On June 14th, 2019 the Province of PEI announced its intention to officially recognize Treaty Day in PEI in the Speech from the Throne:
“This year, as a clear indication of our commitment to the reconciliation process, we will recognize and celebrate Mi’kmaq Treaty Day on October 1st.”
In Nova Scotia, Treaty Day began in 1986 with the signing of a proclamation by Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr. It was then officially proclaimed by the Nova Scotia government in 1993, to promote public awareness with respect to Mi’kmaq history, culture and heritage for all Nova Scotians and, in collaboration with the Mi’kmaq leadership, they have made extraordinary gains in that regard. This official recognition and celebration in Prince Edward Island represents an important commitment by the Provincial Government to work with the Mi’kmaq to make those same extraordinary gains here in PEI.
Treaty Day recognizes the Peace and Friendship Treaties signed by the Mi’kmaq and the British Empire and commemorates the key role of treaties in the relationship between the PEI Mi’kmaq and the Crown. It will now officially be a day in PEI to acknowledge the special relationship between the Mi’kmaq of Epekwitk and the Province and to inspire even stronger and more respectful relations.
In Nova Scotia, October 1st was chosen in respect of the Treaty of 1752, which designated October 1st as the day on which the Mi’kmaq would receive gifts from the Crown to “renew their friendship and submissions”. Prince Edward Island will now be joining Nova Scotia in this official celebration each year.