Joshua M.

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Avalon Regional Heritage Fair

The Mi'kmaw of Newfoundland, what are their secrets of survival?

My project describes how the Mi’kmaw survived the harsh environment of Newfoundland. I demonstrate making a bow and arrow like the Mi’kmaw. I show how they started fire, built shelters, made clothing and tools, as well as hunted and fished.




What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing that I learned doing my project was that the word toboggan came from the Mi'kmaw word tepaquan. The Mi'kmaw used these toboggans to carry supplies when they left camp to go hunting. Today people use toboggans to slide down snowy hills.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I discovered the secrets behind their success, surviving in Canada all these years. It is very helpful when you're out in the woods to have some Mi'kmaw tricks up your sleeve. I also learned that it takes many hours to make a bow and arrow from a tree. The Mi'kmaw put to used all the resources available to their fullest extent; from a piece of moss to a feather.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

If I was a Mi'kmaw, I would run around the woods freely, hunting and fishing with a bow and arrow. Now I do track and field and basketball. Both lives are fun but I would rather paddle around in a canoe and hunt than drive a car to the supermarket.