Treaty Day

Treaty Day Quick Facts

2024 DateOctober 1, 2024
2025 DateOctober 1, 2025

Treaty Day (Nova Scotia)

Treaty Day (Nova Scotia) in

Treaty Day History

Treaty Day in Nova Scotia commemorates the historic treaties signed between the Mi'kmaq people and the British Crown. The observance serves as a vital reminder of the importance of these treaties in the foundation and the ongoing relationship between Indigenous peoples and the government of Canada. As a celebration of peace, friendship, and cooperation, Treaty Day embraces the mutual understanding and respect for one another's traditions, cultures, and histories.

Treaty Day traces its origins back to 1752, when the Treaty of Friendship and Peace was signed between the Mi'kmaq Chief Jean-Baptiste Cope and Governor of Nova Scotia Peregrine Hopson. The treaty events continued through the late 1700s and early 1800s, which played a crucial role in shaping the present-day relationship between the Mi'kmaq Nation and the Canadian government. Treaty Day holds significance for all Canadians as it fosters awareness and appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples, and strengthens the bonds between diverse communities within the nation.

Treaty Day, celebrated annually on October 1st, is marked by a range of activities that highlight the Mi'kmaq culture and their contributions to both Nova Scotia and Canada as a whole. The observance commences with a flag-raising ceremony, followed by a church service, speeches, and the presentation of the Grand Chief Donald Marshall Senior Memorial Elder Award. The day is also filled with a variety of traditional customs and unique festivities, including feasts, cultural displays, and pow-wows, bringing communities together in a spirit of unity and mutual respect.

Top facts about Treaty Day

  • The Mi’kmaq homeland includes Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, central and eastern New Brunswick, the Gaspe Peninsula, and Newfoundland.
  • There were about 170,000 members of the Mi’kmaq nation living in Canada as of 2020.
  • As of 2015, there are 13 Mi’kmaq nations in Nova Scotia.
  • The treaties recognized the rights of the Mi'kmaq people to hunt, fish, and use the resources on their ancestral lands without interference from the colonial authorities. They also reaffirmed the sovereignty and rights of the Mi'kmaq nation.
  • The treaties established trade relationships between the British and the Mi'kmaq, allowing for the exchange of goods and access to resources such as timber and fish
  • The first treaty was signed in 1725 in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, with a formal ratification in 1726 in Boston.

Top things to do for Treaty Day

  • Celebrate with parades, concerts, or feasts. Many of these events are held throughout Nova Scotia.
  • Learn more about the indigenous nations of Canada.
  • Watch a video highlighting Treaty Day 2020.
  • Read The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial Edition by Donald R. Hickey.

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