Mi’kmaq and Acadian Peoples Gather to Celebrate Canada 150

News Release

The Government of Canada has provided more than $700,000 to Ulnooweg Development Group for Grand Pré 2017

March 17, 2017 – Grand Pré, Nova Scotia – Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is investing $717,000 in a project that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation by bringing Canadians together to support reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

This funding was announced today by the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament (Kings–Hants). Minister Brison was joined by the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, who announced $300,000 in funding on behalf of the Government of Nova Scotia.

“Grand Pré 2017 – A Peace and Friendship Gathering of the Mi’kmaw and Acadian People,” administered by the Ulnooweg Development Group, will include a series of cultural and educational events that will lead up to a four-day multidisciplinary festival in Grand Pré in August 2017. The initiative will celebrate the historic relationship between two of the founding cultures in Atlantic Canada, the Mi’kmaq and the Acadians.

The events of Grand Pré 2017 are in keeping with the priorities of the Government of Canada for the celebration of Canada 150. Two important themes for the Canada 150 year are reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and the active participation of citizens in learning about different cultures.


“Our government is putting communities at the forefront of the Canada 150 celebrations with financial support for numerous projects across the country that provide an opportunity to celebrate and also reflect on our history. We are delighted to provide funding to Grand Pré 2017, which will use cultural activities to highlight the historic relationship between the Mi’kmaq and Acadian peoples, and also significantly boost the local economy.”

—The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament (Kings–Hants)

“In 2017, Canada mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. From August 10 to 13, 2017, First Nations and Acadians will also be celebrating a historic moment: the meeting of Indigenous peoples and the first French settlers, and the ensuing friendship and co-operation in a land that would later become Canada. Grand-Pré 2017 will give all Canadians a wonderful opportunity to learn about the values upon which Canada was founded, as it commemorates and celebrates a relationship that was established over 400 years ago and which led to the creation of a country. An event you won’t want to miss!”

—Marie-Claude Rioux, Executive Director, Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse and Co-Chair of Grand Pré 2017

"I believe Grand-Pre 2017 is a transformative event on many levels that will bring national exposure to the historic relationship between the Mi’kmaq and Acadian people. We as the Mi'kmaq First Nation have taken a proactive approach in promoting and integrating reconciliation at events that unite and educate through song, dance, culture and tradition. Our aim is to create a platform for a better understanding of Indigenous people and our values. I want to extend an invitation to all of Canada to participate and celebrate our diverse communities at Grand-Pré.”

—Morley Googo, Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations (Representing Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador)

Quick Facts

  • Total funding of $717,000 has been provided through four federal departments and agencies: the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

  • ACOA is providing a $267,000 non-repayable contribution to this project through the Business Development Program. ACOA’s investment supports the hiring of event staff, marketing activities and the establishment of the vendor marketplace. The event will generate local economic growth as Indigenous, Acadian and other business and community leaders establish new contacts, promote business activities and strengthen partnerships.

  • In a related project, ACOA recently announced a $243,366 non-repayable contribution to the Société Promotion Grand-Pré to develop new cultural tourism products at Grand-Pré National Historic Site. Products include storytelling experiences, marionette production, special events, a white glove artifact experience and Acadian genealogy. The new features will further preserve and promote the area’s culture and heritage while supporting tourism sector growth.

  • Both ACOA projects stem from the Economic Development Initiative, a component of the Government of Canada’s official languages strategy. ACOA leads the initiative in Atlantic Canada to strengthen linguistic duality, reinforce Canada’s national identity and provide economic benefits for Canadians.

  • Canadian Heritage is providing $250,000 through the Canada 150 Fund. The investment will support a number of activities for Grand Pré 2017, including:

    • a concert featuring nationally renowned Indigenous and Francophone performers;
    • an interactive cultural village highlighting storytelling canoe making and other activities;
    • children’s activities, such as traditional games and cultural activities with elders;
    • a dance circle demonstrating Indigenous and Acadian traditional dances; and
    • a mini film festival and lecture series focusing on the culture and issues of Indigenous and Acadian peoples.
  • Parks Canada is investing $100,000 and is proud to host this important event at Grand-Pré National Historic site in 2017, the 100th anniversary of national historic sites in Canada.

  • INAC has committed $100,000 to the initiative, largely for the planning and implementation of the Second Annual Nova Scotia Chiefs/MPs Summit.

  • The events of Grand Pré 2017 will serve as a backdrop for the Summit, which will precede the national public celebration at Grand Pré. The first Summit was hosted in Ottawa in 2016, marking the first time a meeting of this kind happened in history. The Summit is poised to become a model best practice for regions across Canada in bilateral relations and efforts to develop effective nation-to-nation governance.

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Associated Links


Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Valérie Roy
Regional Communications Manager
Canadian Heritage – Atlantic Region

Lori Selig
A/Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-266-7477 (cell)

Roxanne Richard
Partnering, Engagement and Communications Officer
Northern New Brunswick Field Unit
Parks Canada
506-224-0043 (cell)

Media Relations
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
(819) 953-1160

Corinne MacLellan
Communications, Regional Chief's Office

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