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Timeline / Era of First Nations / AD 1000: Viking ships land in Mi’kmaq homelands

AD 1000: Viking ships land in Mi’kmaq homelands

Viking ships visit the homelands of the Mi’kmaq people in areas now known as Maine, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. The Norsemen trade a little with the Inuit and perhaps with the Mi’kmaq; the Inuit probably obtain yarn from the Vikings. At home, the Vikings describe grapevines and fascinate their friends with tales that are reported by a Muslim geographer in AD 1150.

“[In North America] there are animals of such enormous size that inhabitants of the inner islands use their bones and vertebrae in place of wood in constructing houses. They also use them for making clubs, darts, lances, knives, seats, ladders, and in general, all things which elsewhere are made from wood...” —Al-Idrisi, author of Nuzhet al-Mushtaq, AD 1150, a compendium of travelers’ stories from around the world

Land and Water

A 1750 account of Swedish botanist Peter Kalm, or the 18th-century letters of the Abbé Pierre Antoine Simon Maillard, may be the basis for this illustration. The artist shows a Mi’kmaq man with light hair, European features, and fictionalized accoutrements. From an engraving published in an encyclopedia by J. Grasset St. Saveur, 1796.

Courtesy Library and Archives Canada