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News Release:
Working Towards Reconcili-ACTION

The Town of Port Hawkesbury, with community partners, will host a 2-day celebration to mark the permanent raising of the Mi’kmaq Flag in Port Hawkesbury on May 19th and 20th 2023.

Town of Port Hawkesbury – April 14, 2023

Port Hawkesbury: On April 4th Port Hawkesbury Town Council approved a two-day Reconcili-Action plan; at the heart of this plan is the raising of the Mi’kmaq Nation flag on a newly installed fourth flagpole. This is not the first time the Mi’kmaq flag has been raised in the Town; the significance is that once raised, it will fly permanently in Port Hawkesbury.

Mayor Chisholm-Beaton notes that Barry Bernard and members from his team at the Red Tribe Boxing Club in Eskasoni as well as Jeff Ward from Membertou Heritage Park have been instrumental partners in working with the Town to design the plan. Other partners include Friends United, the Strait Area Theatre Society, Nova Stream, and 101.5 The Hawk.

Mayor Chisholm-Beaton notes, “This reconcili-ACTION plan is a testament of the thoughtful work and insight shared with the town by our partners to make this historic event truly meaningful. Our Council is very proud to permanently raise the Mi’kmaq flag as a sign of respect for the First People of this land, and to celebrate this historic moment with communities in Unama’kik, Cape Breton, the Strait Region and beyond.”

The flag raising ceremony will take place at 3pm on May 19th at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, followed by a Mawio’mi Friendship Gala at 6PM.

To purchase gala tickets please visit:

“Mawio’mi” is a Mi’kmaq word that means “gathering” – and true to this word’s intention, this will be an evening filled with cultural sharing of drums, music, storytelling, theatrical performances, great food, and above all, a “gathering together” in the spirit of friendship.

Jeff Ward from Membertou Heritage Park has been working closely with the Town to help design the two-day celebration, and in assisting with the design of the Mowio’mi Friendship Gala and will be the event’s Emcee.

What makes the Gala even more impactful is that it will raise funds to benefit two organizations that work every day to help vulnerable families and children: We’koqma’q Family Healing Centre and Leeside Society. Barry Bernard from Red Tribe Boxing saw the Gala as an important opportunity to give back to community. Bernard knows all about community-building. His boxing club has been a positive space for youth of all ages, especially those most vulnerable, to build up their confidence and their spirit through sport. Bernard notes, “It is important to help where we can when we have people in our communities who are struggling, especially children. You never know what that support or that helping hand can do to turn someone’s life around.”

On the final day, May 20th – the first-ever Mi’kmaq market will take place at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre starting at noon, followed by an excited evening of boxing hosted by the Eskasoni Red Tribe Boxing Club.

Mi’kmaq market vendors interested in participating can contact the Town of Port Hawkesbury via Melissa Warner ([email protected]).

Mayor Chisholm-Beaton notes, “we are so pleased to welcome Red Tribe Boxing back again to Port Hawkesbury! I would love to see this boxing card completely sold out, because that will mean the seats are filled to the brim to cheer on these amazing young athletes!” Town Councillor Jason Aucoin, who not only is a huge supporter of the Red Tribe Boxing Club but also has a son who will be boxing the evening of May 20th notes, “It is with great pleasure and honour that we are having such a great weekend of celebrating truth and reconciliation. It is wonderful to see everyone working together for the greater good!”

For more information, press only:

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, Mayor
Town of Port Hawkesbury
[email protected]

Barry Bernard, Manager
Red Tribe Boxing Club
[email protected]