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Micmac Tribe Facts

Micmac Tribe Facts

The Micmac Tribe is a Northeast Indian Tribe that resided around Nova Scotia, Quebec, and the northeast of Maine. The tribe still maintains a population of 170,000 people. 

Micmac Tribe Facts: European Contact

Micmac Tribe

The first Europeans to make contact were early European explorers, John Cabot and Jacques Cartier

By the early 16th century fisherman from Portugal, Spain, France, and England all participated in the whaling industry. While the contact was not one of colonization, many of the fishermen would set up camp on the coast before they sailed home. 

The European fishing camps often traded with the Micmac tribe. The trade soon included valuable furs and by 1578 there were over 350 European ships operating around the Saint Lawrence River.

The fur trade began to overtake the fishing trade. The Micmac tribe increasing traded for European goods which allowed and encouraged the Europeans to move further inland and introduced them to beaver pelts.

Trader preferences for good harbors resulted in greater numbers of Micmac gathering in fewer summer rendezvous locations. This, in turn, encouraged their establishing larger bands, led by the ablest trade negotiators.

17th and 18th Century: Colonial Wars

After King Philips War between the colonists of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Native Americans in southern New England, the Micmac tribe became members of the Wabanaki Confederacy. 

The Wabanaki Confederacy was an alliance between four other Algonquian tribes other than the Micmac:

The Wabanaki Confederacy was allied with French colonists in Acadia. Over a period of seventy-five years, the Micmac fought to keep the British from taking over the region.  France lost military control of Acadia in 1710, and political claim by the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht with England. But the Micmac was not included in the treaty and never conceded any land to the British.

In 1715, the Micmac was told that the British now claimed their ancient territory by the Treaty of Utrecht, which the Micmac was no party to. They formally complained to the French commander at Louisbourg about the French king transferring the sovereignty of their nation when he did not possess it.

They were only then informed that the French had claimed legal possession of their country for a century, on account of laws decreed by kings in Europe, that no land could be legally owned by any non-Christian, and that such land was therefore freely available to any Christian prince who claimed it. 

Along with Acadians, the Miꞌkmaq used military force to resist the founding of British colonies by making many raids on Halifax, Dartmouth, Lawrencetown, and Lunenburg.

During the French and Indian War, the Micmac assisted the Acadians in resisting the British during the Expulsion.

The military resistance was reduced significantly with the French defeat at the Siege of Louisbourg in Cape Breton.

In 1763, Great Britain formalized its colonial possession of all of the Micmac Tribe’s land in the Treaty of Paris.

American Revolutionary War

Most Micmac tribe members did not participate in the Revolutionary War. The ones that did took the side of the British.

The war had little effect on them as most of them lived in Canada. 

The Micmac tribe would assimilate into the population of British Canada while maintaining their culture. The tribe still exists today and has taken part in many foreign wars such as World War 2 as citizens of North America.

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