Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History Native American

Ancient Land, New Land

Skmaqn - Port-la-Joye - Fort Amherst National Historic Site of Canada

by (author) A.J.B. Johnston & Jesse Francis

Acorn Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Native American
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Skmaqn — Port-La-Joye — Fort Amherst National Historic Site reflects on a place that helped shape and define Prince Edward Island, offering a history of the site and explaining its importance to three distinct peoples.

For the Mi?kmaq, Skmaqn was and is part of their ancient and ongoing traditional territory of Epikwitk.

For the Acadians, Port-la-Joye was a new home and the scene of great tragedy.

For the British, Fort Amherst was a place where another chapter of colonization began.

This history speaks to nation-wide and universal themes: Indigenous-settler relations and the challenges of newcomers adapting to a new land. The story presented in these pages is a witness to the struggle of refugees, the desire to plan and build, the destruction of war, and, throughout, the resilience and resolution of the human spirit.

"As the location of the first formal settler - Mi'kmaw interaction and relationship-building on our Island, it marks a before-and-after moment, a turning point in our history." — Chief Darlene Bernard, Lennox Island First Nation, Co-chair, Epekwitk Assembly of Councils.

About the authors

A.J.B. Johnston has published more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles, a thirty-plus years career studying and writing about 18th-century French colonial history in Acadia. In recognition of his prolific career as a historian and writer, John was invested by France with the title Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms). Johnston has now turned his hand to fiction. Long inspired to know more about Thomas Pichon (1700-1781), In his first novel, Thomas, A Secret Life (CBU Press, 2012), Johnston applied his considerable sense of 18th-century French history to imagine young Pichon’s early life in Normandy and Paris. For The Maze, Johnston did extensive research on 18th-century London.

A.J.B. Johnston's profile page

Since he began working for the Prince Edward Island Mi’kmaw community in 2001, Jesse Francis has managed a wide variety of culture and heritage projects. He led the development of the travelling exhibition- also entitled Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island - to which this book is a companion. Jesse is Manager of Joint Projects for the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI and Parks Canada. He lives in Wellington, Prince Edward Island with his wife Moira and their three children.

Jesse Francis' profile page

Other titles by A.J.B. Johnston

Other titles by Jesse Francis