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Micmac Tribe

Micmac Indians, Mi’kmaq First Nation. (Migmak, ‘allies’; Nigmak, ‘our allies.’ Hewitt). Alternative names for the Micmac, which can be found in historical sources, include Gaspesians, Souriquois, Acadians and Tarrantines; in the mid-19th century Silas Rand recorded the word wejebowkwejik as a self-ascription.1 An important Algonquian tribe that occupied Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Islands, the north part of New Brunswick, and probably points in south and west Newfoundland. While their neighbors the Abnaki have close linguistic relations with the Algonquian tribes of the great lakes, the Micmac seem to have almost as distant a relation to the group as the Algonquians of the plains2 Micmac Tribe History If Schoolcraft’s supposition be correct, the Micmac must have been among the first Indians of the north east coast encountered by Europeans, as he thinks they were visited by Sebastian Cabot in 1497, and that the 3 natives he took to England were of this tribe. Kohl believes that those captured by Cortereal in 1501 and taken to Europe were Micmac. Most of the early voyagers to this region speak of the great numbers of Indians on the north coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and of their fierce and warlike character. They early became friends of the French, a friendship which was lasting and which the English, after the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, by which Acadia was ceded to them, found impossible to have transferred to themselves for nearly half a century. Their hostility to the English prevented for a long time any serious attempts at establishing British settlements on the north coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,...

Beothuk Tribe

Beothukan Family, Beothuk Indians (from the tribal or group name Béothuk, which probably signifies ‘man,’ or ‘human being,’ but was employed by Europeans to mean ‘Indian,’ or ‘Red Indian’; in the latter case because the Beothuk colored themselves and tinted their utensils and arms with red ocher). So far as known only a single tribe, called Beothuk, which inhabited the island of Newfoundland when first discovered, constituted this family, although existing vocabularies indicate it marked dialectic differences. At first the Beothuk were classified either as Eskimauan or as Algonquian, but now, largely through the researches of Gatschet, it is deemed best to regard them as constituting a distinct linguistic stock. It is probable that in 1497 Beothukan people were met by Sebastian Cabot when he discovered Newfoundland, as he states that he met people “painted with red ocher,” which is a marked characteristic of the Beothuk of later observers. Whitbourne1 who visited Newfoundland in 1622, stated that the dwelling places of these Indians were in the north and west parts of the island, adding that “in war they use bows and arrows, spears, darts, clubs, and slings.” The extinction of the Beothuk was due chiefly to the bitter hostility of the French and to Micmac invasion from Nova Scotia at the beginning of the 18th century, the Micmac settling in west Newfoundland as hunters and fishermen. For a time these dwelt in amity with the Beothuk, but in 1770, quarrels having arisen, a destructive battle was fought between the two peoples at the north end of Grand Pond. The Beothuk, however, lived on friendly terms with the Naskapi, or Labrador...

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