L’Anse aux Meadows with a population of about 30 permanent residents continuously see more than 30,000 visitors annually to a Parks Canada and World UNESCO site, which depicts the only authenticated Norse site in North America. However, the story is much bigger than the first place the Europeans re-discovered North America more than 1,000 years ago – in fact, it is the place where humanity came full circle – an event more than 100,000 years in the making!
All our ancestors originated in Africa as the super-continent parted more than 100,000 years ago as they set off to explore and discover the world. These ancient tribes went to all corners, those who turn left to Europe were stopped with the uncross-able barrier of the Atlantic ocean, while those who turned right entered Asia and eventually crossed the narrow Bering Strait, giving them access to North America.
Discoveries on the Great Northern Peninsula at Bird Cove at the 50 Centuries Interpretation Centre (www.facebook.com/50Centuries) authenticate the Maritime Archaic People were in our region more than 4,500 years ago followed by the Paleo-Cultures, Groswater Cultures and recent Indigenous. They too were faced with the barrier of the Atlantic ocean preventing them from meeting up with their relatives that travelled left.
It was the Vikings that would close this gap, where the world would come full circle. It was right here on the Great Northern Peninsula at L’Anse aux Meadows after 100,000 years that Leif Erikson would encounter what he referred to in the Norse sagas as Skraelings in which for the first time in history those who went left encountered those who went right. The passage from mainland Europe to Iceland to Greenland to our very own “Vinland” (tip of the Great Northern Peninsula) made all this possible. We have a much bigger story to tell!
The Great Northern Peninsula is full of history, incredible culture, tangible and intangible assets, natural beauty, nature, wildlife, heritage and people that make this place a top destination for anyone wanting to experience something only a few have the privilege of living each and every day.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North @MitchelmoreMHA