Mi’kmaw storytelling has been an integral part of Mi’kmaw way of life. Mi’kmaw elders and leaders and parents have provided each generation with the required prerequisite knowledge, know-how, teachings and lessons that will sustain the next generation and connect the past with the present and future. Each person’s creativity and skill in oratory is important for how the knowledge will be remembered. Experience with the subject matter has always held Mi’kmaw peoples’ attentions, such as the Rita Joe’s life story, or her experiences with residential schooling at Shubenacadie.
Whether through poetry and fiction or art, Mi’kmaw have used these tools to show our outlook on life and share experiences within the communities. For this reason, Rita Joe is one of the most well-known Mi’kmaw writers, who has received the highest honors and acclaim from her peers and from the universities. Her poetry is known world wide, in the poetry circles and has served as a role model for many of those who continued in her tradition of poetry.