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Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

Introduction and background

Aerial view of Saint Croix Island and the Saint Croix River
Aerial view of Saint Croix Island and the Saint Croix River.
© Parks Canada / David Hart

On Saint Croix Island in June of 1604, French nobleman-courtier Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, established a settlement known as the first "capital of l'Acadie". This establishment was the first attempt by the French at year-round colonization in the territory they called La Cadie or l'Acadie. The experience of the French on Saint Croix Island taught them much about adapting to the environment and interacting with the Aboriginal people. These insights helped form the foundation for an enduring French presence in North America.