by Daniel N. Paul, CM, ONS, Mi’kmaw Elder and Historian

After leaving Warner Brothers I went to work for many different outfits. For instance I took a job as a machine foreman in the mid-1960s at Moir’s chocolate factory, which, at the time. was located in downtown Halifax, the place where I met my wife and best friend Patricia. A positive thing about working in such a place is that the smell of processing it soon lowers your desire to eat chocolates.

Racism. During the sixties, although white supremacist thinking was waning somewhat, discrimination against people of colour was still quite open and tolerated by Nova Scotia society. (The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act was passed into law in 1967, however, the Mi’kmaq were not covered by it until 1991.) The following are a few of my experiences with racist behaviour during that time period.

One day a female Caucasian Moir’s employee expressed to me a desire, as she had never visited one, to visit an Indian Reserve Community. In response I provided her with directions to Indian Brook, where she journeyed over the weekend. (By this date the RCMP were easing off on their strict enforcement of the Liquor provisions of the Indian Act.)

Shortly after I arrived at work on Monday morning she sought me out to report her experience. It went something like this “I had heard that Indians were drunks and when we arrived at the Reserve it proved to be true, all we saw was drunks.” I asked her how many drunks she had seen and she said four. I knew who there were, fo ...

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