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New exhibit showcases P.E.I.’s Mi’kmaq, Acadian history

A brand new exhibit on the Acadian Museum in Miscouche, P.E.I., offers a glance again into the province’s Mi’kmaq and Acadian historical past.

The “Unearthing the Previous: Archaeological Discoveries on Prince Edward Island” exhibit shows artifacts that have been unearthed at 4 websites throughout the island, which embody in Pointe-Aux-Vieux, Havre Saint-Pierre, Nikani-ika’taqank, and Pituamkek.

The museum’s exhibit was developed collaboratively between P.E.I.’s authorities and the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Basis.

Chief Darlene Bernard of Lennox Island First Nation was on-hand Friday for the exhibit’s official launch.

“We want to have the ability to share our historical past with all Islanders and all individuals who come right here and need to know in regards to the first peoples of Epekwitk, and they’re the Mi’kmaq,” mentioned Bernard.

Archaeologists labored carefully with the island’s Mi’kmaq whereas excavating the websites, preserving the group small and together with members of the neighborhood.

“Once they unearth an artifact that hasn’t been touched in 1,000, 2,000 years, they’re the primary particular person to the touch it since their ancestor did, and it’s a really profound expertise,” mentioned Helen Kristmanson, an archaeologist and exhibit curator.

Kristmanson says the gadgets dug up for this exhibit present the shut social and financial ties between Mi’kmaq and Acadians.

They will even be used to show island college students in regards to the province’s historical past.

“It simply helps them create deeper that means,” Jason MacNeil, the schooling officer for the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Basis. “And make different connections to their very own lives, and to their communities, and what they’re doing within the classroom on the similar time.”

As a part of the collaboration, the Mi’kmaq artifacts within the exhibit are displayed with permission.

“We would like our story to by no means be hidden in a cabinet,” mentioned Bernard. “We would like our historical past to be on the market for all of the world to see, and we wish our youngsters to be taught their true historical past in order that they are often pleased with who they’re as the primary individuals.”

Bernard says, whereas she’s glad to see the artifacts displayed on the Acadian Museum, she’s hopeful they’ll be capable to create a everlasting residence for Mi’kmaq artifacts administered by the First Nation.

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