The Government of Canada recognizes the national historic significance of the Sainte Croix de Tadoussac Mission Church 

News release

June 19, 2019                              Tadoussac, Quebec                           Parks Canada Agency

Today, Michel Audy, a member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, highlighted the national historic significance of the Sainte Croix de Tadoussac Mission Church. A special plaque unveiling ceremony was held in Tadoussac. The announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna.

In 1642, the Jesuits established the Sainte-Croix mission in Tadoussac, a gathering place and hunting ground for Innu families from Nitassinan and for other First Nations. This strategic site became the base of their missionary efforts in New France.

A testimonial to the close relationship between the fur trade and the spread of Christianity by the Jesuits, the Sainte Croix de Tadoussac Mission Church is closely linked to the evangelization of the Innu in the King’s Domain. Built between 1747 and 1750, at a time when Tadoussac was an active centre in the fur trade, the church bears witness to the relationship between the fur trade, the Jesuit missionaries and First Nations. The wooden building is an outstanding example in Canada of the mission churches of New France. It still maintains much of its original character, although it has undergone various changes over time.

The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, recognizes the historic significance of people, places and events that shaped our country as one way of helping Canadians and youth connect with their past. The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations. To date, more than 2,000 designations have been made.

Parks Canada is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to recognize, commemorate and share their history. Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. 

Quotes

“Canada is committed to renewing its relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. The Sainte Croix de Tadoussac Mission Church is an important example of the relationship that existed between the fur trade, the Jesuit missionaries and the Innu people in the region. By sharing these stories, we hope to promote a better understanding of our past, and I encourage all Canadians to learn more about the Sainte Croix de Tadoussac Mission Church and its important role in the history of our country.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Quick facts

  • The mission church is positioned on a north-south axis, which is contrary to the Christian custom of orienting churches on an east-west axis. The entrance to the building is specially designed to face the river, since this was the entry way used by the Innu and the missionaries at the time. According to the Innu oral tradition, it was customary in olden times for the gateway to a camp to face the water and the sea.

  • Nowadays, this mission church is still the oldest example of a wooden church in Canada. A highly developed construction method was used to build it according to a plan drawn up in the 18th century, and it integrates well with the Indigenous cultural heritage. 

  • Established in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the historic importance of persons, places and events that have shaped Canada’s history. 

  • The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada is celebrating its centennial year in 2019. National historic designations are of profound importance as they illustrate our country's defining moments. Each of these designations contributes its own unique story to the greater story of Canada and helps us better understand our country and our identity. 

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Contacts

Laurence Pagé
Partnering, Engagement and Communications Officer
Saguenay–St. Lawrence Field Unit
Parks Canada
laurence.page@canada.ca
418‑235-4703, ext. 246

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.medias-media.pc@canada.ca

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