Monday, July 27, 2009

The Deportation of the Acadians

July 19

Today is sunny. I make note of the weather everyday because it is frequently raining. I decide to drive to Nova Scotia, and I book passage on a ferry for my journey into Newfoundland.

Along the way I see a sign indicating a Canadian historic site. Since I have a long drive planned for the day I decide to detour, take a look and a break from driving. In the Memramcook Valley there was a college dedicated to preserving the culture of the Acadian people, as well as providing an education. It is now the Monument Lefebvre National Historic site, a monument to the Acadians.

Tension and mistrust between New France and the thirteen British Colonies lead to the deportation of the Acadians. The Acadians were neutrals, considering themselves independent people, neither French nor British.

They were successful colonists and had cultivated some of the richest land in the new world. But, the British wanted their land. And so it was on July 18, 1753 the process of getting rid of the Acadians began. They were rounded up, the men locked in barns while the women and children waited outside. The ships came. The Acadians were crammed onto the ships. Many died on the way to their new homes. They were, in small groups, dumped onto the docks in the harbours of the thirteen colonies. Penniless, friendless and met with hostility many more died.

The human will to survive is incredibly strong, and the Acadians survived. Some Acadians found their way back to New Brunswick, but British settlers now owned the land that was once theirs.

This year a reunion is planned, Acadians from around the world will be returning home to New Brunswick celebrate their heritage.

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