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  Cape St. George - Kwesowaak, NL. Captain Cook finds Mi'kmaq settlement at Cape St. George.

Compiled by Jasen Sylvester Benwah
Local Mi'kmaw researcher

© 2004, Inc.
Map of Cape Saint George


Kwesowaak: pronounced Gweh - sow - sounded like the “sou“ in south, eighk - sounded like the “eigh” in sleigh, then a k sound at the end. It means: end of the island.

Cape St. George marks the entrance to St. George's Bay, which is south of the Port au Port Peninsula on the west coast of Newfoundland. Its 50-ft. cliffs loom over a lowland that extends to Marches Point, with today's community stretching from Loretto, along the south coast of the peninsula, to Cape St. George - Kwesowaak, NL on the westernmost tip and including Marches Point, Red Brook, De Grau, Grand Jardin and Petit Jardin. Referred to by residents as le bout du monde. or "the end of the world", the Cape itself is a steep, rock beach battered by strong tidal streams and surf.

In 1497, in reaching Ktaqamkuk (Newfoundland), Giovanni Caboto recorded that the land they had discovered was already inhabited by people. It was the Basques who named Bay St. George including Cape St. George - Kwesowaak, NL. Caboto also named the various areas around the coasts.

Captain James Cook recorded in his journals of finding a Mi'kmaq settlement at Cape St. George - Kwesowaak, NL. This predates the recent record of French deserters leaving the French fishery around Red Island and finding refuge with area residents. It was illegal for French settlements to exist and the British treaties with the French permitted seasonal fishing activities only and no permanent structures were allowed. No one was tracking the movements of the Mi'kmaq.

Due to lack of documentation, many European accounts incorectly assumed that these residents were all Acadians and this can be true only if one referes to the Mi'kmaq as Acadians. This is also to assume that they all originated from Acadia. A lack of written records as well a several unreliable and inaccurate ones seems to be their source material to base their assumptions. In actual fact there is information available for the area and it's first peoples.

A lighthouse was built in 1914 or 1915, and run first by a Mr. Guff, then by Eugene Cornect. In 1917, the Newfoundland and Labrador Pilot observed that at Cape St. George. Lighthouse - Cape St George

The communities of Cape St. George, De Grau, Red Brook, Marche's Point and Loretto were incorporated in 1969 under one municipality that bares the name today of Cape St. George.

English Place Name: Mi'kmaw Place Name:

  • Port au Port Peninsula / Payun Aqq Payunji'j
  • Benoit First Nation - Penwaaq L’nu’k
  • White Hills -Wapeyk Piim'tiin
  • Cape St. George- Kwesowaak - end of the land
  • Boute Du Cap- Kwesawe'k
  • Garden Hill -Espaqamik Ka'taqn
  • Degrau -Pitewey Walne'k Degras meaning: A long stay
  • Little Pond -Upkudaskooch
  • Little Marsh "Mesh" Menisgotjg - little marshy place
  • Big Marsh "Mesh" -Weskituapitk - Big Marsh
  • Loretto - Oalopec - in the valley
  • Round Pond- Mpiisqa’Lpe'- deep pond
  • Marche's Point -Luksek Kwesane'k- Point A Luc

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