Government of Canada commemorates Newfoundland explorer James Patrick Howley as a Person of National Historic Significance

Government of Canada commemorates Newfoundland explorer James Patrick Howley as a Person of National Historic Significance

Posted on: June 28, 2018 6:45 am

June 28, 2018                                    St. John’s, NL                                Parks Canada Agency

Over four decades, James Patrick Howley conducted field work in Newfoundland’s rugged interior, pioneering the geological, mineralogical, and topographical exploration of the island and researching a land that few Euro-Canadians had ever visited.

Today, Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, commemorated the national historic significance of James Patrick Howley and unveiled a special plaque. The announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna.

James Patrick Howley was born in 1847 into a prominent Irish Roman Catholic family in St. John’s and lived in Newfoundland his entire life. His legacy is both cultural and scientific, ranging from his definitive study of the Beothuk culture to the creation of the institution that became Newfoundland’s first public museum. His work also helped Newfoundland to diversify its fishery-dependent economy by identifying new opportunities for agriculture, mining, and forestry.

From 1868 to 1909, Howley extensively researched the Beothuk people, an extinct Indigenous group of Newfoundland. In 1915, Howley published a study on the Beothuk people based on oral accounts, a collection of artifacts, and public records. The study is considered the cornerstone of all subsequent research on the subject, and led to increased awareness of Indigenous culture in Newfoundland and Canada.

The Government of Canada is committed to connecting Canadians to the significant people, places, and events that contributed to our country’s diverse heritage. The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations. To date, more than 2,000 designations have been made.

The Government of Canada is celebrating families with free admission to Parks Canada’s places for youth 17 and under, and free admission for one-year for new Canadian citizens, starting in 2018 and beyond. We invite Canadians to learn more about our history – from lighthouses to battlefields, historic neighbourhoods to Indigenous contributions to Canada, there is an amazing array of places and stories to discover.

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