The province will provide $250,000 to upgrade portions of theShubenacadie Canal system. The funding, announced today, Jan. 20, will be used to improvethe structural support of lock two and to begin restoration workon lock three at Port Wallace, Dartmouth. Support for these projects reflects the priorities of theShubenacadie Canal Commission, the body that received thefunding. “The Shubenacadie Canal system is more than a canal. It’s asignificant corridor of cultural and recreational resources thatstretches through our province,” said Natural Resources MinisterRichard Hurlburt. “Together with our partners, we are committedto preserving it and its rich history so that Nova Scotians andvisitors alike can enjoy all that it has to offer.” The Shubenacadie Canal and waterway runs from Dartmouth toMaitland, Hants Co., and encompasses a series of locks, canalcuts, lakes and rivers. It is a National Historic CivilEngineering Site. “This support enables us to continue the work of the commissionin preserving the historical features of the canal and therecreational and educational opportunities it provides,” saidBernard Hart, commission chairman. Restoration work on the Shubenacadie Canal system began witharcheological investigations and was further enhanced in 1986 when the canal commission was established. To date, a variety oftrails and waterways have been created. The Fairbanks Centre,adjacent to the canal and the location for today’s announcement,was constructed to showcase the historical and cultural aspectsof the canal and the restoration work that has been carried outon a number of lock sites along the canal route. NATURAL RESOURCES–Portions of the Shubenacadie Canal System tobe Upgraded
A team of geologists and archaeologists is about to start looking for ancient sites in the Debert-Belmont area of Colchester County where the early ancestors of the Mi’kmaq once lived. The sites are the earliest evidence of human settlement in the province, and are considered to be of provincial, national and international significance. The province will provide $93,800 for the project, which is part of an ongoing effort by the aboriginal community to protect and interpret the Mi’kmaq presence in the Debert area. The project will be managed by the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq. “Evidence of Mi’kmaw history that might have been lost forever will be saved, thanks to this partnership project with the province,” said Don Julien, executive director, Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq. “The research will help us protect the archaeological sites where our Mi’kmaw ancestors once lived.” The Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage will invest $48,800 and the Office of Aboriginal Affairs will provide $45,000 to identify Debert’s early Mi’kmaq archaeological sites from the Paleo Period, approximately 11,000 to 12,000 years old. The project includes creation of an inventory of the sites, study of the findings, and development of plans to ensure their preservation. “It is important that we identify and protect sites which will help current and future generations better understand the history and culture of our Mi’kmaq residents,” said Michael Baker, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “This project is an important part of preserving Nova Scotia’s rich cultural and natural heritage,” said Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “We are investing in this vital work through the Nova Scotia Historic Places Initiative, a program that identifies and celebrates sites that have historic significance in our communities.” Earlier this week, a team led by the Department of Natural Resources started exploring the area to identify and map land forms from the Paleo Period. Land formations and waterways were very different 12,000 years ago. By knowing how the landscape looked in the past, archaeologists can determine more precisely the location of ancient places. The research will be used to identify and map the boundaries of archaeological sites. A site management plan will be developed to ensure preservation and protection.