On June 24, 1610, Grand Chief Membertou and 21 members of his immediate family were baptized into the Catholic religion at Port Royal, N.S.
The event is important to the Mi’kmaq because it marked an alliance between them and the French who built the fort and the Roman Catholic Church.
In 2010, a re-enactment was held at Port Royal Historic Site in Annapolis Royal, N.S to mark the 400th anniversary of Membertou’s baptism.
Photo Editor Stephen Brake was there to document the event.
This plaque about Grand Chief Membertou greets visitors to Port Royal Historic Site.
Mi’kmaq Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy greets Archbishop Martin Currie of Grand Falls, N.L. before the mass begins.
Following the mass, people gathered along the shore of Annapolis Basin to watch the re-enactment.
Actors from the nearby Bear River First Nation played members of Grand Chief Membertou’s immediate family during the re-enactment.
The play was written and produced by writer Hal Theriault.
Historians believe that Grand Chief Membertou was 103 when he was baptized into the Roman Catholic religion by Jesuit priest Jessé Fleché.
Membertou wanted his immediate family members to be baptized as well.
When Grand Chief Membertou was baptized, he was given the name, Henri. His family members were also given Christian names.
Membertou’s baptism also marked an alliance between the Mi’kmaq and the Catholic Church. Today, most Mi’kmaw people identify themselves as Catholic.
Grand Chief Membertou passed away a year after his baptism in 1611 at the age of 104.