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Celebrating Mi’kmaq History Month at Shelburne Museums by the Sea

Mi'Kmaw artist Ed Benham. Photo by Lisa Buchanan.
Mi'Kmaw artist Ed Benham. Photo by Lisa Buchanan.

Shelburne Museums by the Sea is hosting a Celebration of MiKmaq Culture and Language on Saturday, Oct. 14 to mark October is MiKmaq History Month.

The event will be facilitated by Jeanette Nickerson, a member of the Acadia First Nation. Nickerson works diligently to promote engagement within the MiKmaq culture, especially with Indigenous youth. She will perform smudging ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and a drum circle at 3:30 p.m. (weather permitting).

Nickerson will also conduct an all ages MiKmaq language workshop at 11:30 a.m. and an adult version of the same at 1:30 p.m.

The museum will feature MiKmaq exhibits, hands-on learning, and childrens crafts throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission.

Also in conjunction with MiKmaq History Month, Shelburne Museums by the Seas recently formed Community Engagement Council that will be hosting an evening talk and interactive display of woodcarvings with Mi'kmaw artist Ed Benham. The event will take place at the Shelburne County Museum on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Learn what inspired Ed to begin woodcarving, the methods and materials used to create his work- a mix of traditional and contemporary, ranging from replicas, show pieces, functional art and scenic relief carvings. Admission to this presentation is by free-will offering.

The Community Engagement Council initiative was developed by Shelburne Museums by the Sea curator Allison Burnett, with the goal of renewing the relationship between the Museum and the communities that it serves. It hopes to facilitate this initiative by offering opportunities for community members to engage in and encourage visitation, volunteerism and to promote intergenerational interaction.

To this end, the Council has developed some interesting presentations, workshops and initiatives which include:

• Nov. 15, Joan Doehler Shelburne Streetscape; Standards and Guidelines for Historic Districts, Shelburne County Museum, 7pm. Admission by donation. 

• Jan.10, Jay Pilzer The Man Who Defined a Nation One Stomp at a Time: The Remarkable Career of Stompin Tom Connors. Osprey Arts Centre. Time to be announced. Admission by donation. 

• Dr. Katie Cottreau-Robins , Curator of Archaeology will present and discuss her findings on the Archaeological dig site at Fort St. Louis, Port laTour. She will also facilitate a Ghosts in the backyard event where residents can bring in any finds that could lead to significant new archaeological sites. May, Date TBA 

• Pottery creations and pit firing demonstrations with Roundbird Studio owner Rosemary Cheetham. Date TBA 

• Classical egg decorating with local artist Mary Ayer . March, date TBA 

• Development of a Museum Volunteer Program where the Museum can match volunteers skills with

tasks that they need assistance with. Eg. Whirligig painter, research assistant, childrens programming, reception, walking tour guides 

• Creation of three portable memory or reminiscence kits . Theseemory kits are designed to generate pleasant memories of the past for individuals with limited mobility or those suffering from memory loss. 

For more information please contact the Volunteer Program Coordinator, Samantha Brannen at the Shelburne County Museum by calling 902-875-4444 or via email . Visit the Shelburne Museums by the Sea website at and find us on Facebook at Shelburne Museum Complex. 



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