Culture & History
The Millbrook Band works hard to promote culture and language.
Seniors and Elders have always played an important role in our Aboriginal community, offering their extensive wisdom, knowledge and advice.
Community members are encouraged to attend other traditional gatherings and activities such as the Annual Community Feast, Annual Children's Christmas Party, Annual St. Anne De Beaupre Pilgrimage and the Annual St. Anne's Day Celebrations.
The Imperial Treaty of 1752 was signed by: His Excellency Pergrine Thomas Hopson, Esquire, Captain and Governor in Chief and Major Jean Baptiste Cope, Chief Sachem of the tribe of Micmac Indians. "To receive presents of blankets, tobacco, some powder and shot to the said Indians, promise once every year, upon the first of October, to come by themselves or their delegates and receive the said presents and renew their friendship and submissions." This has become known as Treaty Day which is celebrated on October 1st of every year.
Sometime during the late 1700's and the early 1800's the Truro natives lived along the banks of the Salmon River which runs between the town and the village of Bible Hill, near where the former Archibald property was located. This parcel of land was sold in 1855 to the School of Agriculture. When the school started expanding, the native people were moved to property on King Street, where the St. Mary's School is now located. The natives called this Christmas Crossing.
In 1873, a native hunter by the name of Peter Wilmot found a good piece of land near the Hilden area. He informed the people at Christmas Crossing that this land was full of wild game and there was plenty of ash growing in that area. The native people elected a spokesperson to talk with the Indian Agent about their land at Christmas Crossing for this new piece of land later known as Millbrook Reserve.
On December 6, 1886, Peter Wilmot was the spokesperson for the new Indian Reserve near Mill Brook, eleven years after the relocation from Christmas Crossing to Millbrook, the Indian Agent managed to get funds to construct the Sacred Heart Church and the Indian Day School. In 1897, these two buildings were built by the native people of Millbrook.
The original Truro Reserve (Millbrook) had an area of 35 acres. Between 1904 and 1910 an additional 120 acres was purchased by the Reserve. In December 1917, after the Halifax
Explosion, the Halifax County Mi'kmaq were told they could move to the Millbrook Reserve. Unfortunately, the Halifax County Mi'kmaq refused to settle in Millbrook. In 1918, the Creelman property was purchased for the Halifax County Mi'kmaq who wished to amalgamate with the Truro Mi'kmaq. The Truro reserve was the first experiment on the part of the Department of Indian Affairs to centralize Mi'kmaq to reserves. The Halifax County Mi'kmaq, which consisted of the Cole Harbour, Sheet Harbour and Beaver Dam reserves approached Millbrook to administer its programs and services. Cole Harbour is located off Caldwell Road in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on the Eastern Passage. Sheet Harbour and Beaver Dam are located 50 km. east of Musquodoboit. These lands make up what is now Millbrook Reserve.
Since 1990, the Millbrook Band has been working progressively to increase economic development in the community. The philosophy has been that to achieve community well-being the Band must approach its problems holistically, addressing all aspects of the community; social, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. By increasing economic development in the community, the Millbrook Band has provided employment, training, education, and other programs that would not otherwise have been accessible. The goal is to increase the level of self- worth one Band member at a time.
The Mi'kmaq Journey
A CBC Land and Sea Episode - From the deep woods of Nova Scotia - to the Smithsonian archives in Washington - the long journey to protect Mi'kmaq culture for the future.
MILLBROOK ANNUAL POW-WOW
Date: August 10-12, 2018
The Millbrook Annual Pow-wow is a traditional event that runs for four days. We welcome all visitors. This is an excellent chance for local people to visit their neighboring Mi'kmaq community and a great venue for tourists. We have dancers and drum groups that come from all over Atlantic Canada, in the evening we offer nightly entertainment, usually local Mi'kmaq talent.
Our Pow-wows on the east coast are not the same as those which exist in many parts of North America. This is not a competition. That is why they are known as mawiomi's, or gatherings. They are very family-oriented, so come and enjoy, but please be familiar with the following basic rules:
- Under no circumstances are drugs and/or alcohol allowed on or near the pow-wow grounds.
- The actual dance area is known as an arbor. Please keep your children out of the arbor, unless you are there with them and dancing.
- Stay out of the tipis, unless you first have permission of the owner. For those which belong to the pow-wow committee, please ask permission first.
- Never take a dancer's picture without first asking their permission.
- Never touch anyone's regalia without asking permission. These are not costumes and have spiritual significance to most dancers.
- Before taking any type of picture or video, ask the announcer if it is OK. Some dances are not allowed to be photographed, just as some songs are not meant to be taped.
- Dress appropriately. This is not the time or place to show off your shortest skirt or shorts, or skimpiest halter top. The grounds are usually grass, so wear appropriate shoes.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes or sneakers.
- Don't forget the sunscreen and hats, especially for your kids. A jacket is always good, in case evenings are chilly. In other words, know what the weather forecast is expected to be and dress appropriately.
- Finally, do not come with any preconceived ideas as to what "Indians" are supposed to look like. We come in all shapes and sizes, all different shades, eye and hair colors. It has been 500 years, after all.