Reason #1 Who Writes History?
So often history is taught in schools as a list of facts and as “the truth” all while missing certain narratives and complexity. The conflicts between the French and the English in 1600 – 1800s in North America are often called in US classrooms the French and Indian Wars so as a child I didn’t realize that the English were involved at all, which may have been intentional.
When looking at North America through a historian’s perspective, you can see how these conflicts shaped North America and continue to influence us today. One way to learn more about this history is to visit the sites of battles and forts. The Fortress of Louisbourg, located on the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia is one of those sites. Originally home to the Mi’Kmaw people, in the 1700s, French, English, Basque, Irish, and Scottish people moved to the island.
The fort, built by the French, acted as a base for the cod fishing industry and as a trading outpost. Fishing and fishing rights played and continue to play an important role in the history and economics of this area–locally, regionally, and globally.
The French and English battled for years with the fort changing hands several times. You can visit today and see the reconstruction of the fort and the French town as it was in the 1740s, learning about the lives of the people who lived in the fort and town and the battles fought.
In addition, you can also visit the Mi’kmaw Interpretive Centre to learn more about the relationship between the Mi’kmaw and the French during the time of the French occupation of the fort. #historicalperspective