The Mi’kmaw-Acadian Friendship Pow Wow is a festive gathering that aims to build new sustainable cultural bridges between Acadian and Mi’kmaw communities in order to recognize and celebrate intercultural heritage and create a space for inclusive exchange while valuing the importance of a healthy environment for the coming generations.

Citizens from neighboring communities will have the chance to live a traditional pow wow experience near their homes during Cocagne’s 250th anniversary, whereas members of the Mi’kmaw community will discover a new place of celebration in which to renew their traditional relations on their ancestral lands. The PCSDG recognizes that the Cocagne River watershed region is part of a much larger traditional Mi’kmaw territory named Mi’kma’ki. This event offers the opportunity for inhabitants to broaden their knowledge of the immediate cultural community and the environment, which contributes to strengthen a sense belonging. 

A debut... 

« A few Indians came to camp for the summer near the land where the arena is today. There was an old couple and a young couple. They would come to our home every morning to get some milk. We would give away this milk free of charge. We weren’t scared of those Indians. One of the Indian women had given me a basket that she had made. My husband knew a few words in micmac [mi’kmaq] and he spoke a little with them. 

Mrs Ben Bourque. »Cormier, Flora. Cocagne : 225 ans d’histoire, 1993, p. 25.

For the first time in history, the PCSDG is organizing its first annual Mi’kmaw-Acadian Friendship Pow Wow, in collaboration with the Cocagne 250 Committee, and the Elsipogtog First Nation’s band council. In light of its theme, « Honouring Our Grandchildren For A Sustainable Future », Mi’kmaw Elders and their children, Acadians and people from the public, will gather to honour the role grandchildren have within society through an indigenous recognition ceremony. Deeply rooted in Mi’kma’ki territory, traditional mi’kmaw knowledge, passed on from Elder to granchild, aims to strengthen cultural identity and to empower young Mi’kmaw generations in respecting and taking care of the environment in order to ensure its survival and sustainability for the next seven generations. Furthermore, a few generations ago, Mi’kmaw and Acadian families would gather every summer for a big picnic party in Big Cove, known today as Elsipogtog. This gathering no longer takes place but it is still alive within the collective memory of the Acadian and Mi’kmaw elderly. The Mi’kmaw-Acadian Friendship Pow Wow will be the return of a joint celebration for Mi’kmaq and Acadians as well as an opportunity for young generations to have a joyful experience like that of their grandparents before.

Pow wow activities

The celebration will begin at dawn with a sunrise ceremony near the Cocagne River. During the morning, vendors, dancers and drum groups will be arriving in order to prepare, register and set up. At 1PM, the official opening of the pow wow will take place with the Grand Entry where dancers and dignitaries will walk around the pow wow dance grounds while the master of ceremonies presents them. Many traditional dances and songs will follow over the course of the afternoon. Furthermore, certain dances aim for the public’s participation and are open to everyone that wants to join in; the master of ceremonies will announce the specific protocols and descriptions in relation to each dance. At 5PM, a free community feast will be served where both the participants and the public will have the chance to savour traditional Acadian dishes and witness traditional Acadian music and dance. The pow wow will end with a giveaway and a closing ceremony. 


Honouring our grandchildren, in the broad sense, refers to Elders who recognize, guide and celebrate their grandchildren, whether this is in direct relation to their own blood relations or, by extension, towards grandchildren of other families. Currently, First Nations’ youth are renewing their connection to the earth and water across the country. That being said, there are many reasons to establish positive cultural and sustainable bridges between Acadian and Mi’kmaw communities : as an act of truth and reconciliation, as an effort to build better knowledge of First Nations that live in New-Brunswick, as an occasion for indigenous youth to let their voices be heard and for neighboring communities to listen, as an occasion to appreciate the positive relations that will thrive through meeting new families, new ways of seeing life, culture and the environment : a new opportunity for life to grow. 

Finally, the event will highlight the Mi’kmaw Nation’s contribution towards the survival of the Acadian people by celebrating the intercultural heritage that has been acquired through common relations and by recognizing the traditional territory of Mi’kma’ki on which they coexist. All are welcome to attend.

For further information concerning this project, please contact Suzanne Léger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Elsi band council logo     Logo Cocagne coul C250   UNI seul COUL RGB