Edward Islands ethnic heritage combines a melting
pot of European ancestries with a complementary mosaic of
Aboriginal peoples and cultures from Africa, Asia, South
America, and Australia. The Islands first
inhabitants lived close to the land deriving their
nutrition and their spiritual life from the Islands
waters and forests. They were joined, in the seventeenth
century, by Acadian and European
immigrantsrelatively uneducated, poor rural tenants
and farm labourers. Many had suffered religious
persecution and economic difficulties in their homelands
and were lured to the island colony with hopes of making
a better life for themselves on the fertile soil and
unspoiled landscape that was to become Prince Edward
Island. In more recent years, immigrants from other parts
of the globe have added their cultural traditions to
contribute to an ever-changing and diverse Island
Way of Life.
After many difficult decades, the Islands first culture has persevered and continues to maintain a vital and active presence in Island society.
Over the past 350+ years, the Acadian people have endured many hardships but their perseverance has earned them a vital place in Island culture.
The arrival of the English to Prince Edward Island is inextricably linked to important periods in the Atlantic regions colonial history from the wars between Britain and France to the American Revolution.
The predominance of Celtic traditions in Island culture today has its roots in the waves of Scottish immigration during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Prince Edward Islands Irish community comes from a sturdy stockhardworking adventurous pioneers who came to find freedom and fortune on the Island and fought their way to the top.
Just as our Island landscape mirrors a divine patchwork quilt, our society is made up of some 75 cultures and nationalities that have made Prince Edward Island home.