Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Membertou 400

Tomorrow (June 24) at Port Royal National Historic Site of Canada there will be an event commemorating the 400th anniversary of the christening of Mi'kmaq Sagmao (Grand Chief) Membertou. Membertou was the first of the Mi'Kmaw to be baptized by the Roman Catholic Church in Acadie. This is among the events which solidified the relationship between the Mi'Kmaq and the French. To this day many Mi'kmaq, including descendants of Membertou, are members of the Catholic Church.

Since I have not been part of the organizing committee for this event, I am looking forward to seeing what they have planned to mark the occasion. I gather that there will be a re-enactment of the christening as well as various cultural demonstrations through the afternoon. On Friday, the action moves to Halifax for a weekend of festivities including a pow-wow on the Common, concerts by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Shane Yellowbird and a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.

On my way home from work tonight I decided to make a short stop at the Port Royal Habitation to see how the set up was going. At that point a couple of tee-pees had been erected and crew was working to assemble a stage down by the shore. With the Annapolis Basin stretching out behind them, this will be a beautiful spot for a commemoration. If you have the opportunity, it would be worth coming to Port Royal to see how this interesting historical event will unfold.

All for now,

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