Mi’kmaw Territory


Mi’kmaq people have occupied the entire Atlantic region since 13 000 years ago (‘Nova Scotia’, ‘New Brunswick’, ‘P.E.I.’ and “Newfoundland’ as well as parts of the Gaspé penninsula. They call this territory Mi’kma’ki.

The Mi’kmaw nation is part of a larger tribal nation : The Wabanaki Confederation. This includes the Mi’kmaw, the Malécites, the Passamaquoddy, the Pentagouets as well as the Abénaquis in the northeast of ‘North America’. These five nations are part of the large family of Algonquins who occupy the land east of the Saint-Laurence, in the region of the Adirondack Mountains and the Appalachian mountains. 


Before the devastating arrival of the Europeans in the 1500s, Mi’kma’ki was divided into 7 districts, each one named after geographic characteristics in it’s region (as seen in the map) and led by a chief :Kespukwitk, Sipekni’katik, Eskikewa’kik, Unama’kik, Epekwitk aq Piktuk, Siknikt, and Kespek. Together, the chiefs of each of these districts make up the Grand Counsel of Mi’kmaq, the Sante’ Mawio’mi,  who govern by consensus the entire territory and its inhabitants. For many centuries this method of governance proved well organized, strong and successful for it’s people.

The Mi’kmaw language is part of the group of Algonquin languages, indicating that the tribal connections have gone and continue to go well beyond the Mi’kma’ki territory for commerce and social relations. The term Mi’kmaq is the plural version of Mi’kmaw, referring to many people or the entire nation. Both terms have replaced the word ‘Micmac’. 

The Grand Counsel still exists today, even if the government of ‘Canada’ only wants to recognize and give concessions to it’s Band Council government (imposed as a governing structure useful for the continuation of colonization with the Indian Act). The River Camp and the drilling project of Junex is on the territory of the seventh district, with Gary Metallic as traditional chief.