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A cairn is a non-naturally occurring pile of stones erected by humans. This structure may be solidified through the use of cement. Cairns vary from small piles of stones to marvelous feats of engineering. The term cairn has been derived from the Scottish Gaelic càrn meaning stone pile. The erection and significance of cairns may be religious. In Scotland, it is tradition to carry a stone up from the base of the hill to place upon a cairn at the top. An old Scots Gaelic blessing is "Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn, i.e. 'I'll put a stone on your cairn'.

In the Antigonish region cairns have been erected to showcase the Scottish culture of its decendants. The Chisholm, Chattan, MacDougall, and MacDonald clans all have Cairns around the town of Antigonish. Cairns in honour of the Antigonish Highland Society as well as the local 4H chapter have been constructed. The locations of these cairns may be seen on the Interactive Map page.

The Commemorative Monuments project has been sponsored by the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library.