Government of Canada Commemorates the Deportation of the Inhabitants of Île Saint-Jean as an Event of National Historic Significance

Jul 28, 2014, 11:00 ET from Parks Canada

Commemoration ceremony remembers the Acadian people who helped shape the culture of the Island

ROCKY POINT, PE, July 28, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Mr. Robert Goguen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe (New Brunswick), today commemorated the tragic deportation of French and Acadian inhabitants of Île Saint-Jean (now Prince Edward Island) as an event of national historic significance. A special ceremony was held at Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site.

This deportation of the French and Acadian people marks what has been called the most significant documented human tragedy in the history of Prince Edward Island. In 1758, more than 3,000 settlers were deported to France.  During the crossing and in the first months after arriving in France, approximately half of the deportees perished. Most died while at sea, either by sickness or drowning. 

An estimated 1,400 to 1,500 islanders were able to evade deportation during this tragic time and were forced to go into hiding for their own protection. Some hid on the Island, and many others found refuge elsewhere. Once peace returned to the island, many deportees returned to start over, joining those who were able to escape deportation and who were already re-establishing themselves.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the Deportation of inhabitants of Île Saint-Jean plaque will be on display at Port-La-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site, which played an integral role in the settlement of Prince Edward Island in the 18th and early 19th century and was the port of exile during the deportation of 1758.

Quick Facts

  • Le Comité historique Soeur-Antoinette-DesRoches was the proponent for the application to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The goal of the committee is to research, promote and share Acadian history, and protect Acadian heritage.
  • Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site was recognized and designated by the Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1958, due to the part it played as an imperial outpost during the Franco-British struggle for control in North America.
  • Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future. Through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada sets the stage and invites Canadians, as well as people from around the world, to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery of our treasured natural and historic places.
  • "A Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval" is marked every year on July 28th to acknowledge the deportation of Acadians from Nova Scotia.


"Through these commemorations, Canadians continue to have an opportunity to learn more about the narrative of this country. The deportation of the Acadians was a devastating chapter in Canada's human history. Through reflection on these events, we learn about our collective past and move towards a united future that embraces diversity."

Mr. Robert Goguen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe (New Brunswick)

"Despite the tragedy suffered as a result of the deportation, the determination, perseverance and resolve of the Acadian people has endured and strengthened over the years. Today, the Acadian community on Prince Edward Island is vibrant, characterized by music, language, and a passionate connection to their heritage and the Island."

Georges Arsenault, President of le Comité historique Soeur-Antoinette-Desroches

Associated Links

About the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada's history.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.


SOURCE Parks Canada