Mi'kmaq Research Guide Section 2: Books, Reports, etc.

The UPEI Library has a wealth of published material on Canadian First Nations in general, and on the Mi’kmaq in particular. Because of the significant Mi’kmaq presence on Prince Edward Island (Epekwitk, often anglicized as “Abegweit”), many of our Library’s Mi’kmaq-related titles are housed in the PEI Collection (SPEC-PEI Location in the Library Catalogue): PEI Collection titles are available for consultation by anyone presenting photo ID, but can only be used within the Library.

The best way to find out about materials in our collections relevant to your area of interest is to use our Library’s catalogue. Unfortunately, changes have been slow in coming to the antiquated and/or Americanized terminology used in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (a system shared by academic libraries worldwide):

“Native peoples” has only recently been adopted to replace the “Indians of North America” subject heading, and “Micmac Indians” persists as the subject heading for the Mi’kmaq. This means, regrettably, that the most effective way to see a listing of materials on the Mi’kmaq on Prince Edward Island is to do a Keyword search on indians prince edward island (since the subject terms “Micmac Indians -- Prince Edward Island” and “Indians of North America -- Prince Edward Island” have both been used in the past).
A Subject search on micmac indians is the best way to retrieve works on the Mi’kmaq generally.

Altogether, the Library holds at least several hundred titles of potential interest to those researching the Mi’kmaq people, and Library personnel will be pleased to assist you in locating any of these which may serve your particular information need. A few general titles of note include:

- Davis, Stephen A. The Micmac [Peoples of the Maritimes series].
Halifax, NS : Nimbus, 1997.
Call # E99.M6D39 1997
[Copies in main circulating book collection -- STACKS -- and PEI Collection -- SPEC -PEI]
An introductory text for general readers, divided into six chapters: “From whence they came : departure from the ancient homeland”; Settling in : adapting to the new land”; “History in the Maritimes”; “Contributions to the Maritimes and Canada”; “Prominent Individuals”, and; “Micmac in the Maritimes in the 1980s and 1990s” (including issues such as self-government, education, health, and justice). Though it lacks the standard scholarly apparatus of source citations and and index, there are numerous illustrations and a short bibliography.

- Nova Scotia. Dept. of Education. Mi’kmaq past and present : a resource guide.
Halifax, NS : the Dept. , 1993.
Call # E99.M6M556 1993 [PEI Collection only]

A detailed guide intended to help “teachers, instructors and other adult educators … develop a better understanding of the Mi’kmaq community.” Topics covered include : spirituality, oral traditions, government policies and contemporary social issues, and Mi’kmaq poets, writers and craftspeople. Supplementary material includes a time-line (post-contact), a few oral histories, and a fairly detailed bibliography.

- Paul, Daniel N. We were not the savages : a Micmac perspective on the collision of European and Aboriginal civilization. Halifax, N.S. : Nimbus Publishing, 1993.
Call #: E99.M6P38 1993 [PEI Collection only]
One of the most detailed studies of the Mi’kmaq by a Mi’kmaq person, Paul’s work offers a forceful indictment of the injustices inflicted on his people since the arrival of the Europeans. There are few illustrations and no supplementary material (chronologies, etc.), but the standard scholarly apparatus of source citations, a detailed bibliography, and an index is provided.


- Prins, Harold E.L. The Mi’kmaq : resistance, accommodation, and cultural survival

[Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology]. Fort Worth : Harcourt Brace College Pub., 1996.
Call #: E99.M6P75 1996
[Copies in main circulating book collection -- STACKS -- and PEI Collection -- SPEC -PEI]
One of the most detailed scholarly studies done to date on the culture and heritage of the Mi’kmaq people, from their first arrival in the Maritime region through to the mid-1990s. As the title suggests, the main focus of the work is on the survival of the Mikmaq as a distinct people in the face of formidable challenges, especially in the centuries since the arrival of Europeans. The work includes the standard scholarly apparatus of citation notes, a detailed bibliography, and index, and there are also numerous illustrations throughout.

- Upton, Leslie Francis Stokes. Micmacs and colonists : Indian-white relations in the Maritimes 1713-1867. Vancouver : University of British Columbia Press, 1979.
Call #: E99.M6U5
[Copies in main circulating book collection -- STACKS -- and PEI Collection -- SPEC -PEI]
Among the first book-length scholarly studies of the Mi’kmaq, focussing -- as the title suggests -- on the French and British colonial eras. The work includes the standard scholarly apparatus of citation notes, a detailed bibliography, and index, and there are also some illustrations.


- Whitehead, Ruth Holmes. The old man told us : excerpts from Micmac history, 1500 -1950. Halifax, N.S. : Nimbus Publishing, 1993.
Call #: E99.M6W54 1991 [PEI Collection only]

As the title suggests, this compendium draws on a wide range of sources -- from archives of the early colonial period, through newspapers articles, government reports, and oral history interviews -- to provide some sense of the evolution of Mi’kmaq culture and heritage since the first arrival of the Europeans, arranged chronologically from the 1500s through to the mid-1900s. In addition to a detailed bibliography and notes on sources, the index helps pinpoint particular topics, places, and people within the various texts.


Finding Articles

Two article databases which include strong Canadian content -- including writing on its First Nations, the Mi'kmaq among them -- are America: History & Life, which covers historical writing on Canada and the US, and Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA), providing interdisciplinary coverage of a wide range of Canadian periodicals. Both databases support Boolean OR searching, allowing both the older and newer spellings of Mi'kmaq to be searched periodically ("micmac OR mi'kmaq").





Created by: Simon Lloyd, B.A., M.L.I.S. -- University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian
Phone: 902-566-0536
e-mail: slloyd@upei.ca
Date created: 01-November-2010
Date last updated: 26-January-2016