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Michael William McDonald: Mi’kmaw people lived in permanent village settlements

Despite what we were told, Mi’kmaw people lived in permanent village settlements.

Every Mi’kmaw village had three types of structures

wikuom (wee- gwom) is a large lodge for 4 or more people.

apsi’kan (ab-see-gin) is a smaller shanty type hut or lodge for 1 to 4 people

wenji’kuom (win-jee-gwom) is a longhouse where community affairs took place such as ceremonies or council meetings. Another name for longhouse is Pi’jkan.

The picture depicts what a Mi’kmaw village looked like. This exact picture is a drawing of a Wulastuk village but our Mi’kmaw villages were laid out in the same way except Mi’kmaw long houses were more pointed.

I will add a picture of a recreated one true to the form built in Listuguj.

Also a drawing by Nicholas Denny of the inside of a Mi’kmaw longhouse.

In the Jesuit Relations Lescobot described the village Grand Chief Membertou lived in exactly like what is seen in the picture.

Nicholas Denny described a similar village at the mouth of the Richibucto River.

Michael William McDonald is a Mi’kmaw lawyer specializing in Aboriginal, fisheries, criminal and family law

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