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Section title: Mi'kmaq
Introduction |  History |  Daily Life |  Culture | References


Daily Life

Education

Mi'kmaq children were educated in their traditions by listening to stories told by their elders. Stories were told by way of oral tradition, rather than being written down. The people memorized their stories and passed them on through storytelling. These stories are called "atookwakuns" in Mi'kmaq. It was the oldest people in the villages who would tell the children how everything came to be. Storytelling was also a way of entertaining the children, especially in the winter when it was harder to go outside.

 
Mi'kmaq girls in sewing class at a residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, 1929  

In the 1900s Mi'kmaq children were often taken far from their homes and sent to schools run by the government and churches. Children were sometimes abused there, and were sometimes punished for speaking Mi'kmaq or for practicing Mi'kmaq traditions. Later on, the government stopped sending Native children away from their communities and the schools were shut down.

 

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