The native Mi’kmaq, who first knew the tides of the Bay of Fundy better than any, acknowledged and honoured this uniqueness by creating and passing on colourful legends to explain its mysteries.
Their simple, but vivid, stories show that the unusual rock formations and turbulent tides have made the Hopewell Rocks a place of profound significance.
Glooscap, the great native god, wanted to take a bath. He commanded Beaver to build a dam across the mouth of the bay to trap the high water so that he could bathe. Beaver did as he commanded, but this made Whale unhappy.
Whale demanded to know what caused the flow of water to stop. Glooscap, not wishing to anger Whale, instructed Beaver to break the dam, but Whale was impatient and began to break the dam apart with his great tale.
This caused the water to slosh back and forth with such power that it continues today.
The Rock Formations
In ancient times, there were unfortunate Mi’kmaq who were enslaved by angry Whales living in the Bay. There came a time when some tried to escape their captors. They managed to flee as far as the beach, but were captured by the angry Whales, and turned to stone.
Their images remain today, encased in rock.
The Chocolate Waters of the Petitcodiac River
In the beginning, the waters of Pet-koat-kwee-ak were clear and sparkling. But one day Eel swam down from the headwaters, his great body pushing everything before him into the cold of the great bay. Turtle told Glooscap that something had to be done about Eel. So Glooscap instructed Lobster to fight Eel. Lobster drove Eel out into the bay, but so great was the struggle that the once-clear water was disturbed and muddied forever.