All Conversations Forums Arts and Culture Preserving our traditions The iconic founding gesture of Nova Scotia

2 replies, 3 voices Last updated by  Pam Cooley 2 years, 4 months ago
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  • Pam Cooley @pmcooley

    It seems to me it stems from two things: The land and the fact we are human. It was the first greeting from the Mi’kmaq (meaning “kin”)  – in friendship, in mutual exchange, in the first greeting “L’nuk” (meaning “we are human”) to the others who came after. After that, we just acted like humanity – some being destructive and entitled and others adding value, being kind, recognizing others, and ethical in their interactions.

  • Michael Chender @mchender

    When people talk about “the need for a new narrative,” we often think forward to where we want to be, and how to tell that story.  But I think an ultimately more powerful “new narrative,” by virtue of already being in our social DNA, may be embedded but underappreciated in our own current story.  I’ve often wondered where our (real and/or imagined) pride in ourselves for kindness and help for those in need comes from, historically speaking.  It doesn’t seem to be an outstanding characteristic of the Scots, Irish, or Germans.  Sure, people help their fellow countrymen, and need to depend on each other in difficult survival conditions, but that may also make them very insular.

    There is a school of thought that the founding principles of any community of people, including businesses, resides as a deep undercurrent far into the future, no matter how circumstances change.  (We are about to see a test of this theory in the US.)  In our case, what was the founding gesture of the European arrival in what later became Nova Scotia?  French settlers being greeted with an open hand by Chief Membertou.  Those settlers then founded the Order of Good Cheer to uplift themselves through the harsh winters.  We all know what happened to Acadians and First Nations subsequently, but perhaps those beginnings still carry on as a real psychic current here that can be further remembered, highlighted and celebrated to help us move forward.

  • Tony Lamport @tonylamport

    Loss, grief, hopefulness … refuge.

    Living so close to the sea has made us poets and pragmatists both.

    One hand for yourself. One for the ship.

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