Sydney, Nova Scotia - June 25 , 2010 - Communities across Nova Scotia are commemorating and celebrating First Nations history and culture this summer, with support from the Government of Canada.
“Our Government is proud to invest $250,000 in Membertou 400, though the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC),” said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the ACOA and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. “In addition to marking a significant cultural event, this investment will enhance First Nations communities’ capacity to participate in the tourism sector and improve the quality of life for community residents.”
The support for Membertou 400 is in addition to the $600,000 that the Department of Canadian Heritage announced in April 2010.
Membertou 400 marks the 400th anniversary of the baptism of Grand Chief Henri Membertou into the Catholic faith, signifying peaceful relations between European nations and Mi’kmaq people. Cultural celebrations will take place throughout the summer and fall in a number of communities across the province. The Grand Chief Membertou 400 celebrations began on June 24 at the Port Royal National Historic Site with an open-air mass and re-enactment of the historic baptism.
From June 25 to 28 one of the country’s largest powwows will occur in Halifax. Membertou 400 will feature an authentic Mi’kmaq village where visitors can interact with aboriginal artists and artisans, learn about traditional healing methods, sample native cuisine and hear Mi’kmaq elders share their oral history. Other highlights include aboriginal dance and drum competitions featuring First Nations performers from across Canada and the United States.
In Sydney, the Membertou community will launch its first annual Music and Arts Festival from June 25 to 27. The festival will showcase First Nations performers and artisans, both traditional and contemporary. Activities include training workshops, interactive craft displays, children's entertainment, traditional food and an impressive line of award-winning Aboriginal performers and internationally renowned headliners.
Since February 2006, the Government of Canada, through ACOA, has invested nearly $312 million in communities across Nova Scotia.
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9304 / 902-456-3066 (cell)