Parks Canada con­sid­er­ing closer links be­tween Chignecto isth­mus his­toric sites

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAR­RELL COLE dar­[email protected]­st­ Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

Increased link­ages be­tween four area his­toric sites could be part of the fu­ture for Parks Canada on the Isth­mus of Chignecto.

The re­cently re­leased Chignecto Isth­mus Na­tional His­toric Sites of Canada Man­age­ment Plan 2018 has come up with rec­om­men­da­tions to build on the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence and its im­pact on both sides of the Nova Sco­ti­aNew Brunswick bor­der.

Parks Canada, in part­ner­ship with lo­cal stake­hold­ers, stud­ied the four sites: Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence in Nova Sco­tia and Fort Beause­jour and Fort Gas­pareaux in New Brunswick.

“One of the rec­om­men­da­tions that I am very ex­cited by is the increased link­ing of the four sites to cre­ate a ‘must-see’ ex­pe­ri­ence that will en­cour­age more visi­ta­tion of the en­tire area,” Cum­ber­land-Colch­ester MP Bill Casey said.

His­tor­i­cally, all four sites are linked, so Casey ex­plained it’s only right they are all pro­moted to­gether to tell the his­tory of the Aca­di­ans, English and Mi’kmaq in the area.

With many lo­cal groups in­ter­ested in the his­tory of the sites, one of the other rec­om­men­da­tions will see Parks Canada work more closely with lo­cal stake­hold­ers to fo­cus on build­ing those re­la­tion­ships.

This also in­cludes new ap­proaches so Indigenous peo­ples can tell their own sto­ries and they, along with lo­cal stake­hold­ers, can help con­trib­ute to the sites’ pro­tec­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion of pro­grams.

Be­cause of the Chignecto Isth­mus lo­ca­tion of the four sites, which is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ris­ing sea lev­els and coastal ero­sion, the third rec­om­men­da­tion made by Parks Canada in its man­age­ment plan aims to mit­i­gate threats such as th­ese.

As part of its ef­fort to con­tinue the pro­tec­tion of the cul­tural and nat­u­ral re­sources of the sites, Casey said it was his un­der­stand­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tive in­tegrity of the sites will be en­hanced.

“This man­age­ment plan for the area is def­i­nitely a win for us as far as tourism and pro­tec­tion of our her­itage is con­cerned,” said Casey.

The long­time MP, who will soon cel­e­brate the 30th an­niver­sary of his first fed­eral elec­tion win in 1988, has been ad­vo­cat­ing for years for the de­vel­op­ment of Beaubassin and a stronger con­nec­tion with the three other his­toric sites.

Beaubassin was re­dis­cov­ered about 15 years ago with in­frared pho­tog­ra­phy show­ing nu­mer­ous foun­da­tions. An ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dig be­tween 2007 and 2011 lo­cated more than 7,000 ar­ti­facts in­di­cat­ing the area was a trade cen­tre be­tween Aca­dian and First Na­tions peo­ple.

The failed Chignecto Ma­rine Ship Rail­way project of the late 1890s had its Bay of Fundy ter­mi­nus in the area.

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