Celebrate the meeting of First Nations and French cultures and walk in Samuel de Champlain’s footsteps

Events & Entertainment • Posted by OttawaStart on July 31, 2013

On August 5, the Canadian Museum of Civilization invites you to celebrate the meeting of First Nations and French cultures 400 years ago, when Samuel de Champlain made his exploratory voyage up the Ottawa River.


In 1613, the French explorer travelled up the river as far as Allumette Island, near present-day Fort-Coulonge and Pembroke. During this voyage, the Father of New France developed a respectful relationship with the Algonquin and Wendat peoples, carefully mapped the territory and helped shape the Canada we know today.


The Museum of Civilization, in collaboration with the Réseau du patrimoine gatinois and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation, is marking this historic event with a special celebration Champlain 2013, History of an Encounter on the river banks. Come and discover the legacy of this important encounter during a day of dance performances, live music and traditional knowledge demonstrations. Meet canoeists who have retraced Champlain’s voyages in the region’s waterways and who will be arriving throughout the afternoon. Learn about native plants and medicines, participate in quill-writing workshops and join in other activities highlighting the shared history and heritage of the Outaouais region.


In addition, as part of Archaeology Month, the Museum is offering two interesting talks. On August 5, staff archaeologists Yves Monette and Jean-Luc Pilon will take visitors on a voyage of discovery in Samuel de Champlain’s footsteps. Families and history enthusiasts will enjoy these two 30-minute lectures offered as part of Archéo-Québec’s Archaeology Month.


In a hands-on family workshop, visitors will also be able to make their own astrolabe, a handheld navigational device that Samuel de Champlain used when he mapped the Ottawa River. Once they learn how to use their new paper astrolabe, visitors will appreciate how difficult it must have been for Champlain to find his way without his.


Champlain 2013, History of an Encounter

Monday, August 5

From noon to 5 p.m.

Riverview Park

Celebrate the meeting of First Nations and French cultures 400 years ago, when Samuel de Champlain explored the Ottawa River and met the region’s original inhabitants along its shores. In collaboration with the Réseau du patrimoine gatinois and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation.


Archaeology Month


Dr. Jean-Luc Pilon

Since the Dawn of Time – Face to Face with Champlain

Monday, August 5

10 a.m. (in French)

Noon (in English)

Cascades Salon

On June 4, 1613, Samuel de Champlain set foot on the ground where the Museum now stands. It was one of many stops in his historic journey along the Ottawa River. The explorer left us the earliest written descriptions and colour illustrations of the people and the rich cultures he encountered along the way. But we have much to learn as well from ancient artifacts. In this presentation, Jean-Luc Pilon will reveal archaeological evidence that sheds light on the Anishinabeg (Algonquin) ancestors who welcomed Champlain into their communities four centuries ago — evidence often found right under our feet.



Dr. Yves Monette

The Archaeology of Samuel de Champlain

Monday, August 5

11 a.m.  (in English)

1 p.m. (in French)

Cascades Salon

Many amateur and professional archaeologists have searched for traces of Samuel de Champlain since the end of the 18th century and their work has uncovered many clues relating to the French explorer’s travels in Acadia and New France. Yves Monette will set the scene for Champlain’s brief sojourns to St. Croix Island (Maine / New Brunswick) and Port Royal (Annapolis County, Nova Scotia) in 1604–1605. Then he will take us to Québec as Champlain settles l’Habitation (Québec City) in 1608–1632, nearby Fort Saint-Louis (1620–1635) and la Petite ferme de Cap-Tourmente in the Charlevoix region (1626–1628).


Astrolabe Lab

Monday, August 5

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cafeteria corridor

At this hands-on family workshop, you will learn how to make an astrolabe and hear the amazing tale of how Samuel de Champlain’s navigational instrument was lost and apparently found again centuries later.


More information is available at www.civilization.ca or by calling 819-776-7000 or 1-800-555-5621.

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