Parks Canada considering closer links between Chignecto isthmus historic sites
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.