Hundreds of people are gathering in Grand-Pré, N.S. to celebrate the 400 year bond between the Mi’kmaq and Acadians, the earliest relationship between North American indigenous people and European settlers.

“We have a shared history, but more importantly, we have a shared future together,” Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde told CTV’s Your Morning.

“What we see here at Grand-Pré (is) a coming together and sharing food, sharing song, sharing dance, sharing languages, sharing culture.”

Billed as a “celebration of peace and friendship,” Grand-Pré 2017 runs at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site until Aug. 13. The site, formerly a 17th century settlement by French-speaking Acadians, is where the settlers forged an alliance with the region’s Indigenous Mi’kmaq people.

“With reconciliation, if we’re going to close the socioeconomic gap between First Nations people and the rest of Canadian society, you’ve got to work together,” Bellegarde added. “The Mi’kmaq taught the Acadians how to survive, how to farm, they shared their medicines, how to survive the winters. Acadians brought apples to the Mi’kmaq. And so, if we can learn from that, about… respecting and working together. Those are good principles that everybody can learn from right across Canada.”

For more information on Grand-Pré 2017, visit