Mi'kmaw Elder, Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M. , O.N.S.

it’s my fervent hope that information contained in these Web
pages will help users acquire a better understanding of the
history, hopes, and aspirations of First Nation Peoples.


Bouton d'or Acadie

Benjamin Franklin
1706 - 1790

Franklin wrote the following after a large group of innocent Indians were massacred because of the actions of others from another Tribe:

"If an Indian injures me, does it follow that I may revenge that Injury on all Indians?

"It is well known that Indians are of different Tribes, Nations and Languages, as well as the White People.

"In Europe, if the French, who are White People, should injure the Dutch, are they to revenge it on the English, because they too are White People?

"The only Crime of these poor Wretches seems to have been, that they had a reddish brown Skin, and black Hair; and some People of that Sort, it seems, had murdered some of our Relations.

"If it be right to kill Men for such a Reason, then, should any Man, with a freckled Face and red Hair, kill a Wife or Child of mine, it would be right for me to revenge it, by killing all the freckled red-haired Men, Women and Children, I could afterwards any where meet with."

The Paradoxical Commandments
Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright
Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

Mother Teresa thought so highly of the Paradoxical Commandments that she put a version of them on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta, with the following added.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway

First Nation Prayer
Author Unknown

I give you this one thought to keep— I am with you still – I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow; I am the diamond glints on snow;

I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning rush I am the swift, uplifting rush

Of quite birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night

Do not think of me as gone – I am with you still – in each new dawn.

George Bernard Shaw

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be throughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.

Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

American Indian Proverb

Treat the earth well, It was not given to you by your parents, It was loaned to you by your children.

American Indian Prayer

Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, hear me for I am young, small and weak.

I need your strength oh Great One, not to be superior to my Brothers and Sisters, but to conquer my greatest enemy, myself.

I seek wisdom, the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock, so that I may carry this message of life and hope to my people.

May my hands respect the many beautiful things You made. May my ears be sharp to hear Your voice. May I always walk in Your beauty and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. So that when life fades like the setting sun, my Spirit will come to You without shame!

Chief Dan George


Peaceful Pond
Click to contact Mi'kmaw Artist Leonard Paul
NON HEROS: Throughout the Americas, statues, parks, buildings, rivers, etc., can be found in abundance that are named to honour the memories of colonial Caucasian men who, when subjugating and dispossessing the Indigenous populations of the two Continents, committed horrific crimes against humanity . For instance, Nova Scotia British Colonial Governor Edward Cornwallis, who tried to exterminate the Mi’kmaq, was, up until rencent times, widely acclaimed with such.

REAL HEROS: On Feb. 23, 1954, the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Jonas Salk, through his determination to overcome a deadly disease that ravished humanity for centuries, has saved uncountable lives, where are the statues, parks, etc., named after this great man? There should be a multitude!


This Site is dedicated to the memory of the Mi’kmaq who perished resisting the invasion of Mi’kmaq territory, Mi'kma'ki, by Europeans. The awe-inspiring tenacity and valor they displayed in the face of virtually insurmountable odds has assured the survival of our Nation’s Culture!


American Indian History

Short Biography

Mi'kmaw Elder
Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S.
Daniel N. Paul

Daniel N. Paul and Governor General Michaelle Jean
Second Medallion: ORDER OF CANADA

I was born December 1938 to my late parents, Sarah Agnes, nee Noel, and William Gabriel Paul, in a small log cabin on Indian Brook Reserve, Nova Scotia, during a raging blizzard. I was the eleventh of fourteen children. The doctor arrived two weeks after the fact on snowshoes. I now reside in Halifax in semi-retirement with my wife Patricia. We have two daughters, Lenore and Cerena. Lenore and husband Todd have made us grandparents twice, Jenna and Julia. I also have a son Keith by a previous partner, whose children have made me a Grandfather and great-Grandfather many times over.


WEL-LUKWEN AWARD (loosely translated to mean "he done good"), presented to me by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission on the 9th Day of December. 2022.
"In recognition of your immense contributions to cultural awareness and understanding of L'nuk history, traditions, and community."

TORCH BEARER AWARD - SRI CHINMOY PEACE RUN: August 7, 2018, Awarded in recognition of lifetime achievements in the promotion of human rights, in particular those of the Mi'kmaq.

DOCTOR OF LAW DEGREE - HONORARY: October 8, 2013, Dalhousie University. Awarded the Degree in recognition of lifetime achievements in the promotion of human rights, in particular those of the Mi'kmaq.

HONORARY DIPLOMA June 13, 2011, Nova Scotia Community College - Awarded the Diploma in Recognition of lifetime of promoting Human Rights.

Quote from a March 1, 2011 letter from the NSCC Board of Governors: “Each year the Board of Governors of the College recognizes a select number of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the social and economic progress of our Province. The distinction of being awarded a Honorary Diploma is our means of celebrating your achievements in both business and community service throughout the Province.”

GRAND CHIEF DONALD MARSHALL SR. MEMORIAL ELDER AWARD: October 1, 2007 - Received the award in recognition and appreciation for outstanding contribution to the Mi'kmaq Community and Nova Scotia.

MECNS Award 2006 – 2007: Multicultural Education Council of Nova Scotia annually honours a person that it considers to have provided exemplary service in the promotion and awareness of multiculturalism and multicultural education in schools, community, and government.

ORDER OF CANADA: Named to the Order, November 17, 2005 - Canada's highest civilian award. Introduction statement at the Investment Ceremony, October 6, 2006.

"Dr. Daniel N. Paul is a powerful and passionate advocate for social justice and the eradication of racial discrimination. As an author, journalist, consultant and volunteer, he has been an outspoken champion of First Nations communities across Nova Scotia for more than 30 years. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Mi'kmaq Native Friendship Centre and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq have all benefitted from his consensus building skills and commitment to the community. Through his newspaper columns and his book, We Were Not the Savages, he has helped to restore the proud heritage and history of the Mi'kmaq Nation"

LISTED IN CANADA'S WHO'S WHO - BEGINNING WITH THE 2004 EDITION: Recognized for fighting for civil and human rights for humanity, and writing accomplishments, etc.

ORDER OF NOVA SCOTIA: Province of Nova Scotia, October 2, 2002: - the Province's highest award for outstanding contributions, and for bringing honour and prestige to Nova Scotia.

A quote from the Nova Scotia government’s press release announcing the award: Daniel N. Paul is a passionate writer who gives a voice to his people by revealing a past that the standard histories have chosen to ignore.... He has been recognized by the Universite Sainte-Anne with an honourary Doctor of Letters Degree and by the City of Halifax with a millennium award. By bringing new understanding and perspective to the past, he seeks to teach all people what damage racism can do.

Certificate of Appreciation: Nova Scotia Department of Justice, June 2002: "On behalf of the Provincial and Family Courts and the government of the Province of Nova Scotia, this Certificate is bestowed upon Daniel Paul in recognition of your significant contribution to the justice system of Nova Scotia."

Millennium Award: Honoured by the City of Halifax, January 14, 2000, for contributing in a special way towards making the community a better place for its citizens to live and prosper in.

Honourary Doctor of Letters Degree: University of Sainte-Anne, Church Point, Nova Scotia, June 7, 1997.

Honourary citizen of the Acadien District of Clare Certificate: Honoured by the Municipality of Clare with it, March 22, 1994.

City of Dartmouth Book & Writing Awards: Co-winner of First prize for non-fiction, 1993 edition of We Were Not the Savages, April 21, 1994.

DISTRICT CHIEF - SHUBENACADIE MI'KMAQ DISTRICT: December 1988 to June 1990. Honourary title bestowed at the second annual meeting of the Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs.

HIGH AMONG the most appreciated honours that I've received during my career are the dozens of small items, letters, mugs, Eagle Feathers, etc., given to me by students as thanks for helping them better understand the importance of according all Peoples human dignity and respect.

My place of birth was preordained three years prior by a blatant act of racism committed against my family by white society. The gist of the story:

Until the fall of 1935 my father worked on the Saint John, New Brunswick, waterfront as a stevedore, thus a taxpayer. That year, because of depression related work shortages, he and many others were laid off.

Unemployed, with a growing family to support, he had to apply for city welfare to assure the family's survival, which was granted. A white resident, viewing this as an affront to his warped sense of fairness, went posthaste to the city's fathers and complained bitterly that they were feeding a bunch of Indians.

The fathers agreed with his complaint and reacted with the proper indignation of bigots. Thus, in late November of 1935, my parents and their five small children were rounded up and deported by the city council from Saint John to Indian Brook Reserve, Nova Scotia, a place they had never seen before. The only Indian Reserve that they had lived on previously was Millbrook Indian Reserve, where they were married in the early 1920s.

Upon arrival at Indian Brook, with little assets other than the clothes on their backs, and cold weather setting in, the Indian Agent gave them a roll of tar paper and told them to build a tar paper shack. Which they did, spending more than two years living in it before moving to the tiny log cabin where I was born.

The reason I mention the circumstance about how I came to be born on Indian Brook Reserve is to provide an example of the extent of the racism that First Nations Peoples had to contend with at that time. Without any human and civil rights laws to protect us, we were at the mercy of a largely uncaring biased white Anglo society. Therefore, legal redress wasn't available. Factually, the justice system was used by society more to persecute than to dispense justice to us. From birth, as Indians, we were classified as "Wards of the Crown," and treated as third class citizens at best. We had the same legal status as drunks and insane persons.

Beause of the humiliation that racial discrimination caused my family and other Mi’kmaw, and, for that matter, other minority groups in this country, I’m an ardent spokesperson and activist for human rights. For my efforts I’ve got some recognition. On October 2, 2002, the Province of Nova Scotia inducted me and nine other Nova Scotians into the Order of Nova Scotia. Premier John Hamm stated: "These people have been selected because of their outstanding contributions and for bringing honour and prestige to Nova Scotia."

The following is the descriptive message the government used in its press release to describe me:

"He is a passionate writer who gives a voice to his people by revealing a past that the standard histories have chosen to ignore . . . By bringing new understanding and perspective to the past, he seeks to teach all people what damage racism can do."

Although life was hard for us during my childhood, it wasn’t without fun and rewards. I began to hunt, fish, and trap when I was about eight. I also sold the Star Weekly, Liberty Magazine, seeds, greeting cards, painted insides of houses, and pursued any other means to make a buck.

This lasted until I left home for Boston in 1953. My initiation to Boston was something else!

As this is not intended to be a full bio, I’ll just relate one incident of how a Mi’kmaw Hillbilly from the boondocks performed when he hit the big city. In your mind picture a scrawny skinny kid of 14, walking down the sidewalks of the Big Time, greeting all he met with a hearty "Good Morning." I still can recall the incredulous looks that said: "Is he for real!"

Today, to keep myself occupied, in addition to my writing, I lecture in schools, run a small advisory business, write columns occasionally for the Mi'kmaq/Maliseet News and for the op-ed page of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald and other newspapers. Up until recent times was a Justice of the Peace for the Province of Nova Scotia, a member of the Nova Scotia Police Review Board, a member of the Mi'kmaq Governance Committee, Chair of the Council on Mi'kmaq Education, Committee of Canadian Genocide Scholars, and did set on several nonprofit boards, etc. Now at 83 I've cut back considerably on workload.

Over the years I've served on many provincial commissions. For examples, the Province's Human Rights Commission and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice's Court Restructuring Task Force.

A sample of achievements: I've written six books, a short history, four editions of We Were Not the Savages, a history of the Mi’kmaq, one novel Chief Lightening Bolt, and have been published numerous times in journals, human rights booklets and readers, school readers, newspapers, and magazines. My second book, We Were Not the Savages, 1993 edition (out of print), was first prize co-winner for nonfiction at the 6th Annual City of Dartmouth Book and Writing Awards in 1994. It was on the Nova Scotia bestseller list for seventeen weeks. It inspired a play entitled Strange Humours. A fully revised best selling twenty-first Century version was published October 2000 (out of print) by Fernwood Publishing, Halifax. In 2006, Fernwood published a new updated edition entitled: First Nations History - We Were Not the Savages - Third Edition (Out of Print) a fourth edition September 30, 2022 We Were Not the Savages. The four editions have been cited as a reference in many books, articles, etc. The new version is now being used as course material in several universities and high schools. It is the first such history ever written by a First Nation citizen.

Also, I started a collection of Mi'kmaq artifacts at the Confederacy offices that include ancient arrowheads, axes, dolls, snowshoes, and so on. And, founded the Mi'kmaq/Maliseet Nation News, which is still publishing in 2022.

While Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs, I established, with the able and professional assistance of the late Kathy Knockwood, what has been described by education professionals as "a first class post-secondary education Program." The rules and regulations of the Program that we developed have been adopted by many similar organizations across the country. We had great success. After implementing our Program registration of students from our six bands in post secondary education facilities went from approximately 20 to more than 200 students within three years.

In my role as the Department of Indian Affair's District Superintendent of Lands, Revenues and Trusts for Nova Scotia, I took the lead role in overcoming the bureaucratic nightmare surrounding an addition to Yarmouth Indian Reserve. Also, I headed up the successful efforts to resolve other reserve land addition matters, disputed right-of-ways of various natures, decades’ old estate problems, and so on.

In addition, we acquired road right-of-ways into reserves that had not been provided with such. Resolved favourably, on behalf of the Chapel Island and Millbrook Bands, illegal encroachments by NS Power upon their respective reserves. Both Bands received considerable monetary compensation.

Instigated and headed up the successful effort to resolve the Afton Band's 170 year old Summerside property legal claim. The property is now a Reserve.

I worked for 11 years on the legal case which saw the Pictou Landing Band's claim known as Boat Harbour mostly resolved. This claim centered around the use of the Harbour as a lagoon for the industrial waste spewing forth from the Scott Paper mill at Abercrombie. The Band eventually settled for $35 million plus. My book, "We Were Not the Savages" relates in more detail the before mentioned.

During my term as Executive Director with the Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs I instigated a drive which raised approximately $3 million for a new community centre for Indian Brook Reserve. Since it opened the Centre has become a major source of revenue for the band.

Also, I started a trust fund, during my employment with the Confederacy, which was set up for the specific purpose of addressing the future legal requirements of the six Bands associated with the organization. When I retired from CMM, January 1994, the fund had a balance of $140,000. This was the first undertaking of this nature by a First Nation organization in the Atlantic provinces.

Without remuneration, except for some travel expenses, I’ve been featured in videos prepared by a Public Broadcasting T.V. station and by Mount Saint Vincent University, CBC TV and radio, etc. The subject were the life and times of the Mi'kmaq and the racism they faced and are still facing. In 2001 was featured in two videos, "Growing Up Native" by CBC and EASTERN TIDE's "Expulsion and the Bounty Hunter” by Bear Paw Productions."

The accomplishment that I'm most proud of is that I've lobbied successfully to have names of buildings, roads and so on, that were named in honour of colonial officials that brutalized the Mi'kmaq, changed.

Books I've written and books that I've wrote Chapters for and book commentary.

1990 - The Confrontation of Micmac and European Civilizations - Out of Print

1993 - We Were Not the Savages - First Edition - Out of print

1994 - 2005 Wrote approximately 300 column published in the Halifax Herald and other newspapers. Newspaper Columns 

1997 -The Mi'kmaq Anthology - Chapter
The Mi'kmaq Anthology

1997 - Nova Scotia, Shaped by the Sea, by Leslie Choyce, assisted with Chapter "Land of the Mi'kmaq"
Nova Scotia - Shaped By the Sea

2000 - We Were Not the Savages - Second Edition - Out of Print

2005 - Book Review, Unsettled Past, Unsettled Future: The Story of Maine Indians, by Neil Rolde, for the June 2005 issue of The New England Quarterly.
Book Review, Unsettled Past, Unsettled Future

2006 - We Were Not the Savages - Third Edition -Out of Print

2009 - Nova Scotia - Visions of the Future - Chapter
Nova Scotia - Visions of the Future

2011 - The Mi'kmaq Anthology - Volume 2 - Chapter
The Mi'kmaq Anthology - Volume 2

2012 - Power and Resistence - Chapter
Power and Resistence,

2014 - Dawnland Voices - Chapter
Dawnland Voices

2014 - Indian School Road - Forward
Indian School Road

2015 - Veritas Acadie - two pages
Veritas Acadie

2016 - Living Treaties - Chapter
Living Treaties

2017 - The Nova Scotia Book of Fathers - Chapter
The Nova Scotia Book of Fathers

2017 - Chief Lightening Bolt - Novel
Chief Lightening Bolt

2005 - 2019 - Have over this period written numerous columns for newspapers and other publications and book reviews.

2017 - 2019 - Interesting People and Events, have written for the Mi'kmaq/Maliseet News twenty five true stories about the subject.

2018 - Mi'kmaq Puoinaq - Two Spirit Medicine
Mi'kmaq Puoinaq - Two Spirit Medicine

2019 - My Nova Scotia Home - Chapter
My Nova Scotia Home

2019 - Mi'kmaw Elder Daniel N. Paul - Bio, by Jon Tattrie, 2017
Mi'kmaw Elder Daniel N. Paul

2020 - Ce n'était pas nous les sauvages - TroisiPme édition
Ce n'était pas nous les sauvages - TroisiPme édition

2022 - We Were Not the Savages - Fourth Edition
We Were Not the Savages - Fourth Edition

For further information and more detail about some of the items mentioned please go to First Nations History Highlights, Paintings and Photos,  or better still, read FIRST NATIONS HISTORY - WE WERE NOT THE SAVAGES - FOURTH EDITION., For More Personal Information about Daniel N. Paul RESUME, 

Updated: June 18, 2023 

The following is the information that a bookstore, not carrying
We Were Not the Savages
in stock, will require in order to order it for you
ISBN 10: 1 55266 209 8
Black Point
Nova Scotia

Kjipuktuk Bytes


Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe, even if it is a tree which stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do, even if it is a long way from here.

Hold on to life, even when it is easier letting go.

Hold on to my hand, even when I have gone away from you.


CHIEF DAN GEORGE First Nation Chief and Movie Actor
July 24, 1899 - September 23, 1981

"When the White man came we had the land & they had the Bibles, now they have the land & we have the Bibles."


One Millionth Visitor - 12:53 AM, February 18, 2009