Mi'kmaq National Flag raised at UPEI

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Members of the Indigenous community perform the Honour Song as UPEI student Dawne Knockwood, President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, Chief Brian Francis and Elder Junior Peter Paul prepare to raise the Mi'kmaq National Flag

Approximately 100 people gathered on May 7 at UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place for the historic raising of the Mi'kmaq National Flag.

With blue skies and a brisk wind perfect for the occasion, Elder Junior Peter Paul began the ceremony with a smudge and members of the Indigenous community joined him in performing the Mi’kmaq Honour Song.

Chief Brian Francis of the Abegweit First Nation, UPEI student Dawne Knockwood, and Elder Junior Peter Paul joined President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz in raising the flag. 

Chief Francis said, “It's certainly an honour. As we all know, flags are all proud symbols of who we are; in this case, the Mi'kmaq National Flag. And we're extremely proud to be flying it at the University of Prince Edward Island.”

Just as Chief Francis began to speak, the Elder pointed out that there was a visitor, gesturing skyward to an eagle that appeared on cue, flying directly over the flags. The crowd erupted into applause as the eagle, which is revered in Mi’kmaq culture and represents everything positive, flew overhead.

“This is a truly a historic moment for UPEI,” added President Abd-El-Aziz. 

The Mi’kmaq flag will also appear at UPEI events and was alongside the Canada, Prince Edward Island, and UPEI flags at the recent Convocation.

Nicole Phillips
Marketing and Communications
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