Sunset on Cross Mountain, Eskasoni Photo: George Paul
"Kepmite'lmanej ta'n teluisit Wekwisit Niskam, aqq Ewujit Niskam, aqq Weji-wliNiskam.
The Mi’kmaq are the original inhabitants of our region and a vibrant part of our diocese.
The Mi’kma’ki territory of the M’ikmaw Nation includes the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and part of the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec.
"In Nova Scotia, the connection between the Mi’kmaq and the Catholic Church is unique and distinct from relationships between other Indigenous peoples and the Church. We recognize and acknowledge that from the very beginning European Catholics were welcomed by the Mi’kmaq and the fact that we continue to live on unceded Mi’kmaq territory."
On Treaty Day 2018, Bishop Brian Dunn and Archbishop Anthony Mancini, Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth concelebrated Treaty Day Mass at St. Mary's Basilica, Halifax, NS. During Mass was a Rite of Forgiveness, where both Archbishop Mancini and Bishop Dunn knelt before the assembled worshippers: "On this day, we personally and in our roles as leaders of the Catholic Church in Nova Scotia, kneel before the representatives of the Mi’kmaq nation to express our regret, sorrow and apology." See Archbishop Mancini's message here or on Our Blog. Here is the Rite of Forgiveness.
Rite of Forgiveness
Archbishop Mancini and Bishop Dunn
Brothers and Sisters, Mi’kmaq and non-aboriginals, as we gather today to commemorate Treaty Day, we also assemble in the name of Jesus Christ, to celebrate our faith in him, to thank him for the vision of life, the truth of the gospel and the way to reconciliation and peace.
As leaders of the Catholic Church in Nova Scotia, it is important and necessary to seek pardon for our errors, to acknowledge our faults and failures and to confess our sins.
On this day, we personally and in our roles as leaders of the Catholic Church in Nova Scotia, kneel before the representatives of the Mi’kmaq nation to express our regret, sorrow and apology for the hurts, violence and abuse experienced in the Residential School of Shubenacadie. Lord have mercy.
For the participation of the Church in the promotion of misguided policies of assimilation and for our involvement in undermining aboriginal culture, language and spirituality. Christ have mercy.
For directly or indirectly supporting racist practices, for the involvement of this country’s many citizens, including Church members, in maintaining inhuman and inadequate life conditions for our Mi’kmaq neighbours, and for the indifference of so many to the plight of our Mi’kmaq brothers and sisters. Lord have mercy.
We ask all of you gathered here today, to grant us personally and everyone involved from our Church, the forgiveness which we need, if reconciliation is to take place, and pray that God speak through you in granting all of us the new beginning which we seek.
All are invited to respond:
May almighty God have mercy on these servants,
may God forgive the Church’s sins of commission and omission, and with God’s grace bring all of God’s family, Mi’kmaq and others, to a place of truth, reconciliation and peace.
See Our Blog for documents and updates from our Diocese
The Rosary prayed in Mi'kmaq and English:
Annual St. Anne's Mission
Jeff Ward leading the smudging ceremony of our new Pastoral Centre in 2016.
Sharing Mi'kmaw faith and traditions:
Annual Good Friday walk,
Our Diocesan History
In 1610, Grand Chief Membertou along with 21 Mi’kmaq were baptized in Port Royal, on Nova Scotia's soutwestern mainland. A year later, in 1611, French missionaries began arriving in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island.
Many place names in our diocese originated from the Mi’kmaw language, including:
Each year St. Anne is venerated in an annual mission.
The first Mass on the tiny island of Mniku, (a few minutes by boat from Potlotek) was offered on a boulder by Fr. Pierre Maillard in 1742. The Chapel Island Mission is the longest continous mission in Canada, possibly in North America. The island of Mniku was declared a National Historic Site in 2005.
Our Diocese today
Our diocesan Pastoral Centre and Bookstore is located in Membertou.
Our diocesan Mi'kmaq Pastoral Council includes members and clergy of our Mi'kmaw parishes with Bishop Brian Dunn. The council is a planning and advisory body.
Mi'kmaq Pastoral Council members:
Bishop Brian Dunn
"Nutjinen wa'so'k epin jiptuk teluisin mekite'tmek
wa'so'k ntlita'nen, jiptuk iknmuiek ula nemulek wle'tesnen,
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Kuleyin Ma'li, sape'wuti'l waju'pinl,
Kji-saqamaw tekweyask, e'pijik pajiji-wuleynik aq wele'k ta'n ktlamiluk weji-manit Se'sus.
O’ Se’sus apiksiktmuin ntlue’wutinal, wkji-wsitawi’in puktew mntua’kik. Msit mjijaqamijk lawti’kmu wa’so’q, pjiliw ta’nik netulkwi’tij ewlite’lman.
O my Jesus, have mercy on us. Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially, those in most need of your mercy. Amen.