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Museum of Civilization Commemorates Champlain, the St. Lawrence River



The Canadian Museum of Civilization commemorates the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s arrival
to the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The astrolobe pictured here is one of the many artifacts on display. (Photo: CMC/Marie-Louise Deruaz)

Imagine embarking on a journey with no known destination, and without a map or GPS. For renowned explorer Samuel de Champlain, this was life.

On June 4, 1613 Samuel de Champlain arrived on the banks of the Ottawa River, in what is now known as the Ottawa-Gatineau region. To commemorate the 400th anniversary of this historic occasion, the Canadian Museum of Civilization presents Champlain, the First Account.

Champlain, the First Account
Champlain, the First Account displays the difficult journey up the Ottawa River and the impact Champlain had on the Aboriginal Peoples who inhabited this area before his arrival. The Canadian Museum of Civilization exhibit showcases more than 50 artifacts from differing time periods, including Champlain’s invaluable astrolabe that is said to have helped guide him to this area.

“Samuel de Champlain is one of the most important figures in our country’s history,” says the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “On the road to 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday, we encourage Canadians across the country to visit museums, to learn from them, and to reconnect with their history.”

Moving with the River
The Canadian Museum of Civilization also presents Moving with the River, developed by Parks Canada, which complements the Museum’s exhibition on Champlain.

Moving with the River outlines the history of the St. Lawrence River and its direct link to the settlement of Canada. The mighty waterway, first inhabited by the First Peoples, was a major passageway to the Great Lakes and western Canada.

“The history of the St. Lawrence River is crucial to understanding how our country was developed,” says Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation.

Moving with the River is divided into four historical periods: the ancient Iroquoian presence in the land; Franco-Aboriginal alliances; the expansion of French settlement in the St. Lawrence Valley; and how Québec City became a gateway for waves of European immigrants.

Moving With the River is on display until March 24, 2014, and Champlain, the First Account runs until April 27, 2014.

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