We see the future Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre as a stepping stone to understanding our past so we can walk comfortably into our future. We envision a living place where ancestors roam and where the past and present are connected to our daily lives.
The project is one that we hope will strengthen and validate our own understandings of the past, and in doing so, ground our communities in our rich and long history. Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre will be a place for learning and reliving. It will connect and honor those who have come before us as well as those who will come after.
The following principles guide all aspects of the development and vision of the Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre:
• As Mi’kmaq, we are descended from the people who have come before us in Mi’kma’ki.
• Our Elders look to the past for healing and spirituality, not only language and information.
• As Mi’kmaq, we respect the knowledge of the past and are dedicated to learning more about our people, Lnu’k.
From the guiding principles we developed three program areas. These program areas help us see what Mi’kmawey Debert will be and do:
Sharing Our Stories
The program will share our stories to all audiences, including our own communities, educators, students, tourists and the general public. The program will act like a revolving door, inviting people into Mi’kmawey Debert and also reaching out to them through external programs.
Protecting Our Past
We will protect and care for the resources of the past, spiritual and material. This includes oral histories and traditional knowledge in our communities as well as important places, archaeological sites and artifacts from our past. We envision that ethics will help to protect knowledge in our communities and that healing will have a special focus in this program area.
Exploring Our Histories
This program area will create the spaces and the resources to ask new questions about the past. Using the historical sciences of geology and archaeology and drawing on the Two-Eyed Seeing approach, the program will focus on the past and work to integrate Mi’kmaw and Western approaches to science and history.