Halifax schools to start each day by recognizing Mi'kmaq lands

The Halifax Regional School Board unanimously voted in favour of introducing the declaration to classrooms this fall.

Halifax Regional School Board unanimously voted to introduce the declaration this fall

A Mi'kmaq home in Nova Scotia around 1890. (Nova Scotia Archives Twitter)

The Halifax Regional School Board has unanimously voted to introduce a statement during morning announcements acknowledging that its 136 schools are on Mi'kmaq land.

The governing board approved the motion on June 21, National Aboriginal Day. 

The statement reads: "We acknowledge that we are in Mi'kma'ki, which is the traditional ancestral territory of the Mi'kmaq people."

It will be read in every school within the district each morning and as part of any of the board's official ceremonies or events. The declaration will be introduced to schools in October, which coincides with Mi'kmaq History Month.

Treaty education coming

The motion was introduced by Jennifer Raven, the board representative for the South Shore-Bedford area. 

She said the October introduction is good timing. That's when the Department of Education will introduce treaty education into the curriculum for grades primary to 12. Teachers will get the appropriate professional development for that curriculum, Raven told CBC News.

"I've been learning a lot more about our Mi'kmaq history," she said. "Even though I grew up in this province, we haven't had enough in our curriculum teaching us about that."

The school board consulted with the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax to fine-tune the wording of the declaration, which was approved by the vote.  

With files from Preston Mulligan