The MMNN is a First Nation owned, community focused monthly newspaper with a particular expertise in Mi’kmaq culture. The objectives of the newspaper are to celebrate and lift people up/lift their spirits with an emphasis on positive stories and success stories in the Mi’kmaq community, to archive and record history, to educate, and to provide information on current stories and events that have relevance to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people in Atlantic Canada.
The vision of a community newspaper arose in 1990 – the brainchild of Mr. Daniel N. Paul and Mr. Rick Simon. In the premier issue of the Micmac Nation News, Editor Rick Simon laid out this vision:
“We are placing a strong emphasis on news in the communities that reflects the culture and lifestyles of the Micmacs, no matter how small and unimportant it may seem, because if not for the effort on our part, the larger non-Native papers see news in a different fashion, and in many cases, can’t be bothered to cover the Native beat unless there is controversy involved.”
Today at the MMNN offices, they feel that they have stuck to that vision. Over 90% of written content is supplied by the communities, either through organizations that represent them, communications officers and community-minded people.
As the publishers, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and their Board of Directors remain committed to providing the communication link. CMM’s Executive Director and publisher Dr. Donald Julien had this to share:
“One thing that we take pride in about our newspaper is that we are not a rag to complain or to damage anyone’s reputation, or to focus on stories of corruption or any other bad news stories or events. We continue to help each community to share their stories and their successes. We also showcase special events and celebrations throughout the Atlantic. Let’s continue to work together for the greater good of all our people, and continue to support this newspaper for another 20 years!”
Former Editor/Manager Tim Bernard commented,
“I’ve been fortunate to witness the birth of the inaugural issue in November 1990 and continue to provide leadership and direction for this vital link. The MMNN would not be possible without the dedication and care that the staff of Eastern Woodland Print Communications put into each and every issue, I know first-hand because I’ve seen them do it for the past 16 years as the former Editor/ Manager and now as their Director.”
One of MMNN’s valued contributors John Sylliboy,
“the MMNN gives that opportunity to whomever wishes to use this media as a means of getting the word out there. The MMNN has remained true to keeping communication links strong to its audiences, whether it is people, communities and organizations.”
George Paul has been contributing to the MMNN for over 10 years as both a freelancer and now as the Communications Officer for Eskasoni First Nation. George knows the importance of being a great communicator and has been gifted with the ability to tell stories through both the written and visual media. When asked his thoughts on what the MMNN means to him, George commented,
“MMNN is such an important media outlet for the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet Nation that we sometime forget how important it is for our people. Our Nations were built upon the close bonds of our communities and MMNN reinforces those connections. I am honoured to play a role.”
It is people like George who have helped the MMNN fulfill its vision. Without these contributors there would be no community sharing of information and it would be a struggle to get monthly content.
The newspaper is positioned as a unique communications opportunity for the various target communities and advertisers. The Chiefs and Councils have the opportunity to communicate information of interest and importance to Band Members; other contributors have the opportunity to celebrate success and lift the spirits of the readers, bring information on relevant issues to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet readers; artists have the opportunity to showcase pictures of their work; youth and young people have the opportunity to contribute articles and stories that will be of interest to young people.
The Mi’kmaq Maliseet Nations News is supported through the operations of The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and produced on a monthly basis by Eastern Woodland Print Communications, in Millbrook Mi’kmaw Community, Nova Scotia. The revenue generated through subscription sales and advertising helps the paper sustain its operation so that the MMNN can continue being the communication link among the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nations.
The MMNN offers content in the following categories: social/local news, arts and culture, articles on current and relevant Mi’kmaq and Maliseet issues and events, education, community events schedules, and advertising. The content has a strong community focus plus inclusion of national and international stories of interest to the Mi’kmaq Maliseet people of Atlantic Canada. The content will generally be non-political within the Mi’kmaq community.