Nova Scotia Archives

Mi'kmaw Community Gatherings

Trades and Livelihoods

The large-scale slaughter of game which accompanied the influx of European settlers in the late 1700s seriously depleted traditional supplies of food and skins; nevertheless, a number of Mi'kmaq still continued to make a livelihood from the fur trade well into the 1800s. Subsequent generations of Mi'kmaq, however, relied on the sale of artefacts and handcrafts, rather than provisions, to support themselves. In summer, Mi'kmaq families camped near non-native communities; the women produced brooms, baskets and quill boxes for sale, while the men sold barrels, ax handles and butter tubs. Men also did carpentry-related work.

In time, the superb hunting and tracking skills of the Mi'kmaq were diverted into another channel—from the mid-1800s and well into the 1900s, they were employed as renowned guides for wealthy sportsmen and adventurers. In fact the canoe, snowshoe and toboggan—three major items indigenous to the Mi'kmaq and other First Nations—were quickly adopted by non-natives and fully integrated into everyday means of transportation and outdoor sport in North America. A typical example of Mi'kmaq interaction with the sporting life was the visit of the young Prince Arthur—later the Duke of Connaught—to Nova Scotia in 1870, when he was introduced to the provincial woods and entrusted to the care of three Mi'kmaq guides—Peter Joe Cope, John Williams and Jim Glode.

Results 1 to 15 of 21 from your search: Trades and Livelihoods

"Mattio Jeremy. (Mattieu?) Famous Indian hunter and trapper, Annap. & Queens & Digby Cos."

Date: ca. 1907

Photographer: Edward Breck

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Jeremy, Mattio

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Elizabeth Lonecloud, basket-weaving

Date: 1965

Photographer: Nova Scotia Information Service

Reference: Nova Scotia Information Service Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Lonecloud, Elizabeth / NSIS #3070

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"John Williams, noted Micmac Indian guide, and John Thomas ('Paddy') Lane of Halifax"

Date: ca. 1870

Photographer: Gauvin & Gentzel

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Williams, John - copy 1

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John Williams, Mi'kmaq Guide, and wife

Date: ca. 1886

Publisher: E.F. Heffler

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians (Micmac) - Williams, John and Magdalene

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John Williams, Mi'kmaq Guide

Date: ca. 1890

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Williams, John

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"Basket shop on Millbrook Reserve near Truro"

Date: ca. 1953

Photographer: Nova Scotia Information Service

Reference: Nova Scotia Information Service Nova Scotia Archives NSIS #7767

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"Preparing dinner at Jaegar's Camp"

Date: 1889

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Album 43, no. 1

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"Tuesday P.M. The navy and afloat. Sixth Lake stream opposite 'Camp Frost'."

Date: 1899

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Album 43, no. 1

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New Brunswick Mi'kmaq group with canoe

Date: ca. 1860- ca. 1870

Photographer: G.T. Taylor

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Indians - Indian fishing trip, canoes etc.

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Mi'kmaq women selling beadwork in front of wigwams, Halifax 1906

Date: 1906

Photographer: J.A. Irvine

Reference: J.A. Irvine Nova Scotia Archives Album 35, no. 29

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"Close-up of Indian group at Annapolis"

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Historic Restoration Society of Annapolis County Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1985-514

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"Peggy Pictou"

Photographer: anonymous

Reference: Historic Restoration Society of Annapolis County Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1985-514

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"Micmac Indians at Louisbourg (Eskasoni)"

Date: ca. 1958

Photographer: Nova Scotia Information Service

Reference: Nova Scotia Information Service Nova Scotia Archives NSIS 12271

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Three Mi'kmaq women holding woodsplint baskets

Date: ca. 1890

Photographer: Notman Studio

Reference: Notman Studio Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1983-310, no. 69865

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Louis and Evangeline Pictou, Lower Granville "Cutting wood for baskets"

Date: 1948

Photographer: Helen Creighton

Reference: Helen Creighton Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-178, Album 14, no. 177

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