October 1 is Treaty Day and the start of Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia.
Dalhousie University President Richard Florizone has released the following message reflecting on the importance of this day and this month to the Dalhousie community and announcing two events to be held on October 11 – the opening of a Legacy Space at the Killam Library and the annual Mawio’mi.
To: The Dalhousie University community
From: Richard Florizone, President
Date: October 1, 2018
Re: Mi’kmaq History Month
Today is Treaty Day, which recognizes the anniversary of the 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty. Treaty Day also marks the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month, promoting public awareness of Mi’kmaw culture and heritage for all Nova Scotians.
On Thursday, October 11, two events will be held on our Studley Campus:
At 9:30 a.m., the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Legacy Space will be officially launched at Dalhousie’s Killam Memorial Library. Legacy Spaces are dedicated to providing accurate information regarding Indigenous history and our journey of reconciliation. All members of our community are welcome and encouraged to attend the opening of this special space.
Following the launch, the ninth annual Mawio’mi will be hosted on Studley Quad (or in the case of rain, the McInnes Room in the Student Union Building) beginning at 11:00 a.m. I hope that you will join this great celebration of culture, diversity and heritage, which includes a feast as well as Indigenous drummers and dancers.
In Dalhousie’s 200th year, in which we are celebrating our “Year of Belonging,” it is particularly important to recognize and celebrate the legacy of the land on which our university sits, and our relationship with and responsibilities to the Mi’kmaq. Earlier this year, Dalhousie’s Board of Governors approved an Indigenous acknowledgement statement that reads:
Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.
We are all Treaty people.
These words reflect both our past and our future, as we work to incorporate Indigenous education, research and support into the life of our institution. Consistent with these commitments, Dalhousie has adopted the Universities Canada Principles on Indigenous Education (endorsed by both Board and Senate); launched our Indigenous Studies minor and its associated Elders in Residence program; enhanced supports at the Indigenous Student Centre, including the hiring of a new full-time advisor; permanently raised the Mi’kmaq flag in Halifax and Truro; and significantly increased the hiring of Indigenous staff and faculty (nearing full labour-market representation of Indigenous employees).
Let’s continue this important work in the months and years to come. We are all Treaty people.
Dr. Richard Florizone, President