Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Some History to Start the Year

There are few things I find more enjoyable than a fresh take on local history. Dealing in the history of the Annapolis Royal region on a daily basis, one starts to think that they have a fair grasp on the generalities of our local story. When dealing with the vagaries of history, it is always a healthy thing to get your assumptions shaken up. It is for this reason that I thoroughly enjoyed Tom Peace's presentation to a joint meeting of the Annapolis Heritage Society and The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal earlier tonight. Tom, who recently completed his PhD at York University and is currently teaching at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, was in town to discuss part of his thesis that deals with the history of the Annapolis Royal area. Specifically, he was discussing Mi'Kmaq relations with the British, French and Acadians in the wake of the 1710 British conquest of Acadia. Tom also seemed to be taking some pleasure in actually speaking in the community that he had spent a great deal of time researching in various archives.

Using census and demographic information he was postulating a different sort of relationship between the Mi'Kmaq and various colonial forces than we have traditionally believed. Among other things, he was putting forward the idea that the relationship between the French and the Mi'Kmaq may not have been as strong as common understanding would have us believe. I am not going to pretend to pull all of his research and ideas together in this blog. That would not do justice to his thoughts. What I will say is that he is hoping to pull his research together in a publication which I would highly recommend.

I would like to thank Tom as well as our friends at the Historical Association of Annapolis Royal for their assistance in organizing tonight's presentation.

All for now,
RGS

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