AJB Johnston on stairs, black and white photo

July 31 Event

2021-07-20 07:58:30 A.J.B. Johnston

This event has been cancelled.

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Coming Soon

2021-07-14 11:01:00 A.J.B. Johnston

We are still a few weeks away from the release of the new book, Ancient Land, New Land, to be published by PEI’s Acorn Press.

It will be the second time that Jesse Francis and I have collaborated on a book, and once again we are fortunate to have Stéphane Breton do the layout and design. Stéphane did a wonderful job with our first book (Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island). That design was undoubtedly a large factor in why our first book won three prizes.

If possible, I think Stéphane is making the second book even more beautiful and evocative than the first.

In addition to the cover of Ancient Land, New Land, I am posting a few shots of Stéphane Breton’s work on the first book. In this instance, I am presenting its French translation, which was published by La Grande Marée.

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Item of Interest

2021-07-05 08:44:19 A.J.B. Johnston

Mary came across this striking object hanging on a wall in a shop a while back.

The owner said it came off a French ship that was at Louisbourg during the siege in 1758.

What!?! Yes, that’s the oral tradition passed on by the owner of the item.

Mary told me to go in and take a look. I was impressed. On the other hand, I couldn’t see how such an object could have survived the events of 1758, when so many French ships were sunk and/or burned. And, the use of the tricolore theme—bleu, blanc, rouge—was not a color scheme associated with pre-1789 France. Yet if the object dated from the French Revolution, what is the fleur-de-lys doing there?

Nonetheless, viewed from across the room, the object did look like it originated a few centuries ago. It is certainly worth checking out.

I contacted a few friends still working for Parks Canada, and one came to see the object for herself. What happens next is still unwritten, but I’m hoping the object will be analyzed, and, if justified, end up in the care of an organization that can safeguard it. Maybe that will be the Nova Scotia Museum or the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

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500 Years in the Making

2021-06-22 08:31:19 A.J.B. Johnston

The official unveiling of the new “Peace and Friendship Park” name took place yesterday in Halifax (June 21. 2021).

Many Mi’kmaw Elders and leaders were present for the event, as well as the Mayor, a city councilor or two, and two MPs (Jaime Battiste and Andy Fillmore).

These photos catch the moment Elder Daniel Paul and Mayor Mike Savage pulled the tarp off the panel, then them checking out the other side of the two-sided panel.

There were about 150 people in attendance, including several of us who had been on the Task Force on the Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous Peoples. To rename Cornwallis Park as Peace and Friendship Park was one of our recommendations. The full report is available on the HRM website.

It strikes me that this action—and many more that are taking place across Canada—was roughly 500 years in the making. That’s how long it has taken the millions of descendants of the newcomers to the Americas to begin to understand and respect Indigenous perspectives and experiences. Of course, the process is not over. As is often said, reconciliation is a shared journey, not a destination.

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Acadian Deportation Books

2021-06-10 14:32:59 A.J.B. Johnston

I was surprised today to learn that the latest La Parole Newsletter had discovered and referenced one of my entries on the web site. The write-up they highlighted was the one I had done on the Acadian Deportation.

Please click on the link to read the newsletter. The story about my posting is on page 2.

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Go Habs Go

2021-06-01 11:21:37 A.J.B. Johnston
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