10,000 years of Mi’Kmaw Culture Re-Emerges in Nova Scotia – June 20 & 21
For Immediate Release
Liverpool, June 5, 2013 – For over 10,000 years, the drum has been the heartbeat of Southwest Nova Scotia and in honour of National Aboriginal Day and the Summer Solstice, Acadia First Nation is hosting a groundbreaking event at White Point Beach Resort on June 20 and 21, Ancient Mi’kmaw Culture Re-Emerges.
Offering unique insights into this ancient culture, guests of the two-day event will embark on a journey through more than 10,000 years of Mi’Kmaq presence in “Kespukwitk”, the area encompassed by today’s UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. Dr. Matthew Betts, the lead archaeologist in Atlantic Canada for the Canadian Museum of Civilization, will reveal the fascinating 3,000-year-old story uncovered on the shores of Port Joli; Nova Scotia experts will interpret and present the thousands of artifacts found on the riverbed of the oldest travelway in the province – the Mersey River; and the largest collection of petroglyphs found in Eastern North America at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site will be retraced during this event.
Master of Ceremonies and Acadia First Nation Community Enhancement Development Officer Melanie Purdy is thrilled about the program created for this event. “We are so pleased to share and highlight the depth, wealth and beauty of our culture through these historical elements against a backdrop of a cultural experiences program presented by our community.” A Circle Dance, a Summer Solstice Sunrise Ceremony on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, a Mi’Kmaw Artists Showcase, a traditional Wigwam Village and Lunch featuring a Medicine Plant walk, traditional craft and tool demonstrations and drumming and dance will be among the experiences that will round out this gathering. “We are proud to showcase and honour our heritage in such a dynamic way, inviting our guests to explore, discover and fully appreciate our presence in Kespukwitk, dating back more than 10,000 years.”
Respected and celebrated traditional Mi’Kmaq birchbark canoe builder Todd Labrador is intimately involved as he showcases his canoes and conducts various ceremonies including the Summer Solstice Sunrise Ceremony on National Aboriginal Day. Labrador, a member of the planning committee, says this event is one of which he is particularly proud to be part of. “This gathering enables us to honour our ancestors and more importantly share insights into our teachings, learnings and culture with the greater community, it is an honour” says Labrador.
Eric LeBel, Superintendent at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site says they are excited to be a partner and presenter at the event. “This gathering is groundbreaking. The Acadia First Nation community is truly inspiring and are surrounded by a very passionate team working to share the story of the Mi’Kmaq in this region.”
Organizers say they are pleased with the response. Judy Boutilier, Cultural Officer with Acadia First Nation, says the 2 day program presented along the shores of the Atlantic at White Point Beach Resort is perfect settling. Boutilier says, “While guests are welcome to join us for one or both days, many are opting for the overnight package ensuring they don’t miss the 5:30am Sunrise Ceremony on Summer Solstice.” For those unable to attend in person, organizers have made arrangements to have the event live streamed over the Internet at www.whitepointbeach.ca.
“The enthusiasm and excitement surrounding ‘Ancient Mi’Kmaw Culture Re-Emerges’ has been astounding. It is such a privilege to be hosting this gathering here at White Point” says White Point’s Marketing Manager, Donna Hatt, “being part of the planning team has been a privilege and the support has been overwhelming.”
For additional information contact:
Judy Boutilier, Cultural Officer
Acadia First Nation
Planning Committee Member, Acadia First Nation
Marketing & Product Development Manager, White Point Beach Resort
(902) 354-2711 ext 369
mobile: (902) 521-7319