PORT FÉLIX: Years of planning and partnerships culminated in the relocation and creation of a Parks Canada National Historic Site at Port Félix, on an ideal location granted by landowners, Cecil and Darlene David/Cashin.
This site, one of the Eastern Shore’s hidden treasures, overlooks the magnificent Tor Bay waters and islands that are so much a part of this epic 16th/17th century story.
Invited guests, Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament, Cape Breton/Canso, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Honourable Lena Diab, Minister of Immigration, responsible for Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, Honourable Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation, Keith Mercer, Manager, Parks Canada Mainland Nova Scotia Division, Kerry Prosper, Band Council Member Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, and Vern Pitts, Warden, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough were present and spoke at the event.
The site marks the location where Mi’kmaw annually fished and picked berries for Winter consumption before meeting a company of Basque fishermen on these shores in 1565. Under the leadership of Captain Savalette, this European company was welcomed by the Mi’kmaw and a friendly and trusting relationship between these two groups was established. Trading occurred between them and together, they hosted French Explorer, Samuel de Champlain and his writer, Marc Lescarbot in 1607, marking one of the first multicultural and amicable gatherings on North American soil.
The Park Monument is in the shape of a 70’ boat constructed by Tino Winter and pointing at the 1607 meeting site. Five bilingual Interpretive Panels with superb Monika Deursch paintings attached to each, as well as the Official Parks Canada Plaque explaining the location, are strategically positioned to relate this historic encounter. A 20 ‘ mast at mid-ship serves as a flag-pole where flags were raised to the singing of the Canadian and Acadian Anthems.
Approximately 250 people were present for the event. A reception at the Port Félix Parish Hall took place afterwards.
Tourists and visitors are now invited to this informative site to learn about this forgotten story and take a leisurely hike to the shoreline on a naturally developed walking trail. Department of Acadian Affairs, ACOA, Department of Culture and Heritage, Canada Celebrates 150 Guysborough Committee, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, ExxonMobil, Seawind Landing, and private donors proudly join hands with la Société des Acadiens de la Région de Tor Baie and the community of Port Félix in promoting Place Savalette.