Archeologists dig up Acadian history

Eric McCarthy
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Published on June 16, 2010

MLA Sonny Gallant displays a piece of pottery, believed to have originated in St. Onge , France. Local MLAs joined Carolyn Bertram, Minister responsible for Aboriginal A

Published on June 16, 2010

Carolyn Bertram, minister responsible for archeology looks on as Jesse Francis, centre, and Robert Joseph examine an artifact found at the Point-aux-Vieux archeological

Published on June 16, 2010

Minister responsible for aboriginal affairs and archeology, Carolyn Bertram, left, and MLA Paula Biggar troll for artifacts at the Pointe-aux-Vieux dig site Tuesday as

Published on June 16, 2010

Robert Joseph sifts through soil looking for artifacts at an archeological dig underway near Port Hill. Archeologists believe they have uncovered evidence of an 18th ce

Published on June 16, 2010

The dig site where MLAs Paula Biggar and Sonny Gallant troll for artifacts is just one fierce storm away from being washed over the bank into Malpeque Bay. A 19th centu

Published on June 16, 2010

Jesse Francis with the Mi'Kmaq Confederacy is ready to take over one of the units at the Point-aux-Vieux dig site from MLAs Carolyn Bertram, Paula Biggar or Sonny Galla

Published on June 16, 2010

Published on June 16, 2010

Published on June 16, 2010

Published on June 16, 2010

Published on June 16, 2010

Published on June 16, 2010

POINTE-AUX-VIEUX - Provincial archeologist Dr. Helen Kristmanson is gladly taking possession of the charcoal, beads, broken pottery and pieces of shell and bone being uncovered at a dig site underway at Pointe-aux-Vieux, near Port Hill.
Between 1728 and 1758, prior to the Acadian deportation, Pointe-aux-Vieux had been an Acadian community. Last year, Kristmanson led a team that conducted a test dig at the site, uncovering evidence of a field stone foundation and a stone fireplace over which meals, including chicken and shellfish would have been cooked.
The site is along the banks of the Malpeque Bay overlooking Lennox Island to the north.
"It's an instant connection to the past and it's an instant connection to the past person," Kristmanson said of the significance of each artifact uncovered. "We don't have very many early Acadian period sites."
There was also an Acadian chapel and cemetery in the area, Kristmanson revealed. She said a fierce 19th-century storm disturbed human bones which were subsequently reburied by the Acadian and Mi'kmaq people.
Although the dig site has been identified as early Acadian, Kristmanson said she is also interested in finding evidence of cross-cultural interaction, particularly with the Mi'kmaq.
"We're seeing a little bit of that in our artifacts," she said.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Carolyn Bertram, who is also the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs and archeology, visited the site, accompanied by area MLAs Paula Biggar and Sonny Gallant. They were each assigned a unit of ground to troll for artifacts. Gallant uncovered a piece of pottery believed to have originated from the French town of St. Onge.
Labelled bags document the unit, and the level within the unit, where artifacts are found. Each bucket of earth is sifted in case something might have been overlooked the first time around.
"Today lends a deeper appreciation for archeology work on P.E.I., because we're seeing it first-hand and actually doing it first-hand," Bertram said.
While the politicians' time at the site was short, Kristmanson and her team plan to be there until June 25, hoping to uncover more sections of foundation and more artifacts. A high area a little further from the shore bank was also being searched Tuesday in hopes of uncovering further evidence of Acadian history.
Depressions and high areas in uncultivated ground, Kristmanson said, raise curiosity.
Artifacts will be deposited with the Museum and Heritage Foundation. Kristmanson suggested some of the artifacts might one day be exhibited at the Acadian Museum in Miscouche.
The dig site is on provincially owned land and is a designated site in the national classification system.

Organizations: Heritage Foundation, Acadian Museum

Geographic location: Port Hill, Malpeque Bay, Lennox Island Miscouche

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Recent comments

  • Brian
    July 08, 2010 - 17:47

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated. I mean what rights do the indians have that acadian people do not? The indians were forced off their land and the government lets them off from paying no taxes. Well i say all Acadians should be giving the exact same treatment and not have to pay taxes either.

  • Interested
    July 08, 2010 - 17:43

    I think the Arsenault's settled in Port Hill. I wonder if anyone of the Arsenault's had the opportunity for a photo op as well. It shouldn't be too hard to find one. Since I had three Arsenault grandparents, I am grateful for this project before the site is forever lost to the Atlantic.

  • First Acadians in Prince
    July 08, 2010 - 15:53

    Hi INTERESTED,

    You are correct...
    as per Georges Arsenault, our Island Acadian historian, This area was first settled by 3 Arsenault brothers and a DesRoches I think, married to their sister, I think he said.... You can see this on a site The Island Register, census section... by 1758 the region had many more settled here prior to fleeing to escape Deportation, the Prince County Acadians were not deported ..unlike the less fortunate from other areas of PEI.. Several hundred perished..

  • thanks, but...
    July 08, 2010 - 15:03

    Um, thanks Brian, that's a very kind thought, but as a French Acadian with a bit of Mi'kmaq blood here and there, I don't really see the need for asking an exemption of taxes. Just as we have made peace with the story of the Deportation (though we are proud to have survived this awful period), today we just hope to live in harmony with the other cultures that surround us, all while continuing to be able to speak our language and share our own culture with others.
    So happy that Dr. Kristmanson is doing this, this will certainly uncover some mysteries about Acadian culture.

  • Brian
    July 08, 2010 - 14:52

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated. I mean what rights do the indians have that acadian people do not? The indians were forced off their land and the government lets them off from paying no taxes. Well i say all Acadians should be giving the exact same treatment and not have to pay taxes either.

  • Interested
    July 08, 2010 - 14:52

    I think the Arsenault's settled in Port Hill. I wonder if anyone of the Arsenault's had the opportunity for a photo op as well. It shouldn't be too hard to find one. Since I had three Arsenault grandparents, I am grateful for this project before the site is forever lost to the Atlantic.

  • First Acadians in Prince
    July 08, 2010 - 14:52

    Hi INTERESTED,

    You are correct...
    as per Georges Arsenault, our Island Acadian historian, This area was first settled by 3 Arsenault brothers and a DesRoches I think, married to their sister, I think he said.... You can see this on a site The Island Register, census section... by 1758 the region had many more settled here prior to fleeing to escape Deportation, the Prince County Acadians were not deported ..unlike the less fortunate from other areas of PEI.. Several hundred perished..

  • thanks, but...
    July 08, 2010 - 14:52

    Um, thanks Brian, that's a very kind thought, but as a French Acadian with a bit of Mi'kmaq blood here and there, I don't really see the need for asking an exemption of taxes. Just as we have made peace with the story of the Deportation (though we are proud to have survived this awful period), today we just hope to live in harmony with the other cultures that surround us, all while continuing to be able to speak our language and share our own culture with others.
    So happy that Dr. Kristmanson is doing this, this will certainly uncover some mysteries about Acadian culture.

  • Pat
    July 08, 2010 - 14:52

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated.

    You need a history lesson. Acadians are french people that migrated here from France. Just like everyone else did from their respected countries of origin with the exception of the Native Americans. Get it?

  • Brian
    July 08, 2010 - 14:50

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated. I mean what rights do the indians have that acadian people do not? The indians were forced off their land and the government lets them off from paying no taxes. Well i say all Acadians should be giving the exact same treatment and not have to pay taxes either.

  • Interested
    July 08, 2010 - 14:50

    I think the Arsenault's settled in Port Hill. I wonder if anyone of the Arsenault's had the opportunity for a photo op as well. It shouldn't be too hard to find one. Since I had three Arsenault grandparents, I am grateful for this project before the site is forever lost to the Atlantic.

  • First Acadians in Prince
    July 08, 2010 - 14:50

    Hi INTERESTED,

    You are correct...
    as per Georges Arsenault, our Island Acadian historian, This area was first settled by 3 Arsenault brothers and a DesRoches I think, married to their sister, I think he said.... You can see this on a site The Island Register, census section... by 1758 the region had many more settled here prior to fleeing to escape Deportation, the Prince County Acadians were not deported ..unlike the less fortunate from other areas of PEI.. Several hundred perished..

  • thanks, but...
    July 08, 2010 - 14:50

    Um, thanks Brian, that's a very kind thought, but as a French Acadian with a bit of Mi'kmaq blood here and there, I don't really see the need for asking an exemption of taxes. Just as we have made peace with the story of the Deportation (though we are proud to have survived this awful period), today we just hope to live in harmony with the other cultures that surround us, all while continuing to be able to speak our language and share our own culture with others.
    So happy that Dr. Kristmanson is doing this, this will certainly uncover some mysteries about Acadian culture.

  • Pat
    July 08, 2010 - 14:50

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated.

    You need a history lesson. Acadians are french people that migrated here from France. Just like everyone else did from their respected countries of origin with the exception of the Native Americans. Get it?

  • Interested
    July 08, 2010 - 14:47

    I think the Arsenault's settled in Port Hill. I wonder if anyone of the Arsenault's had the opportunity for a photo op as well. It shouldn't be too hard to find one. Since I had three Arsenault grandparents, I am grateful for this project before the site is forever lost to the Atlantic.

  • Brian
    July 08, 2010 - 14:47

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated. I mean what rights do the indians have that acadian people do not? The indians were forced off their land and the government lets them off from paying no taxes. Well i say all Acadians should be giving the exact same treatment and not have to pay taxes either.

  • Pat
    July 08, 2010 - 14:47

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated.

    You need a history lesson. Acadians are french people that migrated here from France. Just like everyone else did from their respected countries of origin with the exception of the Native Americans. Get it?

  • First Acadians in Prince
    July 08, 2010 - 14:47

    Hi INTERESTED,

    You are correct...
    as per Georges Arsenault, our Island Acadian historian, This area was first settled by 3 Arsenault brothers and a DesRoches I think, married to their sister, I think he said.... You can see this on a site The Island Register, census section... by 1758 the region had many more settled here prior to fleeing to escape Deportation, the Prince County Acadians were not deported ..unlike the less fortunate from other areas of PEI.. Several hundred perished..

  • thanks, but...
    July 08, 2010 - 14:46

    Um, thanks Brian, that's a very kind thought, but as a French Acadian with a bit of Mi'kmaq blood here and there, I don't really see the need for asking an exemption of taxes. Just as we have made peace with the story of the Deportation (though we are proud to have survived this awful period), today we just hope to live in harmony with the other cultures that surround us, all while continuing to be able to speak our language and share our own culture with others.
    So happy that Dr. Kristmanson is doing this, this will certainly uncover some mysteries about Acadian culture.

  • Pat
    July 08, 2010 - 14:46

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated.

    You need a history lesson. Acadians are french people that migrated here from France. Just like everyone else did from their respected countries of origin with the exception of the Native Americans. Get it?

  • Brian
    July 08, 2010 - 14:46

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated. I mean what rights do the indians have that acadian people do not? The indians were forced off their land and the government lets them off from paying no taxes. Well i say all Acadians should be giving the exact same treatment and not have to pay taxes either.

  • Interested
    July 08, 2010 - 14:46

    I think the Arsenault's settled in Port Hill. I wonder if anyone of the Arsenault's had the opportunity for a photo op as well. It shouldn't be too hard to find one. Since I had three Arsenault grandparents, I am grateful for this project before the site is forever lost to the Atlantic.

  • First Acadians in Prince
    July 08, 2010 - 14:45

    Hi INTERESTED,

    You are correct...
    as per Georges Arsenault, our Island Acadian historian, This area was first settled by 3 Arsenault brothers and a DesRoches I think, married to their sister, I think he said.... You can see this on a site The Island Register, census section... by 1758 the region had many more settled here prior to fleeing to escape Deportation, the Prince County Acadians were not deported ..unlike the less fortunate from other areas of PEI.. Several hundred perished..

  • thanks, but...
    July 08, 2010 - 14:45

    Um, thanks Brian, that's a very kind thought, but as a French Acadian with a bit of Mi'kmaq blood here and there, I don't really see the need for asking an exemption of taxes. Just as we have made peace with the story of the Deportation (though we are proud to have survived this awful period), today we just hope to live in harmony with the other cultures that surround us, all while continuing to be able to speak our language and share our own culture with others.
    So happy that Dr. Kristmanson is doing this, this will certainly uncover some mysteries about Acadian culture.

  • Pat
    July 08, 2010 - 14:45

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated.

    You need a history lesson. Acadians are french people that migrated here from France. Just like everyone else did from their respected countries of origin with the exception of the Native Americans. Get it?

  • Brian
    July 08, 2010 - 14:45

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated. I mean what rights do the indians have that acadian people do not? The indians were forced off their land and the government lets them off from paying no taxes. Well i say all Acadians should be giving the exact same treatment and not have to pay taxes either.

  • Interested
    July 08, 2010 - 14:45

    I think the Arsenault's settled in Port Hill. I wonder if anyone of the Arsenault's had the opportunity for a photo op as well. It shouldn't be too hard to find one. Since I had three Arsenault grandparents, I am grateful for this project before the site is forever lost to the Atlantic.

  • First Acadians in Prince
    July 08, 2010 - 14:44

    Hi INTERESTED,

    You are correct...
    as per Georges Arsenault, our Island Acadian historian, This area was first settled by 3 Arsenault brothers and a DesRoches I think, married to their sister, I think he said.... You can see this on a site The Island Register, census section... by 1758 the region had many more settled here prior to fleeing to escape Deportation, the Prince County Acadians were not deported ..unlike the less fortunate from other areas of PEI.. Several hundred perished..

  • thanks, but...
    July 08, 2010 - 14:44

    Um, thanks Brian, that's a very kind thought, but as a French Acadian with a bit of Mi'kmaq blood here and there, I don't really see the need for asking an exemption of taxes. Just as we have made peace with the story of the Deportation (though we are proud to have survived this awful period), today we just hope to live in harmony with the other cultures that surround us, all while continuing to be able to speak our language and share our own culture with others.
    So happy that Dr. Kristmanson is doing this, this will certainly uncover some mysteries about Acadian culture.

  • Pat
    July 08, 2010 - 14:44

    see it goes to show that acadians were forced to leave there land jsut like the indians. So by rights all acadian people should not have to pay taxes at all just like the way indians are being treated.

    You need a history lesson. Acadians are french people that migrated here from France. Just like everyone else did from their respected countries of origin with the exception of the Native Americans. Get it?