Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Deportation of Acadians order, read by Winslow in Grand-Pré church, painting by C.W. Jefferys.

June 16 is the anniversary of the Great Expulsion of the Acadians from their home in the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

The Great Expulsion of 1755-1763 took place during the French & Indian War (known as the Seven Years’ War in Britain and Europe, and in Quebec as the War of the Conquest (la Guerre de la Conquête) British colonial officers and New England legislators and militia deported more than 14,000 Acadians from the Maritime region. Many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns.

Les Acadiens are the descendants of the seventeenth-century French colonists who settled in what is now the Canadian Maritime provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and in the US state of Maine

More than 14,000 Acadians (three-quarters of the French population in Nova Scotia) were expelled, their homes burned and their lands confiscated. Families were split up, and the Acadians were dispersed throughout the British lands in North America; thousands were transported to France. Some managed to make their way to Louisiana, creating the Cajun population and culture after mixing with others there.

Since 1994, Le Congrès Mondial Acadien has united Acadians of the Maritimes, New England, and Louisiana.

Acadians speak a dialect of French called Acadian French. The Louisiana Cajun descendants mostly speak English but some still speak Cajun French, a French dialect they diversified in Louisiana.

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