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Oppression periods of Mi’kmaq highlighted in new book

Victor Muise has a new book on the Mi’kmaq culture entitled “The Words of the White Wolf.”
Victor Muise has a new book on the Mi’kmaq culture entitled “The Words of the White Wolf.”

While it was a quarter of a century in the making, Mi’kmaq Elder Victor Muise takes pride in his recently published book “The Words of the White Wolf.”

He said the 219-page book chronicles his journey in life through the oppression periods through stories, legends and poems.

Muise said the last chapter features teachings in the Mi’kmaq culture and language.

“It’s about how I found my Mi’kmaq identity through life,” the St. George’s man said.

He said while the poems in the book are his, along with many stories, there are stories from L’Nu’k (the people).

Muise got into writing poems after the death of his mother Gertie Mai Muise and the book deals with some of the trials he endured with what he called “a drinking problem.”

He said it also features how L’Nu’k lived off the land as his forefathers lived a nomadic life, up rivers in the winter and to coastal areas in the spring.

“They travelled with the four seasons, with the migration of animals and with the climate,” Muise said.

In the book there are a number of noted small settlements on the banks of these brooks, which are home to two to three families and up to five.

His ancestors, including trapper John Muise, had land cleared up Flat Bay Brook located 8.13 km in from the Trans-Canada Highway and that’s talked about in the book.

Muise also delves into the past to the 1800s when Mi’kmaq had a sovereign territory called Mi’kma’ki and about how the people would travel long distances in seaworthy boats they had made.

The book will teach you about Mi’kmaq culture.

Muise says he hasn’t consumed alcohol for about five years. As an elder he shares his Mi’kmaq lore with others and especially enjoys speaking to young people.

Muise (spirit name White Wolf) is hoping his book will empower youth to gather stories and legends from their elders and write them.

Active in the Mi’kmaq community, Muise has been working with the Bay St. George Cultural Revival Committee that plans the annual Bay St. George Powwow in Flat Bay.

He has already sold 100 copies of his book locally and is looking at a second printing of 50 copies. The book is published by McNally Robinson and is available online.

Online: http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/9781772801248/victor-muise/words-of-the-white-wolf?blnBKM=1

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