:"This article is about the Acadian people and culture"Infobox Ethnic group|

poptime=approximately 380,000 (not including Louisiana or most of New England)
popplace=Canada: 371,590
New Brunswick: 326,220
Quebec: 17,420
Nova Scotia: 11,180
Ontario: 8,745
Prince Edward Island: 3,020

United States –
New England: ?

national_anthem = _cy. "Ave, maris stella"
(English "Hail Star of the Sea")

langs=Acadian French (a dialect of French), English, or both; some areas speak Chiac; those who have resettled to Quebec typically speak Quebec French.
rels=Predominantly Roman Catholic
related=French, Cajuns, French-Canadians
The Acadians ( _fr. Acadiens) are the descendants of the seventeenth-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located in the Canadian Maritime provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island — and some in the American state of Maine). Although today most of the Acadians and Québécois are francophone Canadians, Acadia was founded in a geographically separate region from Quebec ("Canada" at this time) leading to their two distinct cultures. The settlers whose descendants became Acadians did not necessarily all come from the same region in France. Acadian family names have come from many areas in France from the Maillets of Paris to the Leblancs of Normandy. Acadian families originated from various regions in France; for example the popular Acadian surname 'Melanson' has its roots in Brittany, and those with the surname 'Bastarache', 'Basque', can find their origin in the Basque Country.

In the Great Expulsion of 1755, around 11000 Acadians were deported from Acadia under the direction of British colonial officers and New England legislators and militia; many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. Later on many Acadians returned to the Maritime provinces of Canada, most specifically New Brunswick. During the British conquest of New France the French colony of Acadia was renamed Nova Scotia (meaning New Scotland).


Acadia is home to the first permanent French settlement in North America,which was established at Port-Royal in 1604. In 1603 Henry IV, the King of France, granted Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts, the right to colonize lands in North America between 40° and 60° north latitude. Arriving in 1604, the French settlers built a fort at the mouth of the St. Croix River, which separates present-day New Brunswick and Maine, on a small island named Île-Ste-Croix. The following spring, the settlers sailed across the bay to Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal) in present day Nova Scotia.

During the seventeenth century, about sixty French families were established in Acadia. They developed friendly relations with the aboriginal Mi'kmaq, learning their hunting and fishing techniques. The Acadians lived mainly in the coastal regions, farming land reclaimed from the sea through diking. Living on the frontier between French and British territories, the Acadians found themselves on the front lines in each conflict between the powers. Acadia was passed repeatedly from one side to the other, and the Acadians learned to survive through an attitude of studied neutrality, refusing to take up arms for either side, and thus came to be referred to as the "French neutrals."

In the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, France ceded the portion of Acadia that is now Nova Scotia (minus Cape Breton Island) to the British for the last time. In 1754, the British government, no longer accepting the neutrality previously granted to the Acadians, demanded that they take an absolute oath of allegiance to the British monarch, which would require taking up arms. The Acadians did not want to take up arms against family members who were in French territory, and believed that the oath would compromise their Roman Catholic faith, and refused. Colonel Charles Lawrence ordered the mass deportation of the Acadians. Historian John Mack Faragher has used the contemporary term, "ethnic cleansing," to describe the British actions.

In what is known as the Great Expulsion ("le Grand Dérangement"), more than 14,000 Acadians (three quarters of the Acadian 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; some were returned to France. Gradually, some managed to make their way to Louisiana, creating the Cajun population, while others returned to British North America, settling in coastal villages and in northern New Brunswick. Others returned and settled in the region of Fort Sainte-Anne, now Fredericton, and were displaced again by the arrival of the Loyalists. Mail carriers who helped Halifax and Quebec stay in contact became knowledgeable of the St. John River area (Michaud, 2008). In 1785 the mail carriers organized a group of 24 families and led them to the Upper Saint John River valley, above Grand Falls which the British ships could not pass.

In 2003, at the request of Acadian representatives, a proclamation was issued by the Government of Canada acknowledging the deportation and establishing July 28 as a day of commemoration each year, beginning in 2005. The name given in English on at least some calendars as "Great Upheaval."


The Acadians today predominantly inhabit the northern and eastern shores of New Brunswick, from Miscou Island ( _fr. Île Miscou) Île Lamèque including Caraquet in the center, all the way to Neguac in the southern part and Grande-Anse in the eastern part. Other groups of Acadians can be found in the Magdalen Islands and throughout other parts of Quebec, in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia such as Chéticamp, Isle Madame, and Clare. Still others can be found in the southern and western regions of New Brunswick, Western Newfoundland and in New England. Many of these latter communities have faced varying degrees of assimilation. For many families in predominantly Anglophone communities, French language attrition has occurred, particularly in younger generations. The Acadians who settled in Louisiana after 1764, known as Cajuns, have had a dominant cultural influence in many parishes, particularly in the southwestern area of the state known as Acadiana.


Today Acadians are a vibrant minority, particularly in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Louisiana (Cajuns), and northern Maine. Since 1994, Le Congrès Mondial Acadien has united Acadians of the Maritimes, New England, and Louisiana.

Notable Acadians in the Maritimes include singers Weldon Boudreau, Delores Boudreau, Angèle Arsenault and Edith Butler, singer Jean-François Breau, writer Antonine Maillet; film director Phil Comeau; singer/songwriter Julie Doiron; boxer Yvon Durelle; pitcher Rheal Cormier; former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc; former premier of Prince Edward Island Aubin-Edmond Arsenault, the first Acadian premier of any province and the first Acadian appointed to a provincial supreme court; Aubin-Edmond Arsenault's father, Joseph-Octave Arsenault, the first Acadian appointed to the Canadian Senate from Prince Edward Island; Peter John Veniot, first Acadian Premier of New Brunswick; and former New Brunswick premier Louis Robichaud, who was responsible for modernizing education and the government of New Brunswick in the mid-twentieth century.

August 15, the feast of the Assumption, was adopted as the national feast day of the Acadians at the First Acadian National Convention, held in Memramcook, New Brunswick in 1881. On that day, the Acadians celebrate by having the "tintamarre" which consists mainly of a big parade where people can dress up with the colours of Acadia and make a lot of noise. The national anthem of the Acadians is "Ave, maris stella", adopted at Miscouche, Prince Edward Island in 1884. The anthem was revised at the 1992 meeting of the Société Nationale de l'Acadies, where the second, third and fourth verses were changed to French, with the first and last kept in the original Latin.


Acadians speak a dialect of French called Acadian French. Many of those in the Moncton, NB area speak Chiac and English. The Louisiana Cajun descendants mostly speak English but some still speak Cajun French.

Tributes to "The Expulsion"

", was loosely based on the events surrounding the 1755 deportation. The poem became an American classic, and also contributed to a rebirth of Acadian identity in both Maritime Canada and in Louisiana.

Robbie Robertson wrote a popular song based on the Acadian Expulsion titled "Acadian Driftwood", which appeared on The Band's 1975 album, "Northern Lights — Southern Cross".

Antonine Maillet's "Pélagie-la-charette" concerns the return voyage to Acadia of several deported families starting 15 years after the Great Expulsion.

The [ Acadian Memorial (Monument Acadien)] honors those 3,000 who settled in Louisiana.


The American folklore hero, Paul Bunyan, is believed by some to have been influenced if not inspired by Acadian stories about lumberjacks in the Detroit area, around the 1910s.Fact|date=July 2008

ee also

*Acadian French
*List of Acadians
*Acadian Peninsula
*New France
*French Canadian


*Dupont, Jean-Claude (1977). "Héritage d'Acadie". Montreal: Éditions Leméac.
*Faragher, John Mack (2005). "A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their American Homeland". New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
*Frink, Tim (1999). "New Brunswick, A Short History". Summerville, N.B.: Stonington Books.
*Michaud, Scott. "History of the Madawaska Acadians". website: accessed March 5, 2008.
*Mosher, Howard Frank (1997). "North Country, A Personal Journey". New York: Houghton Mifflin Company

1 [ Canadian census, ethnic data] . Rather than go by ethnic identification, some would instead define an Acadian as a native French speaking person living in the Maritime provinces of Canada, which according to the same 2001 census, was 276,355 (236,665 in New Brunswick, 34,025 in Nova Scotia, and 5,665 in PEI). There is also the consideration that many French-Canadians in the Maritimes who are Acadian may have simiply listed 'French' as their ethnic origin instead of 'Acadian; the numerous single responses for 'Canadian' also does not give an accurate figure for numerous groups. []
2 [ Le Grand Dérangement] An exhibit by the Massachusetts State Archives in conjunction with the Commonwealth Museum, made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. [ Massachusetts State Archives]

Further reading

*J. Chetro-Szivos "Talking Acadian: Work, Communication, and Culture", YBK 2006, New York ISBN 0-9764359-6-9.
*Dean Jobb, "The Acadians: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph", John Wiley & Sons, 2005 (published in the United States as "The Cajuns: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph")
*James Laxer, "The Acadians: In Search of a Homeland", Doubleday Canada, October 2006 ISBN 0-385-66108-8.
*Naomi Griffiths, "From Migrant to Acadian: a North American border people, 1604-1755", Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005.

External links

* [ Quebec History]
* [ Acadia from "The Canadian Encyclopedia"]
* [ Lucie LeBlanc Consentino's Acadian Home] — Acadian history and genealogy storehouse
* [ Acadian Museum]
* [ L'Acadie Toujours!] — Acadians in New England.
* [ Acadian-English Dictionary] from [ Webster's Online Dictionary] — the Rosetta Edition
* [ Banished Forgotten and Reborn by Alkan Chaglar]
* [ Acadian Author & Storyteller Marie-Colombe Robichaud] -- Site is only in French
* [ Kings County Museum]

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