Parks Canada and Acadie 300 Prince Edward Island take part in a ceremonial planting
October 30, 2020 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Parks Canada Agency
This year marks the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the French and Acadians on Île-Saint-Jean (now known as Prince Edward Island), and their establishment of Port-la-Joye in 1720. Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site commemorates one of the first European settlements on the Island.
Today, members of the Acadie 300 PEI planning committee joined Parks Canada in the ceremonial planting of three new trees – a white pine, a red oak and a white birch – at the site. The three trees represent three centuries of French and Acadian presence at the site. During the ceremony, each tree was dedicated in the honour of significant figures connected to the history of Port-la-Joye, and biographical highlights of these historical figures were shared. These trees were sourced from the Frank J. Gaudet Provincial Tree Nursery and gifted to Parks Canada as part of a project to plant 300 trees at Acadian heritage sites, communities, schools and natural areas across the Island in commemoration of the 300 years of French and Acadian presence on Prince Edward Island. The trees are supplied by the Province of PEI’s Greening Spaces program. In planting these trees alongside our valued Acadian stakeholders, Parks Canada commemorates the enduring contributions of Acadian people to Canada’s diverse cultural landscape.
This summer, Parks Canada worked with Acadian partners in Prince Edward Island to help mark the anniversary at Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site. Activities included hosting the special Rendez-Vous Acadien event at the site organized by well-known Island Acadian historian, Georges Arsenault on behalf of Le Musée Acadien and the Soeur Antionette DesRoches Historical Society, and supporting the Société Saint-Thomas-D’Aquin, Acadian Museum of PEI, PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, and community partners by contributing towards the production of a film entitled “The Island’s Acadie: 300 years of history to discover”.
National historic sites like Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the histories, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. A Grand Alliance was forged here between the Mi’kmaq and French – one of only two locations in North America where this was celebrated annually with speeches, gifting and feasting.