by Albert Marshall
On a bright sunny afternoon in June of 1955, the Canso Causeway opened to the general public. There were hundreds of people applauding on both sides of the Strait. The Strait was known to the Mi’kmaq as Tui’knek. The pomp and festivities were deafening. Among the group were some Mi’kmaq, huddled together to watch the proceedings. Within the small group, there stood a Mi’kmaq man 45 years of age. He wasn’t applauding but instead was very introspective as he watched along with the others. Finally, he spoke and the words he spoke had no meaning at the time but, because our teachings come from each other and from Elders, one man did take the prediction seriously and revealed it only a few years ago when the Elders met in Eskasoni at a Talking Circle.
This man who is now about 70 years old, recalled the words spoken by the Elder that bright June afternoon of 1955. He said, “I heard this Elder say, In 50 years the District of Mi’kmak’i will not have eels. There will be no more eels because the causeway has closed the main artery for eel migration. This Elder who spoke these words has now passed on. He lived in We’koqma’q, Inverness County. The words he spoke in 1955 are now being realized by both the Mi’kmaq and the general population. The wise man was Roddie Gould.
The moral of this observation:
Aboriginal science and the world views and philosophies from which they are derived, provide models, lessons, meanings, and possibilities on what it means to participate with nature, rather than attempting to dominate nature. Our lessons are carefully delivered by our Elders since they have learned through many years of exploring, searching, and conclusions.