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Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada

History

European Occupation

The Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula has a long history of European contact, beginning with the Viking who briefly occupied L'Anse aux Meadows about 1000 years ago. Later, during the late 1500s' and the 1600's the Basque fished along Newfoundland's west coast and named many of the places, including Port au Choix. During these years the French and English fought for control of the island. The English finally succeeded in 1713.

From 1713 to 1904, the French continued to have fishing rights to the area around Port au Choix and much of the northwest coast. Under treaty with Britain, the French had rights to catch and dry fish on shore and English settlement of Newfoundland's northwest coast was discouraged. French rights to dry fish on the shore were terminated in 1904 and Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.