Pjila’si… Bienvenue… Welcome to Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site
located in Rocky Point, Prince Edward Island.
Parks Canada is proud to be a steward of this important historic place
and we’re looking for your input and ideas to help shape its future.
This place has many important stories to tell us.
“My first time when I arrived here, when we built the wigwam,
I felt a lot of presence of my ancestors here, and the stories of them making their wigwams here,
in between here and Rocky Point.”
This area of Epekwitk, as Prince Edward Island is known
in the Mi’kmaq language,
has long been an important part of Mi’kma’ki,
the traditional and unceded Mi’kmaq territory.
In 1720, the French established the first European
settlement on the Island here.
Called Port-la-Joye, it was the capital of the colony
colony of Ile St Jean. From 1726
through the 1740s, Mi'kmaq and French leaders met here, nearly every year,
for meetings and ceremonies to renew
and strengthen their alliance
“Port-la-Joye is important because it represents, on the one hand, the colonization of the island,
and the arrival of the French and Acadians to Prince Edward Island.
One of the biggest and most well-known families on the island are the Gallants.
Their ancestor, Michel Hache dit Gallant was the first colonist to settle in Port-la-Joye,
so as a result, this place is very important for Acadian history.”
This was the site of battles in the vast French-British struggle for dominance
in North America. Immediately following British take-over,
a dozen ships departed from this site carrying the majority of the French and
Acadian inhabitants living on the Island into exile in the tragic
deportation of 1758.
Renamed Fort Amherst, this property saw the beginnings of British systems of laws
and settlement which helped shape the future of Prince Edward Island.
“Looking at Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst, it’s a site with a lot of history. It’s got very sad moments,
very happy moments, and important transitional moments as we move from one period to another period,
and I think we want to retain familiarity with all of that history, the good as well
as the bad, so that we can learn from it.
Today, Skmaqn--Port-la-Joye--Fort Amherst offers superb views
of the surrounding countryside and Charlottetown Harbour.
Visitors can walk the trails,
enjoy a picnic,
and take in the history of the site.
When you look over the green, sloping grounds toward the harbour, you can still see remnants of the land’s dramatic past.
Parks Canada is working closely
with Mi’kmaq partners as well as
Acadian and British cultural stakeholders
to capture the complexity and importance
of this historic location.
We have begun work on a management plan to guide our actions over the next 10 years
and we want to hear from you. This is the chance for everyone to
share their ideas for
Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site.
What activities or events bring you to the
or would bring you more often?
What is your connection to this place?
What opportunities can you identify to make the
site a better-known place? Express your interest, share your ideas,
and ask your questions - take a moment and visit us online or contact us by email.
We are listening!