Established March 3, 1820, Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation is located in Antigonish County, 24km east of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The name Paqtnkek, meaning “by the bay”, is a distinction emphasizing the importance of the local bay and its resources to the Mi’kmaw people.
Historically, the Mi’kmaw of Paqtnkek has lived by the bay in a harmonious, renewable manner, respecting the local environment while honoring their passion for their century’s old culture.
Time-honored traditions of the past continue to be strong within the community. Commercial development of the Paqtnkek Fisheries Enterprise is a prime example of how the community maintains its cultural identity while serving the people under today’s treaty driven economic development opportunities.
Paqtnkek community members strive to honor their culture through communication. Aboriginal language programs throughout the community are working to keep the language alive. Community members enjoy teaching one another the intricacies of the centuries old way of communication among Mi’kmaw people. Cherished elders pass on their wealth of knowledge to community youth who grow up honouring the experiences elders remember from days gone by.
Today, Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation is a vibrant, deeply spirited and genuinely welcoming community that is a stopping point for many Mi’kmaw people travelling to and from Unama’ki. Travelers are always welcome guests in Paqtnkek, where the friendly people instinctively make anyone feel right at home. Guests can find comfort and privacy at the Entertainment Centre, grab convenience items at locally operated businesses or stop at the Gas Bar to top off their tanks, just as First Nations peoples from the mainland and Cape Breton have been doing for decades.
By harnessing its strong cultural history and reliance on the land as key tools, Paqtnkek is forming and developing economic and social ventures that will embody its past, present and future.
Each year, the community participates in many social gatherings, showcasing their culture at the annual Pow-Wow. The public is invited to watch traditional dancers, listen to the rich sounds of ancient drums, considered the heartbeat of the Mi’kmaw Nation, and even purchase Mi’kmaw craft items created by community artists. Another significant date is Saint Anne’s Day, when the entire community honors the Mi’kmaq Patron Saint, every July 26th ,at religious celebrations at Summerside Mission, renewing their faith while ensuring future generations continue to come together to celebrate their heritage.
Explore how Paqtnkek celebrates its rich heritage as they welcome all people who wish to explore Paqtnkek’s unique blend of tradition within today’s futuristic society.