County moving closer to acquiring Cape d’Or lighthouse

Darrell Cole
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To work with Mi’kmaq to protect nearby archaeological sites

UPPER NAPPAN – Cumberland County is going to work with the Mi’kmaq community to preserve areas of archaeological significance around Cape d’Or near Advocate Harbour.

The municipality is in the process of acquiring the property around the Cape d’Or lighthouse as the federal government continues to divest itself of lighthouses around the country.

Through the process, the municipality learned there are at least two aboriginal archaeological sites located on the parcel of land it’s acquiring and another within five kilometres.

“The federal government has decided to divest itself lighthouses and federally-owned properties. As they moved through the process we expressed an interest and started negotiating with Fisheries and Oceans,” Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter said following Wednesday’s county council meeting. “We were getting relatively close to where we thought we would take ownership when First Nations expressed interest in certain aspects of that site.”

Hunter said that interest should not impact the transfer of the land to the county, but the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusnaqn Negotiation Office, which reviewed the area, has asked the municipality to work with the Mi’kmaq community to develop a communications plan on heritage preservation and tourism of Cape d’Or.

It’s also asking the archaeological sites be protected under the Nova Scotia Special Places Protection Act.

Hunter said the issue presents the county with a tremendous opportunity to work with the Mi’kmaq and to protect a very important piece of Mi’kmaq, county and provincial heritage.

“It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” the warden said.

The lighthouse at Cape d’Or was built in 1922 with the current light first lit in 1965. It was destaffed in 1989 and leased by the federal government to the county. The county leases the property to innkeeper and restaurant.

Along with spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy and the Minas Basin, the lighthouse is famous for the Dory Rips, where three tides meet simultaneously creating a violent riptide.

Organizations: First Nations, Negotiation Office

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia Bay of Fundy

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