The birth of a French population in America
The Château des ducs de Bretagne presented a brand new exhibition one month after reopening, which was co-produced by Pointe-à-Caillère, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, and the Nantes Museum of History.
Through the prism of a handful of individual lives, this exhibition related the unknown adventures of thousands of French men and women who left to settle in the New World between the 16th and 18th centuries. In this immense territory, inhabited by a multitude of Amerindian nations, the alliances they formed would turn out to be decisive. Visitors were able to follow the sagas of these explorers, coureurs des bois, fur trappers, militants and military members, "King’s Daughters," orphans to be married off, missionaries... most of whom left from La Rochelle and Nantes to settle in Acadia, in the Saint-Laurent Valley, in the Great Lakes region, or in Louisiana.
Today, “New France" has disappeared. But this plural history, woven thick with the century-old roots of a people who chose to settle in another land, lies behind a French-speaking population that is still alive and thriving in America.
Curator: Bertrand Guillet (Nantes history museum), Louise Pothier (chargée de projet, Pointe-à-Callière, Musée d’archéologie et d’histoire de Montréal).