My Ancestors Live Here

Stories from a Life Protecting Mi’kmaw Burial Sites

by Ellen Hunt

with Margaret Knickle

The history of sacred Mi’kmaw burial sites in Nova Scotia and the woman who has dedicated her life to protecting them.

For over twenty years, Mi’kmaw Elder Ellen Hunt has been identifying, researching and fighting to protect Mi’kmaw burial sites in Nova Scotia which have long been forgotten, neglected and destroyed.

Moved by a powerful call from her ancestors, Ellen Hunt’s work has taken her to burial sites ranging from Nova Scotia’s South Shore to Cape Breton. This memoir chronicles her childhood growing up in a Mi’kmaw community in Newfoundland and her activist work through to the present day. Ellen also shares the many challenges she has faced – from indifferent politicians to antagonistic locals.

This memoir incorporates stories about the long Mi’kmaw history of the sites Ellen has identified and the teachings of her Mi’kmaw ancestors which have shaped her life and her work.

About the Authors

ELLEN HUNT was born and raised in St. Joseph’s Cove, Newfoundland and is a member of the Qalipu Band. She writes, researches and serves her community as a Mi’kmaw Elder, teaching about Mi’kmaw Culture, doing ceremonies, and drumming and singing with the Heartbeat Drummers. For the last twenty years her work has focused on identifying, researching and protecting sacred burial sites in Nova Scotia. She co-founded the Mi’kmaq French Descendants Reunion Festival and is a member of Native Council of Nova Scotia Zone 5. This is her first book. She lives in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

MARGARET KNICKLE is a writer, teacher and part time faculty member at Mount St. Vincent University. Since 2016, her research and writing has focused on the history of Lunenburg from a Mi’kmaw lens. She has been a part of the Mahone Bay Museum’s Decolonization Committee since its creation in 2014. This is her first book. She lives in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

Subjects (BISAC)

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