Historian says Canadian PM 'wrong' about Champlain and French history in Canada





Celebrations for Quebec City's 400th birthday began in earnest this week with a ceremony during which both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General Michaelle Jean hailed the founding of the historical city by Samuel de Champlain as the beginning of the French civilization in North America.

But a prominent Acadian historian suggested Friday that they both need to study their Canadian history.
"What they (Harper and Jean) are doing is pure historical revisionism," said Robert Pichette, an adviser to former New Brunswick premier Louis Robichaud.

He recalled that Champlain and his fellow French explorer Pierre Dugua de Mons founded a settlement on St. Croix Island - on what is now the border between New Brunswick and Maine - in 1604, four years before Quebec City was founded. Champlain and his men spent a winter there before moving on to the settlement of Port Royal, in Nova Scotia.

In 2004, the prime minister, the president of France and the U.S. ambassador were on St. Croix Island to mark what they called the "400th anniversary of the foundation of the first permanent French settlement in North America."

Pichette said he is stunned to see similar messages of congratulations being addressed to Quebec City four years later.



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