Mi’kmaq history comes alive at national historic site
A traditional birch wigwam is being built as part of an effort to bring Mi’kmaq history to life at a Parks Canada site in P.E.I.
Nova Scotia elder Todd Labrador, a master canoe and wigwam builder, will work with Island Mi’kmaq elders and community members to construct the wigwam this week at Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst National Historic Site.
Parks Canada and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. are partnering to bring a rotating schedule of activities throughout the summer, including presentations and hands-on activities such as the ancient Mi’kmaq game of waltes, Mi’kmaq songs and language and traditional medicines.
Activities take place daily until Aug. 31.
“We’re proud to share Mi’kmaq history and culture for visitors to Parks Canada sites like Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst,’’ says Abegweit First Nation Chief Brian Francis.
“This project is a good way to share the knowledge of our elders and to foster Mi’kmaq traditional skills and arts.’’
Karen Jans, P.E.I. field unit superintendent for Parks Canada, says Parks Canada recognizes the invaluable contributions of the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. in enhancing visitor experience at Parks Canada sites and sharing stories and cultural traditions.
“The wigwam project and summer programming present an incredible opportunity for visitors to better understand the culture and history of the Mi’kmaq of P.E.I. through authentic experiences,’’ says Jans.
The P.E.I. Federation of Labour is joining labour leaders across Canada calling on the country’s premiers to re-commit to establishing a single-payer, universal prescription drug plan in Canada.
Canada’s premiers are meeting this week in Edmonton to discuss trade issues as part of the annual of the Council of the Federation meetings.
But labour leaders are lobbying the premiers to also discuss a national pharmacare plan to ensure all Canadians have access to affordable medications.
“Canada’s piece-meal, multi-payer drug system is expensive, inefficient and doesn’t ensure people receive the life-saving prescriptions they need,” said Carl Pursey, president of P.E.I. Federation of Labour.
“Canadians are spending millions of dollars a year on this patchwork of multi-payer funding, paying among the highest prices worldwide for prescription medications, squandering money hand over fist that’s desperately needed to cover other health-care investments.”
Pursey says he is concerned about how medical costs are affecting individuals and families. Many are going without prescribed medications because they can’t afford them, which can cause serious health complications, he said.
“When people skip their medications or otherwise ignore doctors’ orders because of costs, additional burdens to the health-care system actually cost everyone more.”
Labour leaders believe adopting a
single-payer program would allow Canada to benefit from bulk purchasing power, giving it the power to obtain competitively priced prescription drugs. A single-payer universal prescription drug program could save Canadians approximately $7.3 billion a year based on an additional $1 billion in public sector spending, Pursey says.
“Canadians know bulk buying is the smart option,” he said.
“Pharmacare is the type of smart policy Canadians are looking for from our political leaders.”
During events concurrent to the Council of the Federation meetings, presidents of provincial and territorial labour federations will urge premiers from provinces and territories across Canada to re-commit to a single-payer, universal prescription drug plan to save lives while saving Canadians money.