The heart of the second gallery is defined by the anchoring theme “Being Mi’kmaq starts with two things: connections to each other—Lnu’k, and connections to place—Mi’kma’ki.” These experiences are integrated so that people and place can never be disconnected.
Three Mi’kmaw concepts will shape the visitor experiences in this gallery: Nikmatut, Netukulimk, and Wejisqaliati’k.
Nikmatut expresses the significance of being connected to each other, which is essential to being Mi’kmaq. A series of exhibits will allow visitors to explore and to gain greater appreciation for the interconnectedness of all life.
Netukulimk is perhaps the most important concept for understanding Mi’kmaw culture and history. Economic, social and political practices integrating all aspects of life, Netukulimk determines a great deal about how people have lived and interacted with each other and the natural world.
Wejisqaliati’k helps us convey the thousands of years through which Mi’kmaw culture and knowledge have ‘grown up from the earth’ in Mi’kma’ki. Using an approach that integrates oral history and archaeology as well as other ‘ologies,’ this concept brings together different kinds of knowledge to create images of life in Mi’kma’ki over more than 13,000 years.
The visitor will leave this gallery with a clear sense of the breadth and depth of Mi’kmaw history. They will have the opportunity to understand some traditional ways of life and how these reflect a sophisticated knowledge and interconnected worldview.