The Outports of Newfoundland & Labrador were established by Portuguese, Spanish, Basque, French, and English fishermen in the 16th century and are some of the oldest European settlements in Canada.
These ocean communities have declined due to technological advancement and fish stock decimation. This compounding of factors almost saw a cultural era slip away so rapidly as to endanger our historic presence.
As our traditional fishing practices passed on, making way for advances in fishing and construction technology, our wooden fishing stages, historic saltbox homes and traditional fishing boats began to slip into the past along with the skilled people capable of building them.
Early recognition of the need to preserve our heritage has yielded a healthy cultural recognition today. The visionary advocacy for cultural sustainability has been exemplary in Newfoundland & Labrador.
Our local architecture is preserved to the place where it is common to visit almost any Outport and still see work of traditional tradespeople long since passed. Today, a strong provincial effort is underway to preserve and re-introduce these traditional skill sets.