Community Events

A Sacred Mi'kmaq Mission - Chronicle Herald, July 27, 2009

July 23 - 27 is the Mi'kmaq Festival of St. Anne. The Procession of St. Anne, held on Chapel Island, is a tradition dating back to 1610, and the conversion of Mi'Kmaq Grand Chief Membertou where the Mi'kmaq Grand Council's review is combined with a worship Service, celebrations and feasting.

Shelter from the Ocean Storms
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Long before Gaelic legends took their place amidst Cape Breton's craggy hills and swirling mists, the Mi'kmaq laid claim to the spiritual power of the island's rugged landscape.

On the finger of land that stretches northeast of Baddeck, between the Great Bras d'Or Channel and St. Ann's Bay, Kelly's Mountain - known as Kluscap, or Gluskap Mountain to the Mi'kmaq - rises 300 metres above the ocean.

According to Mi'kmaq legend, the great prophet Kluscap (or "Glooscap") once dwelled on the mountain and will one day return. A late 1980's proposal to develop a quarry on the mountain's west slope was met with opposition from both First Nations groups and conservationists, who have called on the province of Nova Scotia to provide protected area status to the sacred site.

Chapel Island, known as Mniku to the Mi'kmaq, lies at the southwest end of the Bras d'Or Lakes near the on-shore Chapel Island Reserve. The island is an ancient Mi'kmaq meeting place and is the site of Abbé Maillard's 18th century Catholic ministry.

Maillard is credited with building the Chapel Island's first church in 1754. The island has served as a place of Catholic pilgrimage and is the home of the annual St. Anne's Mission, a ceremony held on the last weekend of July.

The Procession of St. Anne continues a tradition dating back to the conversion of Mi'kmaq Grand Chief Membertou in 1610, in which a yearly review by the Mi'kmaq Grand Council, or Sante' Mawio'mi is combined with a worship service, celebrations and feasting.

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