We will write a custom Essay on Canadian Studies: The Mi’kmaq People specifically for you
301 certified writers online
This short paper is a discussion about the Mi’kmaq people of present-day Canada. The paper explores their historical background and how the Europeans influenced their ways of life. It also looks at Europeans’ description of the Mi’kmaq and how the Europeans’ greed led them to invade Mi’kmaqs’ land depriving them of their rightful land, wealth and how their culture was rudely disrupted and watered down by European civilization.
Mi’kmaq and European civilization
The history of the Mi’kmaq people dates back to some13, 000 years ago. Archaeological reports indicate that the Mi’kmaq found themselves living at the foot of the Cobequid Mountains, which are found at the present day Nova Scotia province of Eastern Canada (University of newfound land, 2013).
The Mi’kmaq people had a unique and distinctive culture and lifestyle in that they were semi-nomadic and also practiced agriculture. During the summer, they would do fishing while during winter they would do hunting and gathering. They had plenty of food and had a very cohesive community bond which held them together as one people. They were unique in that they shared equally what they had. They also collectively took care of the sick, the elderly and the disadvantaged and there were no destitute in their society.
Due to their cohesive nature and the spirit of brotherliness, the Mi’kmaq had relatively high levels of social, psychological, physical and emotional security and very low levels of stress. This made them live longer. Their good diet also enabled them to multiply very fast as compared to other people of the world who did not have this kind of affluent living.
When the Europeans came to their land in the early sixteenth century, the Mi’kmaq welcomed them and helped them learn ways of coping in the foreign land. However, some of their cultural practices were watered down as the Mi’kmaq adopted some of the European practices like commercial agriculture.
Early European descriptions of Mi’kmaq character
The early Europeans described the Mi’kmaq people as humble, polite and welcoming. They also perceived them as primitive and saw the need of enlightening them to abandon some of their traditional cultural practices such as hunting of the moose and gathering of wild fruits.
The Mi’kmaq people were also described by the Europeans as people with great potential as well as industrious. They were also perceived as very knowledgeable especially due to their ability to make oil from the whale fish, which they used during the summer to supplement their diet as they did hunting and gathering (Novascotia, 2013).
When the Europeans came as explorers, they pretended to be very good people. Some disguised their ill intentions with missionary work which made the Mi’kmaq extend a welcoming hand to the Europeans. However, after becoming accustomed to the Mi’kmaq way of life, the Europeans embarked on a mission to deprive the Mi’kmaq of their land and resources.
They acquired huge tracks of land through legal, political and physical battles which they easily won due to their superiority in terms of education, weapons, and global networks. As a result, the Mi’kmaq people were pushed to less fertile and low productive areas in their own territory.
The Mi’kmaq people were very unique in that they had a cohesive lifestyle which enabled them to care for each other. Their hard working character and knowledge enabled them to do farming, hunting, and gathering, something which was not common during those early days. They welcomed the European explorers to their land, who ended up becoming their colonizers. Through colonization, the Mi’kmaq lost most of their wealth and land. Their unique cultural practices were also watered down by European civilization.
Novascotia. (2013). The Mi’kmaq. Retreived 29th, September, 2013, from< http://www.novascotia.com/en/home/discovernovascotia/history/routestoyourroots/settlementpatterns/themikmaq.aspx>
University of newfound land. (2013). Traditional Mi’kmaq (Micmac) Culture. Retreived 29th, September, 2013, from< http://www.heritage.nf.ca/aboriginal/mikmaq_culture.html>