Wabanaki Confederacy
Established: 1605
Established by: France

The area was originally settled by the Micmac First Nation.  The Micmac were one of four nations belonging to the Wabanaki Confederacy.  At the time of contact with the French in the late 16th Century, the Micmac were expanding westward along the Gaspé Peninsula along the St. Lawrence River at the expense of the Mohawk.

The first European settlement was established by Samuel de Champlain and Pierre du Monts in 1605.  The settlement was given the name of Port Royal.  In its first years of existence, farming and the fur trade were the two main economic activities of the settlement.  The first settlement, however, was abandoned after being destroyed by British attackers in 1613.

After a failed attempt at settlement by Scottish immigrants, a second French colony was constructed at present-day Annapolis Royal. Port-Royal under the French soon became self sufficient and grew modestly for nearly a century, though it was subject to frequent attacks and capture by British military forces or those of its New England colonists, only to be restored each time to French control by subsequent recapture or treaty stipulations.

In 1710, Port-Royal surrendered for the last time to British forces who renamed it Annapolis Royal after Queen Anne (1665-1714).  Under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Acadia was granted to the British. Annapolis Royal served as the first capital of the Colony of Nova Scotia from 1710 until the founding of Halifax in 1749. After the capital and garrison moved to Halifax, Annapolis Royal became more of an outpost, until the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists in the 1780s stimulated trade and settlement.

The oldest cemetery in Canada is located at Annapolis Royal (dating back to the French and later the British).  The oldest gravestone in Canada is among the graves (Bethiah Douglas, 1710).