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Champlain, the First Account

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Created to mark the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s journey up the Ottawa River, this new display focuses on the Aboriginal peoples who inhabited the region long before the coming of Champlain; the journey of the French explorer in the Ottawa Valley in 1613; and the impact of his arrival on the First Peoples. Visitors will see approximately 50 artifacts, some dating from 5,000 years ago, others from the time of Champlain, and afterwards. The display includes the astrolabe attributed to the founder of New France.


To commemorate the occasion, the Departmental Archives in Charente-Maritime, France, has kindly loaned what is widely believed to be Champlain’s authentic baptismal record, rediscovered in 2012, to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. This rare artifact that has never before seen by the public, will be on view from May 30 to August 25, 2013.

Other Champlain-related activities at the Museum of Civilization:

Complementary exhibitions at the Museum of Civilization:

  • Face to Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall