Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

New Brunswick
Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

One of Canada’s maritime provinces, New Brunswick lies on the country’s east coast. Having taken its name from the British King George III, who was Duke and Prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, it was one of the original four provinces that united together to become Canada in 1867. As well as being home to indigenous peoples like the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Wolastoqiyik, New Brunswick is also inhabited by many Métis people, whose origins lay in the blending of indigenous and European peoples in the mid-18th century. In addition to its English-speaking population descended largely from British settlers, the province also has a French-speaking community, including many Acadians, who descend from 17th and 18th-century settlers. Today, the province is home to two national parks and over 60 national historic sites.

Archaeology & History Sites in New Brunswick

Augustine Mound

Located on the territory of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation, the Augustine Mound was erected circa 500 BCE and is linked to what archaeologists term the Adena culture. A burial mound or tumulus surrounded by a circular ritual site, it stands near to the junction of the Northwest and Little Southwest Miramichi Rivers. A National Historic Site since 1975, the tumulus underwent excavation between 1975-76. It remains an important place to local Mi’kmaq communities, reflecting the role that prehistoric sites often play in the cultural heritage of contemporary First Nations groups.

Fort Beausejour

French colonists established Fort Beausejour to defend themselves between 1751 and 1752. Their efforts were ultimately futile, for the British took control of the fortification in 1755, subsequently renaming it Fort Cumberland. Pro-independence revolutionaries attacked the site amid the American Revolutionary War in 1776. After the latter conflict, the British military abandoned the fort and it fell into ruin. The government have classified Beausejour as a National Historic Site since 1922, and a visitors’ centre now helps people to better appreciate the heritage of this ruined fortification.

Mehtawtik (Meductic) Village

Located near the confluence of the Eel River and the Saint John River, the Mehtawtik (Meductic) Village was a settlement inhabited by a community of Maliseet (Welastekokewiyik) natives from at least the 17th century up to the mid-18th century. The Maliseet fortified part of the plateau to defend from Mohawk attacks, but were ultimately compelled to leave by the arrival of British loyalist settlers. The site was flooded by the construction of the Mactaquac Hydroelectric Dam in 1968, although a nearby cairn and plaque commemorate the village.

Museums & Art Galleries in New Brunswick

Acadian Museum of Caraquet

The Acadians are the descendants of French colonists who settled in Acadia, itself a colony of New France, during the 17th and 18th centuries. The Acadians’ use of the French language marked them out as a distinct ethno-cultural group from the Anglophone speakers who came to predominate across much of Canada. Established in 1963, the Acadian Museum of Caraquet explores the heritage of the Acadian population in this area of New Brunswick. Its original collection was assembled by two particular families although the museum has since obtained material from other sources.

New Brunswick Museum

The New Brunswick Museum in Saint John focuses on the history of this eponymous eastern province. Displays explore New Brunswick’s role in shipbuilding and seafaring, as well as the heritage associated with such local industries as lumbering, farming, and industrial manufacture. The museum’s natural history collection includes a range of taxidermy birds and a display about the whales that can be spotted off the coast. A range of temporary exhibits supplement the main collection, while researchers can delve deeper in the museum archive to reveal more about the province’s heritage.