Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan 2007
Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site
In 2016, a management plan review was undertaken of the 2007 Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site Management Plan, and found to remain applicable for the management of the site with no revisions required. The 2007 Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site Management Plan will continue to provide strategic management direction for the site until the next management plan review, in ten years’ time or sooner as required.
- 1.0 Introduction
- 2.0 The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada
- 3.0 A fundamental concept: Commemorative integrity
- 4.0 Protecting and presenting cultural resources and conveying messages
- 5.0 Analysis of the present-day situation
- 6.0 Objectives
- 7.0 Looking to the future: Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada around 2022
- 8.0 Implementation
- 9.0 In conclusion: Implementation priorities
- 10.0 Summary of the environmental assessment
- Studies, research reports and other reference material
- Planning committee
Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada, 2007.
Cette publication est aussi disponible en français.
Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan, 2007.
- Catalogue No: R64-105/47-2006E
- ISBN: 0-662-44294-6
For more information about the management plan or about Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site:
P.O. Box 359, Route 132, Pointe-à-la-Croix, Quebec, Canada, G0C 1L0
Front cover image credits
Parks Canada/Maryse Goudreau
Parks Canada/George Vandervlugt
Canada’s national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas offer Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast unique opportunities to experience and understand our wonderful country. They are places of learning, recreation and fun where Canadians can connect with our past and appreciate the natural, cultural and social forces that shaped Canada.
From our smallest national park to our most visited national historic site to our largest national marine conservation area, each of these places offers Canadians and visitors unique opportunities to experience Canada. These places of beauty, wonder and learning are valued by Canadians - they are part of our past, our present and our future.
Our Government’s goal is to ensure that each of these special places is conserved.
We see a future in which these special places will further Canadians’ appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of Canada, the economic wellbeing of communities, and the vitality of our society.
Our Government’s vision is to build a culture of heritage conservation in Canada by offering Canadians exceptional opportunities to experience our natural and cultural heritage.
These values form the foundation of the new management plan for Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada. I offer my appreciation to the many thoughtful Canadians who helped to develop this plan, particularly to our dedicated team from Parks Canada, and to all those local organizations and individuals who have demonstrated their good will, hard work, spirit of co-operation and extraordinary sense of stewardship.
In this same spirit of partnership and responsibility, I am pleased to approve the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan.
Recommended by and original signed by
Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada Agency
Superintendent — Gaspésie Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency
1.1 Parks Canada Mandate and Legislative Framework
The mandate of Parks Canada, a federal agency under Environment Canada, is to fulfill national and international responsibilities in areas of heritage recognition and conservation. Parks Canada carries out that role by protecting and presenting representative aspects of Canada’s cultural and natural heritage in ways that encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this heritage, while ensuring ecological and commemorative integrity.
One of the most tangible results of the actions of Parks Canada is the network of national historic sites, of which the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada is a part. Parks Canada administers 155 national historic sites, 28 of which are in Quebec. National historic sites are managed based on the following objectives: Footnote 1
- To foster knowledge and appreciation of Canada’s past through a national program of historic commemoration.
- To ensure the commemorative integrity of national historic sites by protecting and presenting them for the benefit, education and enjoyment of present and future generations in a manner that respects the valuable and irreplaceable legacy represented by these places and their resources.
- To encourage and support initiatives designed to protect and present other places of national significance that are not administered by Parks Canada.
In accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act of 1998, Parks Canada must draw up and update management plans for national historic sites. The main purpose of a management plan is to establish guidelines for actions aimed at the protection, presentation, use and administration of sites. The plan is developed in conformity with Parks Canada Guiding Principles and Operational Policies, including the National Historic Sites Policy and the Cultural Resources Management Policy. Parks Canada’s strategic objectives are also taken into account in formulating a management plan. For each historic site, the management plan expresses the general Parks Canada policies and takes into account public concerns and points of view.
The vast network of national historic sites of Canada is made up of places that represent and reveal the many facets of our national history, and its character, identity and fabric. Designated by the Minister of the Environment upon the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, our national historic sites provide a rich overview of how history has left its mark on Canadian soil. Parks Canada’s commemorative program applies to places, but also to figures and events of national historicsignificance. More than 916 sites, 590 figures and 367 other elements of our history have been officially recognized as having national importance.
1.2 Developing the management plan
The present management plan was drafted according to the provisions of section 32.(1) of the Parks Canada Agency Act and will be reviewed in 2012 based on the provisions of section 32.(2).
The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan is the result of work done by a multidisciplinary committee composed of Parks Canada Agency staff. The committee analyzed the situation at the site and identified the main management issues involved. It developed a vision for the future and proposed management measures to achieve the vision. In October 2006 public consultations were held in Pointe-à-la-Croix in order to present that vision and the management challenges involved to several interested groups. This limited consultation enabled Parks Canada to hear the views of parties likely to be affected by the presentation and management of the site. Overall, the groups were very favourable to the proposals put forward by the planning team. Their comments were compiled, analyzed and taken into account in the drafting of the management plan. The latter was submitted to an environmental assessment to ensure that the management measures would not lead to negative environmental impacts. The plan was then reviewed by the national office and presented to the Minister of the Environment for approval, after which the document was submitted to Parliament.
The purpose of this second management plan is to analyze the current situation and present the interventions chosen to protect cultural resources, convey messages to visitors, enhance the visitor experience and involve Canadians in the running and conservation of the national historic site. It applies solely to the administered place and the cultural resources administered by Parks Canada. Parks Canada is determined to collaborate with the Government of Quebec to ensure the commemorative integrity of the cultural resources under provincial jurisdiction.
2.0 The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada
2.1 The administered place and the designated place
The Battle of the Restigouche interpretation centre is located in the municipality of Pointe-à-la-Croix on the Quebec side of Chaleurs Bay, near the city of Campbellton, New Brunswick. Covering a 8.2-hectare area, the area administered by Parks Canada looks over the bay where the Battle of the Restigouche took place in the summer of 1760. The historic site commemorates the last naval engagement fought between France and England for possession of territory on the North American continent. The confrontation took place at the mouth of the Restigouche River and sealed once and for all the fate of New France. The frigate Machault took part in the battle; it was part of a relief expedition dispatched from France to retake Quebec City, which had fallen to the British in the autumn of 1759. It was scuttled by the French.
As a result of underwater archaeological work carried out in the Restigouche River from 1969 to 1972, some remains of the Machault and a superb collection of artefacts were brought to the surface. The remains and artefacts recovered have increased our knowledge of the battle and of the commercial trade that was taking place between the mother country and the colony. They are used extensively in exhibits in the interpretation centre. The underwater archaeological site is seen as an important testimony to material cultural in 18th century North America. The remains of ships that took part in the battle are still buried in the muddy waters of the river.
The Battle of the Restigouche was recognized as a site of national historic significance in 1924 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, which approved the wording of a commemorative plaque at that time. The plaque was laid the following year in the city of Campbellton, New Brunswick.
In 1939, remains and artefacts were recovered from the wreck of the Marquis de Malauze, one of the vessels in the French fleet. They are being conserved by the Mi’kmaq community in Listuguj Footnote 2 and were designated archaeological assets by the Government of Quebec in 1965. The wreck of the Marquis de Malauze had been recognized as an event of national historic significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1943.
From 1969 to 1972, Parks Canada carried out an underwater archaeological excavation program that resulted in the recovery of remains and artefacts from the wreck of the Machault. In 1975, Parks Canada acquired the piece of land in Pointe-à-la-Croix on which the reception centre would be built. Themes and objectives were defined for the site in 1979. In 1985, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board laid a plaque at the location of the future interpretation centre, which led to a second commemoration. The interpretation centre was opened to the public in the same year.
In 2006, after it was requested that the boundaries of the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada be clarified, the Board determined the area covered by the designated place to be the locations of the known in situ cultural resources lying at the bottom of the Restigouche River.
The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site therefore includes two separate physical entities:
- The area recognized under the Canada National Parks Act, which includes a piece of land on which an interpretation centre was built, and which is owned by the Parks Canada Agency, is the administered place, managed by Parks Canada. The interpretation centre, a paved area used as a parking lot, a wooded area and a grassed area used as a picnic site comprise the components of the area administered by Parks Canada.
- The designated place, determined by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, and which is found at the bottom of the Restigouche River and which is included in three circular areas with a 200-metre radius around the remains of the Bienfaisant, around the remains of the Machault and around the ballast piles, belongs to the Government of Quebec.
2.2 The historical and geographical context
The Restigouche River, originally a waterway and source of food for the Mi’kmaqs and Malecites, forms part of the boundary between New Brunswick and Quebec. It flows into Chaleurs Bay, which opens up into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is the site of an important battle between the French and the English during the fourth intercolonial war (the Conquest) that took place during the Seven Year War.
On April 10, 1760, six French-built merchant vessels – five ships and an escort frigate – set sail from Bordeaux destined for Canada. Chartered by the King of France, the six ships were transporting 2,000 barrels of food, supplies and munitions, in addition to some 400 troops to a colony whose main settlement, Quebec City, had fallen into the hands of the British eight months earlier. Led by François Chénard de La Giraudais, Commander of the frigate Machault, name after the Minister of the Marine, Machault d’Arnouville, the expedition left the Gironde estuary and attempted to elude the Royal Navy units blockading the French coast. On April 12 and 17, the British navy boarded two of the ships in the convoy, the Soleil and the Aurore, and brought them to England. A third vessel, the Fidélité, came to a more tragic end when it was wrecked not far off the Azores on April 30.
Entering the Gulf of St. Lawrence in mid-May, the other three vessels in the convoy – the Machault, the Bienfaisant and the Marquis de Malauze – seized a British ship and learned that English vessels were sailing ahead of them up the St. Lawrence River. The commander of the expedition decided to take refuge at the head of Chaleurs Bay, out of reach of the British ships. On May 18, the small French fleet anchored in the estuary of the Restigouche River, not far from the small village of the same name inhabited by Acadian refugees and Mi’kmaqs, who would battle alongside the French. This decision was undoubtedly made because of the need to get new supplies of drinking water and hardtack and the supposed presence of numerous enemy warships on the Atlantic coast. The French ships soon found themselves trapped by five Royal Navy vessels that had been hurriedly dispatched from the port of Louisbourg, whose fortress had been taken in 1758 after a seven-week siege. The English fleet was led by Commander John Byron, the famous British navigator and Governor of Newfoundland between 1769 and 1772, and was made up of the 74-cannon Fame, the Dorsetshire, 70, the Achilles, 60, three third-rank vessels, and the frigates Repulse and Scarborough, 32 and 20 cannons respectively.
After a ten-day siege and faced with the clearly superior British artillery, the French continued to maintain a defensive military tactic, retreating up the Restigouche. Counting in particular on several land batteries set up on both sides of the river to halt the enemy, the French ships sailed against the current to flee the British fleet but were quickly cornered. Their defeat was inevitable and on July 8, 1760, lacking in munitions and unable to make any tactical movement, the Machault scuttled its own ship in the estuary of the Restigouche, a manoeuvre designed to prevent the enemy from taking possession of their supplies and arms. Shortly afterward, the Bienfaisant suffered the same fate, whereas the Marquis de Malauze, as soon as the British prisoners on board had been freed by their compatriots, was set on fire and eventually sank.
The last naval engagement of this intercolonial French-English war that took place in North American waters thus came to an end. The much-awaited help now lying at the bottom of the river, deprived of reinforcements and supplies, the small French garrison, whose retreat had been led by the officer of the naval troops François-Gabriel D’Angeac, finally surrendered at the end of October. Several weeks earlier, Governor Vaudreuil had signed the terms of surrender that turned over New France to England. Footnote 3
3.0 A fundamental concept: Commemorative integrity
Commemorative integrity is a concept used by Parks Canada to describe, plan and monitor the state of its national historic sites. When the commemorative integrity of a site is measured, the following three aspects are assessed individually: the condition of its resources, the effectiveness of messages conveying the site’s national significance, and management practices at the site. A state of commemorative integrity is said to exist at a national historic site of Canada when:
- the resources directly relating to the reasons for its designation as a national historic site are not impaired or under threat;
- the reasons for its designation as a national historic site are effectively communicated to the public;
- the site’s heritage values (including those not related to the reasons for its designation as a national historic site) are respected in all decisions and actions affecting the site. Footnote 4
In order to guarantee the proper protection and presentation of national historic sites, Parks Canada drew up a Cultural Resource Management Policy. This policy is based on five main management principles, namely principles of value, public benefit, understanding, respect, and integrity. Meeting the requirements of these principles generally ensures the commemorative integrity of a national historic site. In practical terms, implementation of this policy means that cultural resources are identified and assessed and their historical value is taken into consideration each and every time actions are taken. A draft of the commemorative integrity statement for the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site was written in 2006.
The Battle of the Restigouche was designated
a site of national significance in 1924. The reason for its designation is the following:
It was the last naval battle in the Seven Year War in North American waters.
4.0 Protecting and presenting cultural resources and conveying messages
The value of a cultural resource is determined based on its relation to the reason for the site designation as having national historic significance. Commemorative integrity is achieved through the protection and presentation of cultural resources and the communication of messages of national historic significance and contextual messages. At the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site, the resources of national importance that must be protected and presented are the designated place, landscapes and landscape elements, underwater archaeological remains and a large archaeological collection. Certain additional messages must also be conveyed to the public.
Parks Canada Agency is directly responsible for the protection and commemoration of the cultural resources it administers. However, at the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site, the cultural resources at the bottom of the Restigouche River are owned by the Quebec government. Landscapes and landscape elements are also found off Parks Canada property: these cultural resources are consequently not under Parks Canada jurisdiction.
4.1 Cultural resources of national historic significance
The designated place
The designated place corresponds to three geographical points demarcated by three 200-metre-radius circular areas in the river. Each circular area is associated with underwater archaeological resources relating to the last naval battle of the Seven Year War in North America, which took place in this location in 1760. These resources are the wreck of the Machault and the wreck of the Bienfaisant, which were sunk during the confrontation, and their respective cargoes, as well as ballast piles that include an undetermined quantity of rocks and iron bars used as ballast for the ships.
Historical values associated with the designated place are the following:
- The designated place corresponds to the locations that encompass the shipwrecks and the remains of their cargo that are associated with the last naval battle of the Seven Year War, which resulted in the end of New France in North America.
- The designated place contains numerous underwater archaeological resources associated with the wrecks of French ships that took part in the naval battle.
Landscapes and landscape elements
When one is on the water, above the areas where the wreck of the Machault, the wreck of the Bienfaisant and the ballast piles are located, you can see the surroundings in which the battle took place and the location of the various installations that were found there, namely the cannon batteries set up on the south and north banks of the river, the Mi’kmaq village, the Acadian settlement and the French camp. These views represent the site’s landscapes and landscape elements.
Historical values associated with the landscape and landscape elements are the following:
- The configuration of the Restigouche River, in particular its riverbed and the narrowing of its estuary, enables us to better understand the defensive military strategy used by the French, and the unfolding and outcome of the battle that took place here in 1760.
- The designated place offers a view of the coastal batteries that had been set up on the north and south banks of the Restigouche, designed to halt the British ships sent to pursue the French fleet.
Underwater archaeological remains
The Bienfaisant (a 350-tonne 22-gun merchant ship) was located in 1967 and a summary investigation was conducted in 1969. The Machault (a 550-tonne 24-gun frigate) was also located in 1967 and was subject to extensive archaeological excavations from 1969 to 1972. The hull and cargo of the Bienfaisant are still lying under water. Nine tenths of the hull of the Machault and part of its cargo, in addition to the rocks and pieces of metal of the ballast piles of the time, also lie at the bottom of the Restigouche River.
Historical values associated with these remains are the following:
- The in situ archaeological resources represent the best examples of remains associated with the 1760 Battle of the Restigouche.
- The wreck of the Machault is one of only three 18th century French frigates discovered to this day worldwide, and its state of conservation is particularly remarkable.
- The wreck of the Bienfaisant represents one of the rare known examples of an 18th century commercial ship, and its state of conservation is particularly remarkable.
- The wrecks of the Machault and the Bienfaisant, as well as the rocks and pieces of metal at the site of the ballast piles lying at the bottom of the Restigouche River, are a testimony to the military strategy and ballasting techniques used by the French fleet during the 1760 confrontation. They aid our understanding of how the naval battle unfolded.
The archaeological collection
Part of the hull of the Machault, including a section of the keel and keelson, the stem (front part), the sternpost (rear part), the rudder, and a cross-sectional piece of the centre of the ship were brought to the surface. These pieces constitute about one tenth of the remains of the hull. The keel, stem, sternpost, cross-sectional piece of the hull and an anchor are displayed at the interpretation centre. Individual pieces of the hull are also stored at Parks Canada conservation laboratories in Ottawa and Quebec City. In addition to the pieces on display in the interpretation centre, there are 327 individual structural pieces in Parks Canada laboratories in Ottawa, primarily parts of the ship’s frame.
Nine artefacts were recovered from the wreck of the Bienfaisant and 9,489 artefacts from the Machault: 460 are displayed at the interpretation centre, 67 are being conserved in Quebec Service Centre storerooms in Quebec City and 8,962 have become part of Parks Canada’s national archaeological collection in Ottawa. Among the 8,962 artefacts in Ottawa, 5,822 have been entered into the databank and constitute entities that have been accurately identified and inventoried. The remaining 3,140 artefacts have not yet been inventoried.
The artefacts recovered include objects that are typical of 18th century shipbuilding and material culture. They fall into various categories and are composed of a variety of materials. Many of the objects are associated with the rigging, maintenance, navigation and defence of a ship, domestic activities on board and trade.
Among the objects associated with the rigging and maintenance of a ship are deadeyes, pulleys, cleats, tools for repairing the sails, pumps and planking; tools for maintaining and cleaning the ship, such as brooms and paintbrushes; mallets, axes, adzes, wedges, an auger, planes, jack planes, grooving planes, scissors, hammers, saws and a bevel for woodworking; and tools for iron work, including a grinding wheel, pliers, a vice, a trenching knife and an awl.
Among navigation instruments found are pieces of a back staff, the case for a compass card and two compasses.
Also found were pieces of small and large calibre artillery used to defend the ship (large 12-pound cannons and small swivel guns), a gargousse and a powder scoop, artillery munitions (staked shot, firebombs and star projectiles designed to damage rigging, hand grenades, French cannonballs marked with a fleur de lys and English cannonballs stamped Broad Arrow); ammunition for portable weapons (bullets, buckshot and leadshot); mortar bombs for defence of the colony, and an arsenal of handguns and weapons with blades (regulation French Cavalry pistols, also used on ships, including two with the marking Le Machault, two types of muskets, a blunderbuss, swords, regulation musketeer swords and battle axes).
A wide range of other objects associated with life on board a ship were recovered, primarily dishes made of coarse earthenware, pewter and copper used to prepare, cook and serve meals (coarse earthenware terrines, bowls, pitcher and pots; pewter plate, porringers, goblet and spoons; copper pots, ladle and colander, barrel taps, stemware and wine bottles, jackknives, etc.). Fishing gear, such as a fish spear and fish net weights; fasteners, pendants, garment accessories, sewing notions (buttons, shoe buckles, garters, belt buckles, clasps, cufflinks, a silk bow and ribbon, wool stockings and a tuque, a medal, a ring, pins, thimbles and a needle or bodkin case. Other objects are associated with lighting and recreation on board (a brass candleholder, candelabras, candles, candlesnuffers and a vertical candlesnuffer holder, a Dutch snuffbox, clay pipes, wooden game pieces and a pocket flask).
The collection also includes objects associated with personal grooming: bone, horn and boxwood combs, a wrought iron curling iron, a bronze mortar and pestle, a pewter syringe, a coarse earthenware shaving dish, fragments of glass vials and boxwood pouring spouts.
Lastly, the archaeological collection contains an entire cargo destined for colonial commerce, including: 500 men’s shoes, all similar and brand new; a large quantity of common ceramic objects (bowls, pitchers of various sizes, terrines, dishes and plates); tin-glazed earthenware (plates, bowls, dishes); fine imported china (dinner plates and soup plates, bowls of various sizes, cups and saucers, teapots); and over a thousand pieces of fine stemware. The ship also carried strip iron and bar iron for transformation in New France, and a collection of lead weights for household or commercial use.
Black glass bottles, glasses, a musket, a loving cup and several ceramic objects came from the booty taken from British ships. Other objects, such as brass kettles and lids were used in bartering with the Aboriginals.
Historical values associated with the archaeological collection are the following:
- The artefacts recovered during underwater excavations have greatly contributed to our knowledge of 18th century French naval architecture; they are an important testimony to world maritime heritage.
- Given their accurate dating and exceptional state of conservation, these artefacts constitute a reference collection for the period in the history of New France during the Seven Year War. Furthermore, many of the artefacts are part of Parks Canada’s national reference collection.
- The artefacts from the wrecks of the Machault and the Bienfaisant have enabled us to document the question of commercial trade between France and New France. They are an invaluable source for our understanding of 18th century material culture in North America, in terms of both life in the colony and life on board warships and merchant ships.
- The wrecks of the Machault and the Bienfaisant, and artefacts recovered at the excavation sites indicate the expertise of numerous architects and theorists in the field of shipbuilding. Ships were built in Bordeaux during the 18th century by great shipbuilding families renowned for their expertise.
- The archaeological resources uncovered during underwater excavations at the beginning of the 1970s have enabled us to understand the final efforts made by French authorities in 1760 to attempt to save the colony of New France whose capital, Quebec City, had fallen into the hands of the England the year before.
4.2 The message of national historic significance
At the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada, the message of national historic significance that stems from the reason for its designation and that must be conveyed to the public is the following:
“The Battle of the Restigouche was the last naval battle of the Seven Year War in North American waters.”
To better understand the message, the following contextual messages must be developed:
- The Battle of the Restigouche was the last naval engagement of the Seven Year War, a major conflict between France and England between 1756 and 1763 that took place in the North American colonies. As a result of this war, New France was ceded to Great Britain, which then held the greater part of North America.
- The naval Battle of the Restigouche was one of the last confrontations to take place in the Conquest or fourth intercolonial war between 1754 and 1760 between French and English colonies in North America. Like the fall of Louisbourg in 1758 and Quebec City in 1759, French soldiers fighting in the Battle of the Restigouche suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the British army with its larger numbers and better equipped ships.
- The naval Battle of the Restigouche is a reminder that one of the major issues in the conflict between France and England was the control of major waterways for trade and navigation. Prior to their defeat on the Restigouche River, the French had lost part of their fleet shortly after sailing from Bordeaux because of British warships that were attacking ships leaving French ports along the Atlantic.
- The French fleet was led by officer François Chénard de La Giraudais who, faced with an inevitable defeat at the hands of the British, decided to scuttle the Machault and the Bienfaisant so they could not be taken. For the Bienfaisant, this was its second confrontation with British ships, the first being at Louisbourg in 1758.
- The British fleet, arriving from Louisbourg, was led by naval officer John Byron, a renowned English explorer who was Governor of Newfoundland from 1769 to 1772. He commanded a number of ships during the Seven Year War, but it was on board the Fame that he sailed with difficulty into the mouth of the Restigouche in pursuit of the French ships.
- Forces present at the Battle of the Restigouche determined the military strategy of the French fleet and the unfolding and outcome of the battle. The defensive attitude of the French fleet was the consequence of a policy of tactical withdrawals adopted by the French marine since the beginning of the Seven Year War. As for the British Navy, events of the battle are a reminder of the increasing superiority of the British fleet in Western waters.
- Mi’kmaqs set up mainly in various coastal batteries and Acadians, some of who navigated on schooners, took part in the battle as allies of the French. Acadians had to suffer both the widespread war conditions in which New France had found itself since the beginning of the Conquest in 1754 and the tragic Deportation of the Acadians in 1755.
- The presence of the Mi’kmaqs alongside French soldiers is an indication of the trading alliances and friendly relations that had developed between the Mi’kmaqs and the French. The Aboriginal community of Listuguj, settled before the arrival of Europeans in the region, still occupies an area near the scene of the naval confrontation of 1760.
- The in situ archaeological resources are an indication of forces at work during the naval battle, military tactics used by the French army, life on board the ships and in the colony, maritime trade between New France and France and 18th century shipbuilding.
- The Battle of the Restigouche is a national historic site, that is, a place designated as such by the Government of Canada because of its national historic significance.
4.3 Other heritage values
This section deals with additional messages that must be conveyed to the public. They are the following:
- The archaeological sites situated at the designated place are the sites of the very first underwater excavations in Canada. They are still considered an expertise laboratory in the field because of the rarity of the remains found there and their exceptional state of conservation. Preservation of the remains was particularly due to the river’s brackish water and muddy bottom.
- In 1943, the wreck of the Marquis de Malauze, one of the French ships involved in the naval battle, was designated an event of historic national significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada as a “French ship scuttled during the Battle of the Restigouche in 1760”.
- The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site is part of a network of national historic sites commemorating the Seven Year War in North America, and more specifically, the fourth intercolonial war between France and England, also know as the Conquest, which took place from 1754 to 1760. The first intercolonial war, the War of the League of Augsbourg, was fought from 1689 to 1697. The second, the War of the Spanish Succession, took place from 1702 to 1713. The third, the War of the Austrian Succession, was fought from 1744 to 1748.
- The remains and artefacts recovered from the wreck of the Marquis de Malauze, one of the ships in the French rescue fleet burned by the British, were classified archaeological assets by the Government of Quebec in 1965. They are conserved in the Mi’kmaq community of Listuguj.
- In 1998, a 55-km section of the Restigouche River was designated a historic waterway in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. This national recognition is due to its renowned spawning grounds for Atlantic salmon and its overall natural, cultural and recreational value.
- The national historic sites administered by Parks Canada belong to all Canadians.
5.0 Analysis of the present-day situation
In the present management plan, cultural resources that need to be protected, their related historical values and messages that need to be conveyed were determined when the commemorative integrity statement was drafted. If these data were to be significantly modified upon official approval of the statement, such modifications could require changes to the content of the management plan.
5.1 State of the cultural resources
The main cultural resources that require protection are the designated place, the remains recovered from the Machault, a considerable archaeological collection recovered from the wreck of the Machault, several archaeological artefacts recovered from the Bienfaisant, the underwater archaeological remains of the wrecks and cargo of the Machault and the Bienfaisant, and the archaeological remains of the ballast piles.
The area designated by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and the underwater archaeological remains and artefacts are situated outside of Parks Canada property and are under the jurisdiction of the Government of Quebec. However, the area administered by Parks Canada overlooks the designated place. The underwater archaeological remains and artefacts associated with the shipwrecks are partially protected by their very location at the bottom of the muddy waters of the river and the strong currents found there. They remain accessible for any future digs, but in the meantime are vulnerable to looting. However, according to the law governing cultural assets in Quebec, an archaeological research permit is required for any intervention on such sites. In that context, the protection and presentation of the resources found at the bottom of the river are dependent on the will of the Quebec government. The Parks Canada Agency proposes the management measures outlined below for the cultural resources it administers. For resources that are not under its jurisdiction, Parks Canada can only propose measures to increase awareness of the existence of these resources and the importance of protecting them. Parks Canada can also propose collaborative agreements with the Quebec government for the monitoring of the state of the underwater archaeological resources.
The State of the Parks 1997 Report was updated as follows to establish the condition of cultural resources and the challenges involved in protecting them:
- The state of the underwater archaeological sites is unknown.
- The wreck of the Machault has been researched and complete inventories have been conducted. Part of the frame of the Machault and the collection of archaeological artefacts recovered during underwater digs is presented at the interpretation centre in a way that conveys the commemorative messages. The pieces are in fairly good condition. The site has a collections management plan. The fact that cultural resources are displayed in the interpretation centre, including pieces of the frame of the Machault, means that environmental monitoring (temperature and humidity) is required in accordance with technical standards for conservation. In some parts of the building, architectural features and mechanical systems currently in place make it impossible to maintain these conditions. In addition, these systems, installed in 1982, are not considered to be energy-efficient and are difficult to operate.
- Several dozen objects are being kept in Quebec Service Centre warehouses and are in good condition.
- The rest of the collection is being kept in Parks Canada warehouses in Ottawa: objects in the 228 trays are in good condition, those in two of the trays, 311 boxes and the structural pieces are in fair to good condition. The Parks Canada national archaeological collection in Ottawa contains 8,962 artefacts. Of these, 5,822 have been entered into the database and constitute entities that have been accurately identified and inventoried. The remaining 3,140 artefacts have not yet been inventoried. Much inventory and computerization work therefore remains to be done in order to reveal objects that were recovered long ago at the bottom of the Restigouche River and to ensure the permanence of the collection. Parts of the ship’s frame recovered from the Machault currently pose a problem because of the fact that the processing methods used at the time of the excavations have potential negative impacts, particularly on the health of persons handling them and on their general state of conservation. Storage is also a problem.
5.2 Natural resources and the environment
The piece of land owned by Parks Canada is a relatively rugged plateau that slopes gradually toward the south until it becomes a steep slope overlooking the road along the river. The altitude goes from twenty metres at the top of the plateau to seven metres at the foot of the slope. A rectangular rocky ridge that reaches thirty-three metres cuts into the plateau perpendicularly in the northeastern and central parts of the site. Apart from the rocky projection, the soil is composed of sand and gravel over layers of clay, silt and sand.
The entire site is colonized with tree, shrubby and herbaceous vegetation, depending on the steepness of the slopes, drainage conditions and the type of soil. The forest is generally made up of balsam fir with silver birch, red maple, white spruce and aspen.
Rare or unique natural resources have not been documented on the site. The limited area of the natural environment and the type of habitats present does not lead us to believe that the site is home to any of the region’s endangered species. In terms of natural resources, a biophysical inventory should be conducted, which would determine if endangered, threatened or vulnerable species need to be protected at the site.
Parks Canada must opt for sound ecological practices in its day-to-day activities. The activities must therefore respect the Canadian government’s mandate to make them more ecological. An improvement in environmental stewardship will require the implementation of concrete actions. All such actions will have to give precedence to the concept of commemorative integrity and thus the protection and presentation of natural resources.
5.3 The current visitor experience
Visitors have access to reception and interpretation services at the site from early June to early October. These services are available in both official languages. Facilities enable visitors in wheel chairs or other physically challenged visitors to access the various services. In 2006, the adult admission fee was $3.95.
At the present time, the visitor experience is built around: exhibits in the interpretation centre, the presence of guides and animators in period costumes posted in the centre, a film on the naval battle, an activity where visitors learn the steps in loading a cannon, a guided tour available to groups, a lookout that provides a view of the scene of the naval confrontation and an outdoor rest area.
In the interpretation centre, visitors discover commemorative messages as they follow the centre’s walking tour, which is divided into different spaces:
- In the reception hall are some remains of the wreck of the Machault, including the rudder, stem and anchor. Visitors learn about underwater excavations that have taken place. A staff member explains what there is to see at the site and introduces the commemorative messages.
- The first exhibit room presents background information on the Seven Year War between France and England and how it played out on the North American continent in relation to the episode of the Battle of the Restigouche. A series of paintings and exhibit modules reconstruct the chronology of events that preceded the dispatching of the relief mission.
- The next three rooms represent three scenes inside the Machault as it sailed to New France. As visitors walk through the different areas of the ship representing typical scenes on board, they learn about the tactical and logistic aspects of the relief mission dispatched by France and discover the variety of goods being brought to New France. Numerous artefacts recovered during underwater excavations are displayed in these rooms.
- Upon leaving the exhibit rooms, visitors go down a hall where illustrations and weapons evoke the battle.
- In the multipurpose room, a film is shown that relates the successive events in the battle. A 12-pound cannon recovered from the Machault bears witness to the naval conflict.
- Visitors can then go to the lookout outdoors and use the maps there to situate the battle in its natural surroundings.
With the exception of the addition of a costumed animation program and a superb scale model of the Machault built according to the plans of the ship, the visitor experience has changed little since the opening of the interpretation centre in 1985. The 1985 exhibits are in fairly good condition, but have not been renewed since their installation and appear a bit obsolete compared to what current museography has to offer. In the spirit of renewing the site’s service offer, some of the centre’s interpretation tools need to be revisited. Particular attention should be focused on the film, displays in the reception hall and certain elements of the exhibit rooms, where some of the interpretation panels are discoloured, information on others has become illegible and some of the illustrations are beginning to peel off their panels.
The needs, expectations and interests of the audiences targeted by the site, both the people who come to the site and virtual visitors, will need to be taken into account when developing the visitor experience.
5.4 Challenges in terms of presenting cultural resources and conveying commemorative messages
The presentation concept contained in the 1984 management plan outlined the main aspects of site presentation, including how rooms in the interpretation centre and outdoor areas were to be used, and the themes presented in the exhibit rooms and how this was to be accomplished. These main aspects are still in place today. Visitors discover the resources, and their historical value and commemorative messages are conveyed through the visitor experience described above.
In order to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site, from now on the visitor experience must make visitors aware of the message of national historic significance and the contextual messages that have been defined for the site. Several messages that are unrelated to the reasons for the site’s designation must also be presented to the public in the form of additional information. Presentation of the site will be aimed at a balanced portrayal of the Battle of the Restigouche and historical values associated with the cultural resources. The presentation of certain messages that are currently receiving little attention must be developed at the administered site, namely: the presence of Mi’kmaqs, allies of the French at the time of the battle, and Acadians, also French allies, and the human drama that unfolded in these communities. Presentation of these themes means that the involvement of Mi’kmaqs and Acadians in the battle must be researched.
Additional messages will also have to be conveyed to the public. Potential ways to use the outdoor area of the administered place to commemorate these messages could be examined. The site’s now twenty-year-old presentation concept therefore needs to be updated to fill in these gaps.
The possibility of obtaining a panoramic view of the scene of the 1760 naval battle was one of the main reasons for Parks Canada acquiring the piece of land and locating the reception centre on that land. Since the time of the construction of the reception centre, abundant vegetation has grown up between the centre and the road that runs along the Restigouche River on Parks Canada property. This vegetation now extensively limits the view over the site of the naval conflict, preventing visitors from fully experiencing the site in its historical geographical surroundings and hampering the presentation of the designated place and the public’s understanding of the commemorative messages. Suitable methods must be found to manage the vegetation in order to restore and protect the view out over the designated place.
Although a number of partial reports were drafted following the underwater excavations carried out between 1969 and 1972, a complete report on all archaeological work done has never been written. Writing and publishing such a report would mean that the historical knowledge gained from the excavations could be shared and would lead to a better overall understanding of the site’s history.
Lastly, the Internet site created in 1999 will have to be enhanced to reflect all the site’s commemorative messages. Efforts will have to be made to improve outreach activities aimed at students and members of the public who cannot come to the site.
5.5 Visitor traffic and use of the site
Over the past few years, the number of visitors to the site has been declining. In 1995, a total of 22,073 visitors came to the site: 17,729 were individual visitors, 1,016 were students on field trips and 3,328 were part of other organized groups. In 2005, a total of 14,304 visitors came to the site: 9,825 were individual visitors, 534 were students on field trips and 3,945 were part of other organized groups. Overall, between 1995 and 2005 visitor traffic declined by 4-5% every year.
The main factors that have contributed to the decline in visitor traffic are the following: meagre financial resources devoted to promoting the site, increased competition from other tourist attractions in the region, the fact that the exhibits have not changed for over twenty years, but also the changes in the behaviour of tourists visiting this area as they make their way around the Gaspé Peninsula.
In 2003, a study of individuals visitors Footnote 5 was conducted on a representative sample of visitors to the site administered by Parks Canada. Below are some of the results of that study:
- More than two-thirds (67%) of visitors came from the province of Quebec, 14% from France and 14% from elsewhere in Canada. Eighty-eight percent of visitors were French-speaking.
- Visitors to the site were mainly adults without children and represent 72% of the clientele. The average number of visitors in independent groups was 2.6 persons and the average family visiting the site consisted of 4.3 persons.
- Nearly two-thirds of visitors (65%) were over the age of 35.
- Eighty-nine percent of visitors polled were visiting the site for the first time.
- The average time spent at the site was 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Most (92%) of the site’s visitors were tourists. Footnote 6
- Tourists came to the historic site on trips lasting an average of 13 days, 4 of which were spent in the region.
- Hotels/motels and camping were the main types of accommodation used by 39% and 34% of the visitors, respectively.
- For 44% of visitors, their visit to the site was an unplanned stop on their trip. Good road signage and advertising in tourist brochures are therefore important.
- Forty-nine percent of visitors arrived at the national historic site via the route that goes around the Gaspé Peninsula (Matane, Gaspé, Percé, Carleton) and 34% came via the Matapedia Valley.
- The visitors’ intentions to visit other regional attractions were higher for Quebec destinations than New Brunswick destinations. The most popular attractions were Miguasha National Park (36%), the Musée acadien du Québec (32%) and the Bioparc de la Gaspésie (30%).
- The sources of information most often cited were tourist guides and brochures (37%) and road signs (23%).
- Generally speaking, visitors were very satisfied with their visit. Ninety-nine percent would recommend the site to friends or relatives.
- The majority of visitors were satisfied with the activities and services offered at the site. The film was the least popular component.
- Visitor satisfaction ranged from 96% to 98% when they were asked about the quality of the staff and their work.
- The visitors appeared to have a good understanding of certain commemorative messages. Eighty percent of visitors responded correctly to at least four out of six statements; 14% responded correctly to all six statements.
- The components most appreciated by visitors were the artefacts (34%) and interpretation communications (23%).
- When asked about improvements that could be made, 37% of visitors did not indicate any improvements, 16% mentioned the film, 13% the equipment or facilities (mainly the poor lighting), 11% asked for a guided tour and another 11% mentioned more animation (personnel in period costumes, activities, etc.).
In the future, the site will keep its information concerning clientele up to date. It will seek to increase its ability to attract tourists, sameday visitors and school groups in order to restore an upward trend in visitor traffic. It will also seek to maintain the high level of visitor satisfaction.
5.6 Regional tourism
The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site is located in Pointe-à-la-Croix and is in the Gaspésie tourist region. It is one of the tourist attractions in the Baie-des- Chaleurs subregion. It attracts tourist clientele stopping on their way around the Gaspé Peninsula, those who visit Forillon National Park of Canada and Miguasha National Park and those who come to the Gaspé Peninsula via the Matapedia Valley. Because of its proximity to the city of Campbellton, New Brunswick, it also attracts tourist clientele coming from or going to that province. The site is thus located at the meeting place of important tourist routes.
The Gaspé Peninsula has the St. Lawrence Estuary to the north, Chaleurs Bay to the south and the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the east. It is a region of seascapes, mountains, forests, cliffs and villages scattered along the coast. It is a renowned and sought-after tourist destination in Quebec. Long known for the beauty of its impressive natural landscapes, it also attracts numerous international visitors. The region has a multitude of rivers and streams, numerous parks and reserves, outfitters and Zecs (controlled harvesting zones). It is a paradise for moose hunting and salmon fishing. A trip around the peninsula means travelling along steep cliffs overlooking the blue sea, going deep into the backcountry and climbing up mountains, in addition to getting to know its friendly people, famous natural parks and historic sites.
Chaleurs Bay is now classified as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Miguasha National Park, located on the Quebec side of Chaleurs Bay, is an extraordinary paleontological site along the shore. It enjoys an international reputation and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Banc-de-Pêche-de- Paspébiac National Historic Site of Canada, also situated on the Quebec side of Chaleurs Bay, is part of the network of Canadian national historic sites. It presents traditional regional cod-fishing activities.
Presentation interventions at the historic site have contributed to diversifying the region’s tourism offering. The site contributes to attracting and keeping visitors in the region thanks to the particular place it occupies in the tourist market in the field of history and heritage. It therefore benefits from its position in the historical market and the image associated with the network of national historic sites. The presence of an interpretation centre, the exhibits found there and the public use of its facilities has contributed to the historic and heritage value of this area of Chaleurs Bay. It offers a historic and heritage complement to other regional attractions and services.
Publicity for the site appears in tourist guides, including the Association touristique régionale de la Gaspésie guide, the National Parks and National Historic Sites of Canada in Quebec guide, and other specialized publications, enabling it to reach various clienteles. Brochures on the site and its service offer are available in various locations and for special media events. The national historic site is therefore part of the regional tourist industry through the services it offers, joint publicity and promotions, and its participation in package deals.
It is Parks Canada’s duty to protect and present representative examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. Parks Canada must also encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this natural heritage so that it is left unimpaired for future generations. In order to fulfil its mandate, Parks Canada has adopted the following strategic objectives that will direct its activities over the next five years:
- Improve the network of national historic sites, substantially add to the network of national parks and make solid progress in the network of national marine conservation areas;
- Maintain or improve the state of commemorative or ecological integrity of each of the national historic sites and national parks;
- Increase public awareness of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas, and promote public understanding, appreciation and a collective sense of ownership of these areas;
- Develop a stable long-term financial strategy to protect historic and contemporary assets.
In terms of protection of cultural resources, specific objectives have been set for the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site. Parks Canada will work to meet these objectives insofar as they involve the cultural resources it administers. As pointed out in previous pages, some of the designated place’s cultural resources are not owned by Parks Canada and are therefore not under its administrative jurisdiction. As an agency dedicated to the protection of cultural resources, Parks Canada encourages the Government of Quebec to take a keen interest in the protection of resources under its jurisdiction, namely the designated place and the cultural resources buried at the bottom of the Restigouche River. The objectives set for the historic site are the following:
- to make key players in the community aware of the importance of preserving landscape-related values at the designated place and the values related to underwater cultural resources;
- to respect resources and the historical values associated with them.
- to base management decisions on application of the Cultural Resource Management Policy;
- to ensure that resources and their historical values are not lost, damaged or threatened by natural processes, such as erosion and deterioration, or by human activity.
With regard to the presentation of cultural resources, their historical values and messages of national historic significance, specific objectives set for the historic site are the following:
- to communicate the historical values of cultural resources to visitors and key players;
- to convey the message of national historical importance and contextual messages to the public and provide further information in the form of additional messages;
- to base management decisions on implementation of the Cultural Resource Management Policy.
With regard to the quality of the visitor experience, specific objectives set for the historic site are the following:
- to offer a visit that is safe, meaningful, enriching and memorable, and that corresponds to the specific needs and interests of various clientele;
- to involve the regional community, including the Mi’kmaq community, in the offering of services to visitors;
- to optimize visitor traffic while at the same time preserving the integrity of the site and the quality of the visitor experience.
With regard to working with key players in the region, specific objectives set for the historic site are the following:
- to implement Parks Canada’s external communications strategy Engaging Canadians, that consists of informing, influencing and involving the Canadian public and partners in achieving the Parks Canada Agency mandate;
- to work with the regional tourist industry and with Parks Canada’s national network to make the site more well-known;
- to become one of the leaders in the regional tourist industry in the protection of cultural heritage and on-site communication of historical knowledge;
- to participate, as a national historic site, in the development of the sociocultural life of the local and regional community and the presentation of local, regional and national cultural heritage.
7.0 Looking to the future: Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada around 2022
The following section outlines Parks Canada’s fifteen-year outlook for the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada. The objectives proposed in the preceding section will direct this vision, and its implementation will be facilitated by the management actions outlined in Section 8. Based on Parks Canada legislation and policy, the primary concern of this vision is to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site.
- The administered place preserves and presents part of the archaeological collection recovered during excavations carried out on the wreck of the Machault in a way that supports the commemorative messages. The site is seen as a historical gem in the Gaspé region. It is a place of commemoration, discovery and learning that highlights various aspects of the last naval battle between France and England over possession of territory on the North American continent. The public is familiar with and supports Parks Canada’s conservation values.
- The Government of Quebec has been made aware of the importance of preserving the cultural resources under its jurisdiction, namely the designated place, the underwater archaeological remains of ships that took part in the battle and the remains of their cargo. Parks Canada has proposed collaborative agreements.
- The administered place provides an enriching and memorable visitor experience. The availability of guides and costumed animators, renewed communication tools, the presence of authentic remains and artefacts from the Machault, related activities and an outdoor interpretation trail enable visitors to understand the historical background and details of the battle. The site’s interpretation tools meet visitor needs, expectations and interests. Involvement of the community contributes to enhancing the activities and services offered at the site.
- The administered place draws an optimal number of visitors and enjoys an enviable reputation among clientele who cannot visit the site in person. It is known as a leader in the protection of heritage and on-site communication of historical knowledge. It is well established at the heart of the tourist industry in the Gaspé region and works together with its regional partners.
Approved in 1984, the first management plan defined the presentation concept for the site administered by Parks Canada, which included three separate aspects:
- the construction of a reception and interpretation centre with a panoramic view over the scene of the 1760 naval battle and that included rooms for public services, administration, security and maintenance;
- inside the centre, exhibition rooms would illustrate the events of 1760 by presenting archaeological remains and objects recovered from the wreck of the Machault;
- the construction of outdoor facilities, including an access road from highway 132 to the interpretation centre, a parking area, a service road leading to the interpretation centre, an outdoor rest area and an outdoor interpretation trail.
The 1984 management plan also gave a broad outline of the interpretation concept whose objective was to present the political and military situation that led to the relief mission, to familiarize visitors with the logistical and tactical aspects of the relief mission dispatched by France, life on board a ship and the cargo it carried. In 1985, the interpretation centre opened its doors to the public. The interventions listed in the 1984 management plan have all been implemented with the exception of the outdoor interpretation trail.
In the present management plan, presentation efforts will be concentrated on the protection and presentation of the cultural resources and on improving the visitor experience at the historic site. We will seek to enhance the presentation of messages that need to be further developed in current exhibits. We will also seek to make a balanced presentation of the Battle of the Restigouche and the historical values associated with the cultural resources. Contemporary assets will be properly maintained and systems involved in the protection of archaeological objects will receive particular attention. The site’s presentation concept will be reviewed to ensure that it is kept up to date based on the presentation of cultural resources and commemorative messages, using the technological means available today. Updating the presentation concept will enhance the link between visitors and the site’s authentic cultural resources and enable visitors to better understand the reason for the site’s designation and the link between the resources and the historical meaning of the site. The interpretation concept will continue to take into account visitor needs in terms of education, exchange of ideas, friendly atmosphere, social experience, recreation and relaxation. The guides and animators in period costumes will play an increased role in communication. The concept will be implemented gradually as funds become available.
The commemorative integrity of cultural resources will primarily be ensured through the implementation of management measures aimed at protecting and presenting these resources and communicating the messages identified. Application of these measures will help strengthen the site’s historic character. The management measures adopted also involve the quality of the visitor experience and the importance of working together with the Government of Quebec and regional players. Over the next fifteen years, implementation of these management measures will enable us to achieve the vision we have defined for the site.
8.1 Management measures relating to the protection of resources
Parks Canada will implement the following management measures for the protection of resources.
- Complete the writing of the site’s commemorative integrity statement and have it approved. If its content differs significantly from the draft statement on which the management plan was based, make changes to the management plan and have it approved before the normal fiveyear review deadline.
- Emphasize, to the Government of Quebec, the importance of the cultural resources under its jurisdiction, namely the designated place and the underwater archaeological remains. Once an agreement has been reached with the Government of Quebec, work with them to protect the resources with the means and possibilities available.
- Monitor the state of the cultural resources
administered by Parks Canada:
- continue to inventory and computerize the archaeological collection kept at the national storerooms in Ottawa;
- improve the efficiency of the temperature and humidity control systems used for the protection of archaeological objects at the interpretation centre.
- Set up an emergency prevention and intervention plan in order to reduce the risks to moveable cultural assets and to establish proper procedures for emergency situations at the interpretation centre.
- Restore the views from the interpretation
centre’s lookout over the site of the naval
battle and certain other locations at the
administered place: Footnote 7
- determine which viewpoints need to be restored and suggest ways to restore them;
- determine the proper ways to manage the vegetation in order to maintain the views over the location of the naval engagement and keep down the cost of maintaining them.
- Update the complete biophysical inventory of the site and take the protective measures needed if endangered species are discovered at the administered place.
- Provide leadership in environmental stewardship, sustainable development and environmental assessment for any projects at the historic site and in the immediate surroundings, ensuring that the protection of cultural resources takes precedence.
8.2 Management measures relating to the presentation of cultural resources and the communication of messages
Educational communication is one of three aspects of the external communications strategy known as Engaging Canadians. To reinforce the application of this strategy, Parks Canada will implement the following management measures aimed at the presentation of cultural resources, their historical values and commemorative messages.
- Improve the historical knowledge of the
site and its resources:
- document the presentation of the part played by the Acadians and Mi’kmaqs in the battle and the human drama that unfolded in these communities;
- write and publish a complete synthesis report of the archaeological excavations that took place at the designated place between 1969 and 1972;
- use the knowledge acquired to put into context the presentation of the resources and associated messages.
- Update the presentation concept; the concept
will include but not be limited to the
- develop the presentation of the role played by the Acadians and Mi’kmaqs in the battle and their living conditions in relation to the Conquest;
- replace the current film of the battle with a modern and proper interpretation tool where the content will be reviewed based on the resources and commemorative messages that we wish to convey to the public;
- renew certain elements of exhibits in the interpretation centre to replace obsolete or damaged interpretation tools;
- enhance the presentation of archaeological objects in the interpretation centre;
- build an outdoor interpretation trail, choose relevant content for the panels, and make and install the panels;
- have historical figures in period costumes perform animation around the site;
- reinforce the use of old pictorial works for educational purposes;
- illustrate how the battle unfolded on the Restigouche River;
- present additional messages associated with the site, including the participation of the Marquis de Malauze in the battle.
- Develop the outreach program to raise
awareness among the various audiences
regarding the existence and values of the
historic site, including, but not limited to:
- updating the website of the site administered by Parks Canada to present the cultural resources in order to reflect all commemorative messages, including additional messages;
- developing the educational program to correspond to school reform in Quebec and ensure that the teachers and students involved are aware of the program.
- Use the heritage messages assessment program to test current and new interpretation and outreach elements among target clienteles.
- Set awareness objectives and measure regularly clienteles’ knowledge of the messages of national historic significance.
8.3 Management measures relating to the visitor experience
Parks Canada will implement the following management measures to improve the visitor experience:
- Develop a training program for guides on the material to be communicated, and animation and communication techniques.
- Maintain the interpretation centre and the display equipment so that it remains attractive and in good condition.
- Manage the wooded area on Parks Canada property so that it can grow in the most natural way possible but without altering viewpoints over the site of the naval battle and so that it remains safe for visitors, given that they use it as a rest area. Build the interpretation trail there, which could go down toward the river.
- Carry out research to better understand visitor needs and expectations.
- Renew the service offer to keep the interest of a range of clienteles and to meet their needs and expectations, in particular by installing temporary exhibits at the site (multi-purpose room).
- Ensure visitor safety as they visit the site’s various indoor and outdoor components.
- Ensure that there is adequate signage on the main roads indicating the location of the historic site.
- Target more specific markets and regular clienteles to significantly improve the site’s visitor traffic: students in schools on the Gaspé Peninsula (in connection with relevant educational programs), tourists and organized tourist groups travelling around the Gaspé Peninsula and Chaleurs Bay, and the Quebec population living in urban areas.
- On a regular basis, measure performance indicators of visitor satisfaction and the visitor experience.
- Continue measuring and documenting visitor traffic at the national historic site.
8.4 Management measures relating to working with regional players
Agency and Program/Service communications are two of three aspects of the external communications strategy known as Engaging Canadians. Implementation of this strategy at the site is a priority. In the spirit of this strategy, Parks Canada will implement the following management measures to continue its work with key regional players:
- Inform, influence and involve regional partners and the general public in conserving cultural resources and achieving commemorative integrity at the historic site.
- Develop activities at the historic site with the help of partners in the local community.
- Develop and put forward a marketing strategy that is part of the regional strategy (Quebec and New Brunswick) to share clienteles and promote increased visitation of the national historic site by tourist and school groups.
- Develop a sense of belonging and ownership of the site among members of the local community, particularly by getting involved in regional tourist development projects that reflect the mission of Parks Canada.
- Participate in the development of new regional tourist circuits by creating ties with other national historic sites, including the Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse and Banc-de-Pêche-de-Paspébiac historic sites, and with other natural, historic and heritage museums and sites, in particular the Miguasha National Park and the Listuguj reserve that are holding remains of the Marquis de Malauze.
9.0 In conclusion: Implementation priorities
The present management plan sets management guidelines and parameters based on Parks Canada’s mission to ensure the protection and presentation of the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site. Parks Canada Agency can act directly on the cultural resources it owns and as an agency dedicated to conservation is committed to setting an example with regard to the cultural resources under its jurisdiction. Acknowledgement of the heritage significance and cultural values of resources owned by the Government of Quebec has proven to be a key condition to their conservation and presentation.
The most important management measures described in this management plan are aimed at ensuring the commemorative integrity of the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site. These and other measures will also contribute to enhancing the quality of the visitor experience and increasing collaborative efforts with key players in the community. Implementation of the management measures adopted will require considerable financial resources. Since the site does not currently have the investment budget required, the majority of the measures adopted cannot be carried out in the short term. It will probably take several years before the necessary funds are available. As it focuses on the problem of funding the initiatives proposed, Parks Canada will seek the support of partners and collaborators who share its values and its vision of the site’s future.
Over the next five years, the Gaspésie Field Unit, the Parks Canada division responsible for managing the site, will seek to implement, using its own budgets or by involving its partners, several priority measures designed to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site. These measures are the following:
- Complete the writing of the commemorative integrity statement.
- Perform interventions designed at raising awareness and increasing collaboration with the Government of Quebec.
- Increase historical knowledge of the site and its resources by publishing a complete synthesis report on the underwater archaeological excavations carried out between 1969 and 1972.
- Continue working on the inventory and computerization of the archaeological collection stored in Ottawa.
- Restore viewpoints from the administered place over the site of the naval battle.
- Continue updating the educational program.
- Update the presentation concept and revisit certain communication tools, particularly the film.
- Develop the educational program.
- Assess the effectiveness of the communication of messages.
- Pursue and improve collaboration with regional players in the spirit of the external communications strategy Engaging Canadians.
After the first five-year period that the management plan has been in effect a decision could be made to prolong its duration for one or more additional five-year periods, without a review of its content. Therefore, once the management measures identified for the first five years have been carried out, the remaining management measures outlined in Section 8, whose implementation is projected as part of a fifteen-year outlook, could be carried out progressively, based on potential funding, future circumstances and opportunities that may arise.
When the present management plan was developed, it took into account the views expressed by certain interested parties at the information meeting held at Pointe-à-la-Croix in October 2006. They were given the occasion to express their points of view during the planning process. The final drafting of the management plan does not mark the end of public consultations; it marks the beginning of a sustained dialogue with community members, interest groups, companies, and government departments and organizations. It is the responsibility of the Superintendent of the Gaspésie Field Unit to monitor the implementation of the management plan and to report back to the public on work carried out. Parks Canada will determine the extent and form of that report based on public interest. The Field Unit’s business plan will state the strategy for implementing management measures and will determine the allocation of resources in accordance with the priorities stated in the management plan. The business plan’s annual report will assess the progress that has been made in implementing the measures. The national report on the State of Protected Heritage Areas will provide an overall view of the state of the network and the results of management planning for the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site.
The Parks Canada Agency Act of 1998 stipulates that management plans be reviewed every five years and that proposals for changes be submitted to Parliament. A fiveyear internal review of a management plan will determine if it is still appropriate or if the public should be involved in a new detailed five-year review.
10.0 Summary of the environmental assessment
The review of the Management Plan for the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada was carried out in accordance with the 1999 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. Implementation of the management measures in the Management Plan promotes the commemorative integrity of the site and protection of its cultural resources. All of the above is in accordance with the site’s Commemorative Integrity Statement.
The strategic environmental assessment was carried out based on the preliminary version of the management plan in order to be able to incorporate the mitigation measures proposed before a final decision was made as to the management measures. This enabled us to adjust the preliminary management plan accordingly. The environmental assessment showed that there are few sources of stress and that the majority of them have little or no impact. Potential negative impacts can be mitigated by applying known technical measures or other means that have proven effective in the past.
A more detailed environmental assessment of projects will have to be conducted at a later planning stage, when sufficient details are available of what each project entails. Results of the strategic environmental assessment have led us to conclude that based on the information available, the management measures adopted for the site are acceptable. Overall, the strategic measures presented are in keeping with Parks Canada’s mandate and management policies. The environmental assessment concluded that the Battle of the Restigouche Management Plan will improve the site’s commemorative integrity.
Studies, research reports and other reference material
BEATTIE Judith, Bernard POTHIER. La bataille de la Ristigouche 1760, Études en archéologie, architecture et histoire, Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada, Ottawa, 1996, 48 pages.
CANADIAN HERITAGE, PARKS CANADA. State of the Parks 1997 Report, 1998, 211 pages.
CANADIAN HERITAGE. Parks Canada Guiding Principles and Operational Policies, Supply and Services Canada, 1994, 127 pages. PARKS CANADA. Draft Statement of Commemorative Integrity, Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada, September 2006, 13 pages + Appendices.
PARKS CANADA. Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning, December 2000, 127 pages.
PARKS CANADA. La Bataille-de-la-Ristigouche, Parc historique national, Plan directeur, March 1984, 27 pages.
PARKS CANADA. Marketing and Program Business. Statistical reports from 1995 to 2005.
PARKS CANADA, Quebec Region. Lieu historique national de la Bataille-de-la-Ristigouche, Concept d’interprétation, March 1981, 124 pages.
PROULX Gilles. Combattre à Ristigouche. Hommes et navires de 1760 dans la baie des Chaleurs, Hull, Parks Canada, 1999, 151 pages.
RAINVILLE Alain. Lieu historique national du Canada de la Bataille-de-la-Ristigouche, Étude auprès des visiteurs 2003, Parks Canada, Marketing and Program Business, March 2004, 16 pages + Appendices.
The planning committee was composed of the following members:
- Michel Barry, Interpretation Project Manager, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Luc Bérard, Landscape Architect, Program Manager, Public Works and Government Services Canada.
- Marc-André Bernier, Archaeologist, Ontario Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Jean-François Caron, Historian, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Solange Dion, Marketing Research and Planning Advisor, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Stéphane Marchand, Superintendent, Gaspésie Field Unit, Parks Canada.
- Chantal Leblanc, Interim Manager, Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site of Canada.
- Diane Le Brun, Supervisor, Collections Management, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Jacques Major, Communications Advisor, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Renald Rodrigue, Planner, National Historic Sites, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Marie-Hélène Vallée, Historian, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
Technical support was provided by:
- Claire Beaudoin, Administrative Assistant, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Anne Desgagné, Computer Graphics Designer, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
- Christiane Hébert, Graphic Designer, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
The environmental assessment was drafted by:
- Michel Carrier, Chief Advisor, Environmental Assessment and Stewardship, Quebec Service Centre, Parks Canada.
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