People in Eskasoni, the largest Mi’kmaq community east of Montreal, spent Canada’s Birthday at an annual pow wow.

While Canada is now 150-years-old, the first people came thousands of years before confederation.

"We're older than Canada.  We're 13,500 years here in this area alone. It's great to celebrate our culture, our songs and dances, on such a beautiful day as this," says pow wow coordinator Michael R. Denny.

First Nations’ people in Cape Breton had another reason to celebrate. Chief Terry Paul, of Membertou First Nation, is being awarded the Order of Canada.

However, it wasn’t all celebrations at the pow wow, with Canada 150, came mixed feelings.

"We've had a really dark history as Mi’kmaq, as Indigenous people in this country, for the past 150 years,” says Chief Leroy Denny. “At the same time, we honour our elders, and our residential school survivors. We're celebrating survival."

In Charlottetown, where Canada was born, “a book of Canadian hope” arrived by canoe at the crack of dawn.

The book was sealed and is to be opened 50 years from Saturday.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald