Government of Canada Recognizes Jeanne Dugas as Person of National Historic Significance

News Release

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada unveils plaque honouring Jeanne Dugas (1731-1817)


August 15, 2016                        Chéticamp, Nova Scotia                                                             Parks Canada


Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton–Canso, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, today recognized Jeanne Dugas as a person of national historic significance.


The life story of Jeanne Dugas, an Acadian woman born in Louisbourg in 1731, offers a realistic image of the experiences and viewpoints of Acadian women in the 18th century during a pivotal period in Acadian history in Canada.


The ceremony was part of Acadian Day held in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia, where members of the community celebrated their cultural heritage. The ceremony was followed by the launch of a bilingual booklet and video entitled Jeanne Dugas … Raconte-moi ton histoire / Tell Me Your Story. Both were produced in partnership by La Société Saint-Pierre and Parks Canada.


Parks Canada is proud to recognize pioneers across the nation who have shaped our diversity as Canadians and contributed to our rich cultural heritage from coast to coast and from one community to another.

As we near the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada invites all Canadians to experience and learn more about our environment and our history. Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas enable Canadians to experience their heritage in a special way and will play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150.


“As part of Acadian Day, I am proud to commemorate the national historic significance of Jeanne Dugas whose story illustrates the experiences of Acadians in the 18th and early 19th centuries. As a midwife, keeper of Acadian stories, and co-founder of Chéticamp, she helped create a flourishing community.”

Rodger Cuzner
Member of Parliament for Cape Breton–Canso

“Jeanne Dugas, like many other Acadian women in this time period, displayed the fortitude required to endure and ensure the survival of their families and communities, thus contributing to the survival of the Acadian people.”

Napoléon Chiasson,
President, La Société Saint-Pierre

Quick facts

  • Jeanne Dugas was an Acadian woman born in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, in 1731. She died in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia, in 1817 at 86 years of age.
  • In 1755, during le Grand Dérangement, also known as the Expulsion of the Acadians, Dugas and her family fled Cape Breton to avoid capture and found refuge with other Acadians along the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • She and her family relocated eight times over a period of 50 years. Her story reveals linkages between Acadians from across the region, including those from Acadia, Île-Royale and Île-Saint-Jean, as well as Restigouche and the other safe havens in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, connecting geographically distant places that together play an important role in Acadian history.
  • Jeanne Dugas is also being featured as part of Celebrate Women 2016, a local initiative that aims to honour historic and contemporary women, in all their diversity, whose lives have touched Cape Breton Island.
  • Parks Canada manages a nationwide network of 168 national historic sites, 47 national parks and four national marine conservation areas that make up the rich tapestry of Canada’s cultural and natural heritage

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Darlene Doucet
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Cape Breton Field Unit


Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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