid-summer at Chapel Island (Potlo'tek) in Cape Breton; the council assigned separate fishing and hunting districts to the different bands, and distributed different tasks within each band to ensure that fishing and hunting activities were maintained, food preserved and clothing produced.

In traditional Mi'kmaq communities, gender roles and activities were also divided along resource-based lifestyle lines, as described in the Nova Scotia Department of Education's resource guide, Mi'kmaq Past and Present:

Roles in the Mi'kmaq community were largely determined by sex. Men hunted, fished and made bows, arrows and lances. They also made cradle boards and other articles such as tobacco pipes. Young men were expected to learn how to make bows, arrows, lances, shields, fish-traps and weirs, snowshoes, canoes, axes, and knives. They were also expected to master the basics of hunting, fishing and preparing food, clothing and shelter.... Women and girls carried game back to the camp, transported all camp equipment, and moved and set up the wigwams. They also prepared and preserved the food, made birch-bark dishes, wove mats from rushes, made clothing, corded snowshoes, fetched water, and took care of the children.

Results 1 to 15 of 19 from your search: Family and Friends

Dr. Jeremiah Lonecloud, profile

Date: 1929

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Lonecloud, Jeremiah

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"Indian Encampment" outside Dartmouth, NS

Date: ca. 1900

Photographer: W.L. Bishop

Reference: W.L. Bishop Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1983-240, no. 133

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"Whycocomagh Indians Aug 19"

Date: 1920

Photographer: Helen Creighton

Reference: Helen Creighton Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-178, no. 181

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"Indians who came for treatment"

Date: 1920

Photographer: Helen Creighton

Reference: Helen Creighton Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-173, no. 182

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Mi'kmaq group with baskets in front of wigwam, Chester

Date: ca. 1910

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Edith Read Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1996-78, no. 59

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Mi'kmaq woman, seated, on studio floor

Date: ca. 1863- ca. 1873

Photographer: Joseph S. Rogers

Reference: Joseph S. Rogers Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Micmac woman

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Mi'kmaq man, seated, with a walking stick

Date: ca. 1863- ca. 1873

Photographer: Joseph S. Rogers

Reference: Joseph S. Rogers Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Micmac man

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"Bear River Reservation. Sunday after Mass. Indian Congregation and Chapel."

Date: ca. 1893

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Album 43, no. 2, # 3

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"Johnny McEwen's family"

Date: ca. 1893

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Album 43, no. 2, # 5

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"Tuesday 9th, Indian Guides, Lake Jolly, Wright's Mill"

Date: ca. 1893

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Album 43, no. 1, # 5

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"Old Indian Woman near Moose River Rd, 1950's"

Date: 195-

Photographer: Robert Norwood

Reference: Robert Norwood Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-480, no. 403

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Mi'kmaq camp

Date: ca. 1890

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Micmac Camp

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Mi'kmaq family in front of wigwam

Date: ca. 1895

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: A.R. Cogswell Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1992-414, no. 93

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Mi'kmaq woman, Mary Christianne Paul Morris, seated on studio floor, with quillwork canoe model and box.

Date: ca. 1864

Photographer: W.D. O'Donnell

Reference: W.D. O'Donnell Nova Scotia Archives Album 5, no. 76

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"Three Indian children"

Date: 1908

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Places - Pictou Lighthouse Album, p. 7

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