In the world of hockey, it is well known that Mi’kmaq craftsmanship resulted in some of the best made hockey sticks in history. This year, Nova Scotia Heritage Day will honour Mi’kmaq Heritage by celebrating the important accomplishments of the Mi’kmaq community, including its contribution to Canada’s favorite past time, hockey.
The Mi’kmaq community will host a two-game hockey challenge called The Mi’kmaq Heritage Hockey Classic – Bury the Hatchet. The theme, Bury the Hatchet, was selected to honour a ceremony held in 1761 that saw the signing of the Halifax Treaties. The treaty ceremony marked the end of more than 75 years of hostility between the Mi’kmaq and the British, and celebrated the beginning of a peaceful and friendly relationship between the two nations.
Mi’kmaq Heritage Hockey Classic – Bury the Hatchet:
Mi’kmaq Chiefs and council members will play against a team made up of staff and members of the Nova Scotia government. There is a hope that that the Classic will continue for years to come.
Renowned Mi’kmaq artist Alan Syliboy has added his name and talent to the initiative by creating a custom-designed logo to represent both the Mi’kmaq and Nova Scotia teams.
A Mi’kmaw Elder has hand-crafted three traditional hockey sticks. A stick will be left at each rink as a legacy of the games and the third stick will serve as a trophy awarded to the winning team of the series, in Millbrook.
A Mi’kmaq youth artist has been commissioned to create beaded artwork on a vintage pair of hockey gloves that will be donated to the Membertou Heritage Park and Millbrook Cultural Centre.
A variety of exhibits will be available to showcase Mi’kmaq heritage and culture. All events are open to the public.
The first game will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre. The second game will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 20, at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre in Truro.
- The two games will be played in a non-competitive spirit – no slap shots, no body contact, etc.
- Senator Dan Christmas will make the ceremonial puck drop to officially begin each game. Local police forces have been recruited to referee the games.
- The games will begin with the singing of the Mi’kmaq Honour Song – a Grade 4 drum group from Eskasoni will perform in Membertou, while the Samqwan Boyz will perform in Truro.
- O Canada will be performed by Kalolin Johnson of Eskasoni. Kalolin sang for the closing of the Canada Games on Prince Edward Island in 2009 and has been documented online by The New York Times.
- Eskasoni high school musicians will perform their internationally known song, Gentle Warrior, during the third period intermission. The song is a tribute to the legacy of the famed Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe.
- The third period will kick off with both teams participating in an on-ice round dance – a show of peace, friendship and reconciliation.
A free-skate with the teams will follow each game and commemorative t-shirts will be available to the first 100 people through the doors.