What forces shaped the Mi’kmaq relations with the Europeans?
When the early settlers of the Americas arrived on the East coast of what is now Canada, they discovered a people that was remarkably different from their own. First impressions would deem these people as “uncivilized” (source) “savages” (source) who lived “miserable lives” (source). However, as time went on the settlers began to realize just how deeply rooted this Aboriginal culture really was. The Mi’kmaq lived a simple nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle, able to recognize the stars and changing of the seasons leading them to a variety of different sources of food dependant on the season. Culturally they were a spiritual group, one that believed to live with the earth, not off the earth and practiced ceremonies to show appreciation of what the land gave them. Together they shared this land. Individually they were free to pursue their own life path without restrictions, resulting in several sexual partners, homosexuality, marriages and divorces. They were a mostly peaceful people, preferring the act of gift giving over warfare which they only resorted to when deemed necessary. To the Mi’kmaq warfare was never used as a way to gain territory like their European counterparts but rather a way to seek revenge for wrongdoings.(paraphrase source) As the early European settlers and the Mi’kmaq people began to become familiar with each other, they found some common grounds in these values and learnt to peacefully coexist with each other creating a positive relationship built on trade, alliance and friendship. However, as time went on Mi’kmaqs values and very means of survival were challenged when settler population increased, warfare between the British and French ended with British officially claiming the territory through several treaties and were eventually backed up by the influx of Loyalist century. When the first French settlers began to arrive to the area the Mi’kmaq were optimistically...
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