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Mi’kmaw regalia to return home to N.S. after 130 years in an Australian museum

Click to play video: 'Finding a Way Forward'
Finding a Way Forward
Global’s Eilish Bonang sits down with Charlotte Bernard and Theresa Meuse with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to talk about the new exhibit in partnership with the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia that honours the children, their families and the communities impacted by residential schools across the country. – Feb 2, 2023

Mi’kmaw regalia kept in an Australian museum for more than 130 years will finally be returned to Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia.

Heather Stevens, manager and senior heritage interpreter with the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre, says she will travel next month to Melbourne and bring the regalia home.

Stevens says work to repatriate Mi’kmaw moccasins, a jacket, a pipe and a brooch from Australia began 12 years ago.

She says it will be incredibly emotional to have the items at Millbrook First Nation, which is near where they are believed to have been crafted by a Mi’kmaq artist in the 1800s.

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The plan is for the items to be displayed prominently in the cultural centre near Truro, “so it’s the first thing people see when they walk in.”

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Stevens says she will be accompanied by a Mi’kmaw pipe-carrier on her trip to the Museums Victoria in Melbourne who will perform ceremonies there and in Nova Scotia upon the regalia’s return, some time in March.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2023.

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