Instructor: Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre, Cape Breton. A bald eagle, which is perched on top of a stone embellished with hieroglyphics of Mi’kmaq culture, appears within the glass window dominating Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre’s main foyer on the north Bras d’Or Lakes shore…
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This centre was opened in the year 2001 and is dedicated in reviving the Mi’kmaq culture. An ancient tools collections, A wigwam of real size, photos of the Mi’kmaq people while catching salmon, hunting for caribou, and making baskets portray the Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre’s theme, which is, “The Way a Mi’kmaq Lives.” Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre is home to a display and heritage exhibition of Mi’kmaq cultural artifacts. There are special activities in this great facility’s hall which include dancing, drumming, and storytelling which are done by the community’s elders. Tourists and visitors get a chance to sample the traditional Mi’kmaq foods including “four cent cake,” roasted venison, and eel stew which are offered at the Centre’s restaurant. Visitors can also shop for beadwork, baskets, Mi’kmaq regalia, quill-work, and original artwork and paintings. The Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre opens daily, all year-round (Wagmatcook.com, 1). Cape Breton Island, where Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage aboriginal site is located, is in the Nova Scotia province of Canada. It is a 3,981 sq mi (10,311 km2) island, which is 18.7% of Nova Scotia’s total area. Even though, the Strait of Canso physically separates it from the Nova Scotia peninsula, they are artificially connected by the Canso causeway for easy transport. Cape Breton’s landmass upwardly slopes from south to north, hence culminating in the Northern Cape islands. The first residents of the Cape Breton Island were the Maritime Archaic natives who are ancestors to the Mi'kmaq people who were the island’s inhabitants at the time of discovery by the Europeans (Wagmatcook.com, 1). The Wagmatcook people history dates back many centuries. The reservation was, however, not established officially until May 2nd, 1834 by Sir Peregrine Maitland. He has been referred as the gentleman who refused to accede to the Scottish settler’s wishes of removing the Native people from the West-Side Middle River’s mouth. The centre’s operation is part of the five year development strategy by the Wagmatcook Band Council. The Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre’s future plans include featuring an interpretive village offering marine opportunities and outdoor activities and travelling exhibits (religious and medicinal themes). The Smithsonian Institute possesses some four thousand artifacts collected from the Wagmatcook First Nation community (Wagmatcook.com, 1). A tour inside the Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Center entails visiting interpretive exhibits with available guides, and witnessing first-hand the Mi'kmaq people way of life over the past centuries. The centre offers craft shops where local artisans demonstrate their craftsmanship which has been passed over for generations. You can experience the Mi'kmaq culture through story-telling, drumming, and dancing. Traditional foods of the Mi'kmaq people are available at the Clean Wave Restaurant inside the museum. These include eel stew, stewed venison or roasted, rabbit, deer, moose, poached salmon, four-cent cake, lis'knikn, and bannock. There is a variety of souvenirs available for sale including; beadwork (bookmarkers, necklaces, etc.), baskets, earrings, bracelets
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