1987.17.630 | Burnt Church First Nation Settlement, Northumberland County, New Brunswick

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Burnt Church First Nation Settlement, Northumberland County, New Brunswick
H. W. Beecher Smith
August 1928, 20th century
Silver print
12.5 x 17.6 cm
William Francis Ganong Collection
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Since the beginning, Wolastoqiyik and Mi'kmaq First Nations have possessed a physical, intellectual and spiritual bond with their environment. While maintaining distinct languages and culture, each nation shared similar life experiences.

The dire economy of the 1930s exacerbated difficulties created by centuries of European settlement. The breakup of communities and changing technologies disrupted the traditional way of life for the aboriginal population of New Brunswick. Game began to disappear and it became necessary for them to trade with farmers for food, or seek employment on farms, or in the lumber camps, or as hunting and fishing guides. Others turned to the production of traditional decorative pieces such as baskets, which they sold or traded for a dependable source of income. Others left, hoping for economic opportunities elsewhere.

  • What

    Mi'kmaq call the area of Burnt Church "Eskinuopitijk," meaning "lookout place."

  • Where

    Burnt Church is located 40 kilometres northeast of Miramichi, NB, along Miramichi Bay.

  • When

    The Burnt Church area received its English name in 1758, when British forces burned a stone church and settlement during an expedition to destroy Acadian settlements.

  • Who

    The photographer, H.W. Beecher Smith (1860-1934), traveled around New Brunswick in the 1920s and 1930s, capturing scenes of the province.