Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek: Mi’kmaw Place Names


Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek: Mi’kmaw Place Names Digital Atlas and Web Site was created to raise awareness of the deep connection the Mi’kmaq have to the landscape of Eastern Canada they call Mi’kma’ki, the place of the Mi’kmaq. Mi’kmaw presence has been continuous for approximately 13,000 years B.P., and continues to the present day, as can be seen by the place names and archaeological information presented throughout this site. According to Bernie Francis, Mi’kmaw linguist and Elder,the Mi’kmaw verb infinitive, weji-sqalia’timk, is a concept deeply engrained within the Mi’kmaw language, a language that grew from within the ancient landscape of Mi’kma’ki. Weji-sqalia’timk expresses the Mi’kmaw understanding of the origin of its people as rooted in the landscape of Eastern North America. The “we exclusive” form, weji-sqalia’tiek, means “we sprouted from” much like a plant sprouts from the earth. The Mi’kmaq sprouted or emerged from this landscape and nowhere else; their cultural memory resides here…Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiekis about a dynamic inter-relationship between the Mi’kmaq and their ancestral landscape—a landscape integral to the cultural and spiritual psyche of the people and their language (Sable and Francis, 2012:17).

(Historic photos courtesy of the Ethnology Division, Nova Scotia Museum)

Video: The Nature of Place Names

Pronunciation of Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek (Bernie Francis):