CAJUN COUNTRY
More of Our Canada|May 2021
Exploring the complex history and amazing culture of Acadians in Louisiana
Miriam Roberts

When I read “A Walk Through Time and History by Karen Cook in More of Our Canada, (July 2020), I was reminded of our trip to P.E.I., New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 1987, before Confederation Bridge was built. I wasn’t aware of the plight of the Acadians until that trip, although as a schoolgirl in Wales, I had learned about the conflicts in North America between the British and the French. I had not heard about the suŒering that the deportation of the Acadians had caused, all because they refused to swear allegiance to the British Crown.

The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht abolished Acadia forever, displacing many Acadians to the British Colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina. While some survived in hiding with the help of the Mi’kmaq First Nations, others sailed across the Atlantic to France and Great Britain; many were placed in internment camps for 20 to 30 years. Some were invited to live on Belle Île en Mer, o‚ the coast of Brittany; these souls su‚ered from a harsh climate, drought, and promised subsidies that arrived long overdue.

Meanwhile the Spanish colony of Louisiana in the southern part of North America on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico also became home for Acadian exiles, who began arriving in 1764 from Halifax and the colonies. In 1785, 1,600 people were brought over by Spain to Louisiana, with some also arriving from Belle Île en Mer.

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