New exhibit Ta’n Me’j Tel-Keknuo’ltiek opens at Maritime Museum in Halifax

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has a new exhibit that celebrates the many ways the Mi’kmaq have a unique culture even after 300 years of colonization.

The exhibit, Ta’n Me’j Tel-Keknuo’ltiek, translates into how unique we are.

“We have panels on the evolution of the culture, we have panels on recreation, economic activity, water protectors, rights, and responsibility, as well as the truth about different environmental impacts and how those impact our lives,” said Salina Kemp, historian and guest curator at the museum.

The exhibit begins with a projection highlighting the Mi’kmaw connection to the land and water.

It features objects and artifacts of the past that inspired the present such as hockey sticks.

A small canoe and doll were created in the 19th century to trade with early Europeans.

“One of the things that the Mi’kmaq adapted post-colonization, was the creation of commodity art and this was very much for the purpose of selling souvenir art to the many visitors to this land,” said Kemp who is from Millbrook First Nation.


A number of young people from the Pictou Landing First Nation painted a boat for the exhibit to share their connection to the water.

Kemp hopes the project inspires cultural pride – especially in school.

“There was almost no representation of Mi’kmaw culture, and often when there was representation it very much placed us in the past, and so this exhibit provides viewers with the opportunity to learn about the Mi’kmaw not only of the past, but the Mi’kmaw of today,” she said.

The exhibit runs into 2022.

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