The Canadian Museum of History presents a unique exhibition dedicated to Quebec archaeology

June 18, 2019


For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, June 18, 2019 — The Canadian Museum of History is pleased to present the first major exhibition dedicated entirely to Québec archaeology. Some 200 significant pieces will be featured in Fragments of Humanity Archaeology in Quebec.

Produced by Pointe-à-Callière, the exhibition celebrates 50 years of archaeological discovery in Quebec. The great majority of the pieces have never been seen by the general public and are being taken out of the Ministry of Culture and Communications’ archaeological reserve for the very first time. It also features objects from about ten other lenders including the City of Montréal, Québec City, Pointe-du-Buisson – Musée québécois d’archéologie, Avataq Cultural Institute, and Parks Canada.

“We are extremely pleased to present this exhibition organized by our long-time partner Pointe-à-Callière”, said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. “It is an eloquent demonstration of how fragments of objects from human activity can, once assembled, help tell the story of Canada’s great history. From the arrival of the first humans to the art of living in the 19th century to the French Regime, archeology in Quebec opens a unique window on the origins of this country”.

Fragments of Humanity brings together the results of finds from archaeological digs carried out on over 10,000 sites throughout the territory of Quebec and showcase the astonishing range of diversity of Québec’s archaeological collections. The exhibition looks back at the events and ways of life behind fragments of humanity that, each in their own way, reveal various facets of our heritage.

“The artefacts excavated from the earth help define who we are and where we come from; they are parts of our collective legacy, our heritage”, declared Francine Lelièvre, Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière. “This is why we are especially proud that this first major exhibition on Quebec archaeology will be presented at the Canadian Museum of History. This allows us to raise awareness of the importance of this legacy and its ramifications to a broad audience in Canada and abroad.”

The star attraction of the exhibition is without a doubt a dugout canoe made of a single piece of wood, which was found in a lake in the Lanaudière region in the mid-1980s. There are only about ten surviving prehistoric Indigenous dugout canoes in Quebec, but none is in as fine a condition as this one. Restored specifically for the exhibition, some stoves and jars found at Basque and French sites on Petit-Mécatina Island on the Lower North Shore are also part of the exhibition’s treasures.

Fragments of Humanity also features objects from extensive heritage collections that are largely unknown to the public. Visitors will also get to see several pieces from the archaeological collection of Place-Royale in Québec City — which have been designated heritage objects — and from Pointe-à-Callière’s collection.

Fragments of Humanity Archaeology in Quebec is a travelling exhibition developed by Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, with the financial support of the Government of Canada. The exhibition receives financial support from the Government of Canada. It will be presented at the Canadian Museum of History from June 18 to November 3, 2019.

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History attracts over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.


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Stéphanie Verner
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