Metepenagiag First Nation celebrates return of 60,000 artifacts

Elizabeth Fraser, CBC News, New Brunswick 
August 25, 2017

"A special ceremony will take place this weekend to mark the return of thousands of artifacts to Metepenagiag First Nation from provincial facilities across New Brunswick.

Over several decades, about 60,000 artifacts were discovered on the shores near the community, formerly known as Red Bank, located west of Miramichi.

Metepenagiag Heritage Park Inc. is now working with New Brunswick's Archaeological Services Branch to repatriate the items which, until now, were conserved by the province.

To celebrate this, the community is holding a special repatriation ceremony on Saturday at 11 a.m., as part of its Canada 150 anniversary event.

"The artifacts are a direct link to the community's sacred path," said Claude DeGrâce, chair of the Metepenagiag Heritage Park. "It brings pride to the community, it's their heritage."
Returning home

The artifacts, which are about 3,000 years old, were discovered in the early 1970s by local historian Joe Mike Augustine, who approached provincial archeologists with his find.

"I feel like I'm playing a role in history," said Patricia Dunnett, Augustine's granddaugther and general manager of the Metepenagiag Heritage Park.

"It means a lot to me to be a part of the family and see the artifacts being brought back to Metepenagiag … he would have been so proud.""

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