Halifax Media Co-op

News from Nova Scotia's Grassroots

More independent news:
Do you want free independent news delivered weekly? sign up now
Can you support independent journalists with $5? donate today!

Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki - Episode 7: The Time Machine

Tracing the roots of traditional Mi'kmaq governance

by Annie Clair

Episode 7 of Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki is here. Join host Annie Clair on a trip back in time.
Episode 7 of Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki is here. Join host Annie Clair on a trip back in time.

Today on Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki, thanks to the magic of audio sound effects, intrepid host Annie Clair travels back in time to investigate traditional governance structures as they existed in pre-contact times.

With the assistance of knowledgable guests such as Roger Lewis, curator of ethnology at the Nova Scotia Musuem, Don Awalt, Mi'kmaq historian and genealogist, and Russell Julian and Ron Knockwood, members of the modern-day Mi'kmaq Grand Council, Annie embarks on a voyage of discovery that traces and isolates the impacts of colonial and Catholic influences upon Mi'kmaq governance.

It's a fascinating look at the manner in which an entire governance structure was designed around glusuaqan, which translates roughly into 'speaking words', and how this steadily was undermined through a colonial system that rewarded complicit behaviour. Moving back to the present day, this episode highlights the importance of keeping oral history alive, but also the dangers of 'getting it wrong', especially when dealing with the Canadian government in Treaty-based legal cases.

“We need to go back to our elders,” says Clair. “We need to go to them to get that knowledge and to learn the things that are not kept in museums. They're the ones that have our history and our oral traditions."


Click here for more great episodes of Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki! 

Want more grassroots coverage?
Join the Media Co-op today.
211 words
bar baz

The site for the Halifax local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.