Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 20, 1755: Arrival of the First Acadian Deportation Ships at the British Colony Ports

The First Acadian Deportation Ships began arriving at the British Colony Ports November 20, 1755. Although the ships began to arrive, the captains of these ships were given orders to remain in port and keep the Acadians on the ships. Thus begins the second phase of Le Grand Dérangement in which the Acadians were held as prisoners on the ships and were refused permission to disembark. 

The Acadians arrived in the British colonies at the worst possible time. From " Star-Democrat Weekend Magazine, February 15, 1980; REFUGEES, ESPECIALLY FRENCH CATHOLICS WITHOUT FUNDS FOUND CHILLY RECEPTION HERE; (First of two Articles);by Dickson J. Preston": 
"England and France were in a state of undeclared war, and things were going badly for the English colonists in America. In July 1755 had come word of General Braddock's terrible defeat at Fort Duquesne, during which only young Col. George Washington of Virginia had shown military skill. All along the frontiers, the French and Indians were on the attack, murdering settlers, burning forts and houses, capturing livestock and carrying off scalps as trophies of war."

The Acadian exiles were unloaded in Maryland "just when the waves of Francophobia and anti‑Catholicism had crested. (Brasseaux ‑ FOUNDING OF A NEW ACADIA ‑ p. 37) This hostile attitude was strengthened by the articles that had been appearing in the Maryland Gazette throughout the summer and early fall of 1755 describing, what was obviously false rumors and accounts of murder and laying the country to waste being committed by the French and their Indian allies. Basil Sollers in his "The Acadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland" that appeared in the Maryland Historical Magazine Vol III ‑ March, 1908 ‑ No. 1", reports on the propaganda and inflamatory articles that appeared in the Maryland Gazette in the summer and early fall of 1755. (Basil Sollers ‑ THE ACADIANS (FRENCH NEUTRALS) TRANSPORTED TO MARYLAND , pp 1‑5)

Many of the ships held the Acadians on board at port for between three and six months as they began to die from starvation, the horrific spread of fatal disease, and wretched sanitation conditions. The crowding of the ships made conditions aboard the vessels dangerous to health.

November 20, 1755
The Maryland Gazette announces the arrival of the first ship at Annapolis, Maryland, the Leopard, with 178 Acadian passengers from the region of Grand-Pré. The Ranger will arrive a few days later with 208 Acadians from Pigiguit.

The Leopard (87 tons burden, Thomas Church, master) with 178 passengers, an excess of 4 arrived in Annapolis harbor on November 20, 1755, followed by the Elizabeth (93 tons burden, Nathaniel Milbury, master), with 242 passengers, an excess of 56 over her complement. These two ships carried the Acadians from Grand Pré. (Basil Sollers ‑ THE ACADIANS (FRENCH NEUTRALS) TRANSPORTED TO MARYLAND , p 7)

The captains were refused immediate landing in the absence of Governor Sharpe, by the Maryland council. The captain of the Elizabeth, Nathanial Milberry, filed a complaint to the Maryland Council, stating that he was ordered to the Wicomico River area of the Eastern Shore to wait Governor Sharpe's review, but that no provisions were made for any compensation for food and supplies. ( Gregory Wood Acadians in Maryland - A Guide to the Acadians in Maryland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.)

Less than a year after Le Grand Dérangement, legislation was passed in Maryland, which authorized the imprisonment of homeless Acadians and the “binding out” of their children to other families. 

The Acadians were quartered virtually as prisoners, not to leave town without a written permit of the selectmen under penalty of five days in prison or ten lashes. they depended on the cold hand of the public for food clothes and lodging and were given some provisions. (27 May 1756, Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland ‑[ Baltimore, 1930] 24: 542 ff. ‑ also Sollers "The Acadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland" ‑ Maryland Historical Magazine 3 (1907): 18. Governors of the colonies received the Acadians with varying degrees of hostility. Governor Dulany of Maryland wrote: "They have eaten us up" 

The death toll in Maryland was heavy and by the time of the census of 1763, the population shrank from 913 in December, 1755 to 667 in 1763. Approximately 27% of the Acadians that were in Maryland died.

Click here for the Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA, 1751-1758 and to obtain an idea of the utter malice and dissent  that the British held for the Acadians.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Excellent Cajun product from South Louisiana!

Low on the salt and big on the taste!

Peanuts Kajun Spice mix contains very low salt content - 35 mg per 1/4 teaspoon. That's approximately 140 mg per tsp as opposed to other similar Cajun and Creole seasonings which border 1240 mg sodium PER TSP! A healthy adult needs between 1500 and 2400 mgs of sodium per day, Kajun Spice is an awesome alternative without sacrificing authentic Cajun taste!

I have a can in my kitchen and let me tell ya, "Mais cher, C'est si bon, le mieux! ("It is so good, the best!")". A great product to enjoy great taste, be health conscious and support local Louisiana Products!

Peanuts Kajun Spices Website:  Peanuts Kajun Spices

(All products at Peanuts Kajun Spices are products certified authentic cajun by "Certified Cajun Product of Louisiana")

Monday, November 1, 2010

What a way to ride.. Oh, what a way to go...

Broke down along the coast
But what hurt the most
When the people there said
"You better keep movin' on"..

Acadian Driftwood, The Band, Northern Lights/Southern Cross lp

~ Musician, Poet, Hero, Friend - Robbie Robertson

To say that the song Acadian Driftwood has special significance for the Acadian ('Acadien' in French) people is beyond understatement! It was penned by The Band's Robbie Robertson, after he watched a documentary on Canadian television-- ACADIE, ACADIE, the story about Le Grand Dèrangement of 1755, the brutal, forced exile of the Acadiens from their American homeland of L'Acadie, now called Nova Scotia & New Brunswick, Canada. The account of the refugees making their way down from Canada to Louisiana where they became known as Cajuns, touched him deeply, resulting in this acclaimed musical masterpiece that touches the heart and soul of every Acadien.

When I first heard it way back when the Northern Lights / Southern Cross album was released in 1975, it was a powerful awakening! I knew that I was Acadien-Cajun but my family never gave us kids any details about what they euphemistically called "The Deportation". Once I realized the song was about notre histoire, our history, it was an emotional hit that prompted me to explore my cultural roots and powers me today, still. When I 'got' la vérité, the truth about the horrific exile of our ancestors, the song became more than just a song, it turned into a very personal anthem which brings tears to my eyes every single time I listen to it.

Now that more Acadiens are realizing the truth and the need to preserve this special culture, our cultural awakening, "Le Grand Réveil" is in high gear. I have the remarkable Robbie Robertson to thank for igniting the spark in me and we all have him to thank for cette chanson très important, this very important song!

Beaucoup de mercis éternellement.. eternal thanks Robbie and The Band! 

~ Evangeline Aucoin Gaudet

"One of Robbie Robertson’s all- time masterpieces, the album’s cornerstone".

"Robbie’s ability to create an historical voice that can speak so eloquently for several thousand real ones is a rare and precious gift".

"To capture the old time feel of the French at the end, Robbie consulted Quebecois lyricist and playwright Michel Lefebure and François Cousineau to help with the translation. It is hard to imagine anyone else in the world of popular music being able to pull this off. The net result is as evocative and magical as music ever gets."

From Northern Lights / Southern Cross album liner notes - Rob Bowman


Acadian Driftwood lyrics:

The war was over and the spirit was broken
The hills were smokin' as the men withdrew
We stood on the cliffs
Oh, and watched the ships
Slowly sinking to their rendezvous
They signed a treaty and our homes were taken
Loved ones forsaken
They didn't give a damn
Try'n' to raise a family
End up the enemy
Over what went down on the plains of Abraham

Acadian driftwood
Gypsy tail wind
They call my home the land of snow
Canadian cold front movin' in
What a way to ride
Oh, what a way to go

Then some returned to the motherland
The high command had them cast away
And some stayed on to finish what they started
They never parted
They're just built that way
We had kin livin' south of the border
They're a little older and they've been around
They wrote a letter life is a whole lot better
So pull up your stakes, children and come on down

Fifteen under zero when the day became a threat
My clothes were wet and I was drenched to the bone
Been out ice fishing, too much repetition
Make a man wanna leave the only home he's known
Sailing out of the gulf headin' for Saint Pierre
Nothin' to declare
All we had was gone
Broke down along the coast
But what hurt the most
When the people there said
"You better keep movin' on"

Everlasting summer filled with ill-content
This government had us walkin' in chains
This isn't my turf
This ain't my season
Can't think of one good reason to remain
I've worked in the sugar fields up from New Orleans
It was ever green up until the floods
You could call it an omen
Points ya where you're goin'
Set my compass north
I got winter in my blood

Acadian driftwood
Gypsy tail wind
They call my home the land of snow
Canadian cold front movin' in
What a way to ride
Ah, what a way to go

Sais tu, A-ca-di-e, j'ai le mal du pays

Ta neige, Acadie, fait des larmes au soleil
J'arrive Acadie, teedle um, teedle um, teedle ooh

( english translation of ending )

You know, A-ca-di-e, I get homesick
Your snow, Acadia, makes tears in the sun
I arrive Acadia, teedle um, teedle um, teedle ooh

~ Robbie Robertson

:: Right on notre frère, right on brother Robbie!

RIP Rick Danko & Richard Manuel  ((*))

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Acadian Deportation - Québec History 10

Youtube Video on the Acadian Deportation - Québec History 10

The Acadians ( "Acadien" in French ) are the descendants of the French who settled in l'Acadie (Acadia) located in the Canadian Maritime provinces now known as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and what is now the US state of Maine. Acadian culture, a unique blend of French and native Mi'kmaq is very distinct, like no other. l'Acadie was founded in a region geographically separate from Quebec, Québecers and Acadians have different culture. But during the deportation many refugees fled to Québec and today almost all Québecers can say they have an Acadian ancestor. In Le Grand Derangement of 1755-1763, mostly during the Seven Years' War, British colonial officers, New England legislators and militia forcefully deported more than 14,000 Acadians from the maritime region.

Many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. University of Maine at Fort Kent history professor Roger Paradis said that this was a clear case of ethnic cleansing and genocide because, an attempt was made to make French Acadians disappear by scattering them throughout the 13 colonies. It was unnecessarily cruel in the sense that ships were overloaded, which resulted in disease, death, and the sinking of vessels. Families were broken up and the Acadians were sent to an alien and unfriendly land of exile. It is miraculous that the culture and nation survived! Vive les Acadiens!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Who are your people? Where do they come from? What language do the speak? (how do you respond)

In response to Creole (French Creoles with ties to Louisiana)'s Facebook status on "Who are your people? Where do they come from? What language do the speak? (how do you respond)...

Pierre LaVerdure - siege of LaRochelle 1627 fled to England and came to l'Acadie in 1657 with Sir Thomas Temple; his son Pierre Mellanson dit LaVerdure - founded Grand-Pré, l'Acadie in 1680; his grandson Alexandre Miquoin Melanson and family were deported by the British from l'Acadie in late October 1755 on the "Elizabeth or Leopard" to Maryland. He and his family were listed on Snow Hill, MD census of "French Neutrals in MD" on July 7, 1763; his widow Osite Hebert and son Paul Melanson, age 4, (Listed on the "Acadian Memorial Wall of Names" - family #22) and were given a land grant in St. Jacques de Cabhannocer (St. James - 1st Acadian Coast) in 1766; Paul's son Gilbert Melançon moved to Bayou Lafourche in 1819 - current family land is 1/2 a mile from where he settled and we've been here or close ever since. Family spoke only French until 1920, then 2 generations of English as dictated by the LA school system until 1968 and now we are reclaiming our French language roots  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I carry our blood in my veins, mes cousins Acadiens.

Our families were scattered in 1755 and many of us ended up settling a "New" Acadia in South Louisiana instead of going back home to l'Acadie. Today I looked at the records of my family who were deported from Grand-Pre and held as "prisoners" for 7 years in Maryland.

This Census was transcribed by Joan Harman
Submitted to the USGenWeb Census Project
Copyright (c) 2005 by Joan Harman

The 1763 census counted each person in an Acadian household.  
These Neutral French were deported by the British to the Colonies in 1755 .

L'humble Requete des habitants Neutres de L'acadie détenus dans la province de Maryland   
Envoyé par vos très humbles Serviteurs les habitants Neutre de L’acadie
Ce 7 Juillet 1763 

Etat des gens nutrals acadiens qui sont a Senouville 
(note: underlined struck thru on repro - Joan)  
A Snowville, En Maryland.

+  Alexandre melanson, osite melanson son epouse, jean melanson, magdeleine melanson, jacque melanson, joseph melanson, etienne melanson, paul melanson  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8

That brought my spirit back home today. I carry our blood in my veins, mes cousins Acadiens.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Le Grand Réveil Acadien / The Great Acadian Awakening

An early invitation to join a very important gathering & celebration! Oct 7- 16, 2011

:: Grand Réveil Acadien -   
Great Acadian Awakening

We have awakened a renewed spirit of our Cajun people and now invite everyone, including our international families and cousins, to support us in our efforts to preserve our at-risk culture! Vive l’Acadie!!

:: Louisiane-Acadie, aiming to fulfill the mission to mobilize all Acadians to participate in the continued expression of our native French language and culture, announces "Grand Réveil Acadien / Great Acadian Awakening”, a one week gathering of Acadians from around the world.

As the Louisiana gulf coast, where many Acadians settled, dwindles, the Cajuns are forced to move further north to English-speaking communities. Consequently, as the older generation of Acadians passes away, our French language and many Cajun traditions risk being lost forever. We cannot allow this to happen! 

From October 7 to October 16, 2011, the entire Acadiana Region will open its doors to welcome family and friends, who want to celebrate and assist in helping preserve the Acadian/Cajun culture, customs, traditions and history of the first North American settlers, the Acadians. The "Grand Réveil Acadien / Great Acadian Awakening” will be held the week before Festival Acadiens et Créoles and will close with a huge celebration of renewal on the last day of the Festival.

After engaging a group of young adult Cajuns (Les Jeunes Cadiens) to represent the Louisiana Acadians at the 2009 World Acadian Congress, an awakening of their heritage became evident. "The spirited Acadians of the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick , hosts of the 2009 Congress, more particularly the “Grand Rassemblement Jeunesse”, sparked a renaissance and awakening of our younger generation's pride and interest in preserving their Cajun ancestor's native French language and culture,” states Louisiane-Acadie President Ray Trahan.

The Acadians left France in the early 1600s to colonize “Acadie,” present - day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada. Years after the Deportation of 1755, over 3,000 Acadians arrived and settled in south Louisiana bringing with them the French language and rich French-Acadian customs. These settlers, now called "Cajuns," are estimated to number over 600,000. 

When Cajun parents/grandparents pass away, material possessions from those loved ones are dearly preserved to remember and honor them. "There is no better way to honor and remember our loved ones, than to keep and to live their native French language and culture,” says Trahan.

The importance of keeping this momentum cannot be lost. It is time to invite the world, especially those of Acadian descent, to join us, in Louisiana, and continue the fight to keep this culture alive!

For more information: please contact Ray Trahan at (337) 288 – 2681 or visit and

“Grand Réveil Acadien/Great Acadian Awakening” Mission: 

To awaken the population of Louisiana and the world, primarily those of Acadian descent, and in particular our youth, to the realization that, while we have made positive strides, the people of Louisiana are losing their French language, culture, and coastal land, and to seek support, partnerships, solutions and concerted plans of action through these large gatherings.

Executive Board Members:                      
President Ray Trahan
Vice-President Elaine Clement
Secretary Peggy Matt
Treasury Loubert Trahan
Philippe Gustin
Brenda Trahan
Valerie Broussard
Lucius Fontentot
Associate Members Sharon Alfred
Angie Istre
Information will be forthcoming as plans are finalized. The web sites, mentioned above, for Louisiane-Acadie are currently being developed and should be accessible shortly.

:: Sponsored by a grant from the State of Louisiana and the Lafayette Consolidated Government

Friday, October 8, 2010

The prison ships leave La Baie Française while people watch from Le Cap Enragé

:: On this day, October 8, 1755, the brutal deportation of the Acadien people, "Le Grand Dèrangement" was well under way for the 2nd day...

Le Cap Enragé  aka Cape Enrage, was the dramatic observation point for Le Grand Dèrangement where they watched the ships leave La Baie Française.. now called the Bay of Fundy. That historical point marked the beginning of the exile that scattered the refugees & forced many down to Louisiana.
After ten years of writing and performing primarily in English, following the first Acadian World Congress of 1994, *Acadie(a)n-Cajun artist-activist Zachary Richard began to write again in French in earnest. One day while walking with his friend Denis Richard, Zachary discovered Le Cap Enragé in what is now New Brunswick, Canada, formerly l'Acadie. Returning to the hotel, no doubt overcome with emotion, envisioning what happened so many years ago, they composed the song that evening. 

Highly evocative Richard taps into it, deeply touching the collective Acadien-Cajun heart & soul with this beautiful song!

:: We post this here today in remembrance of our families and fellow Acadiens who were either imprisoned or forced to board the ships and leave l'Acadie, their American homeland. This was one of the first examples of state sponsored ethnic cleansing in North America. We honor our ancestors today and for the entire, sacred month of October. Vive l'Acadie! Vive Le Grand Réveil !!

~ E. Aucoin Gaudet

• Acadien with an 'en' is the French spelling of Acadian. As with many of our names, 'Acadian' with the 'an' ending, is the anglicized version of the original French. We prefer the French spelling! Nous préférons l'orthographe d'origine française! Bien sûr!

Cap Enragé Lyrics

(En français)
Cap Enragé

Le vent m’arrache la peau,
Il fouette les flancs et glace l’âme de mon bateau,
Amarré à la barre, j’entends ta voix, j’entends tes mots,
Chaque fois que le tonnerre me frappe de son echo.

Au large du Cap Enragé,
Au large de tous ce que j’ai perdu, tout ce que j’ai sauvé
Peut-être que je suis allé beaucoup trop loin pour empêcher,
Mon pauvre bateau de prendre l’eau et de couler.

Montre moi l’étoile pour me guider,
Prend le vent dans tes bras pour le calmer.
Je t’ai aimé, je t’ai aimé,
Jamais autant aimer, qu’au large du Cap Enragé.

Sur le Cap Enragé,
Elle guette avec les yeux abandonnés,
Envoyer une prière avec une voile déséspérée.
Si seulement je pouvais te faire comprendre la vérité.

(In english)

Cape Enrage

The wind tears my skin,
It whips the flanks and freezes the soul of my ship.
Tied to the tiller, I hear your voice, I hear your words
Each time that the thunder strikes me with its echo.

Offshore at Cape Enrage
Offshore from all that I have lost, all that I have saved.
Maybe I went too far to stop
My poor boat from taking water and sinking.

Chorus :
Show me the star to guide me,
Take the wind in your arms to calm it.
I have loved you, I have loved you,
But never loved you as much as offshore at
Cape Enrage.

On Cape Enrage,
She watches with abandoned eyes.
Sending a prayer on desperate sails,
If only I could make you understand the truth.

  ~ Zachary Richard, Denis Richard

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 7th and 8th mark the beginning of the Acadian Deportation from their homeland

 October 7th and 8th mark the loading of Acadians on the first  2 ships and the beginning of "Le Grand Derangement". It was on the 7th and 8th, Oct 1755 that the British troops received the orders to load the ships leaving the Acadian's goods and belongings on the shores of l'Acadie. Many of these belongings were shockingly found 6 years later by the English Settlers of Nova Scotia sitting where the Acadians had left them while being dragged onto the ships.

It has been determined that members of my family from Grand-Pre were on either the "Elizabeth" or the "Leonard". Jean Dominigue Melanson, age 74 and his son Alexandre Miquoin Melanson along with Marie Osite Hebert Melanson and their children. In 1763 Alexandre and family were found in the French Neutrals section of Snow Hill Maryland: Alexandre Melanson, Osite Melanson, His wife and Jean Melanson, Melanson Magdelaine, Jacque Melanson, Joseph Melanson, Etienne Melanson, Paul Melanson ..................... 8. When the family arrived in the 1st Acadian Coast, St. Jacques de Cabanocey (St. James Parish - Convent, Louisiana) in 1766 Osite Hebert was listed as "widow of Alexandre Melanson" so Alexandre either died in Maryland or during the voyage to Louisiana, or quite possibly, right after arriving in Louisiana.

From "The Lion and the Lily" - Peter Landry -

"The Elizabeth and the Leynord were cleared and made ready to receive the first families from Grand Pré. Notices had gone out to the selected families to bring themselves and what of their personal possessions they could carry to the embarkation point. They were to meet on the 7th, but rainy weather delayed the embarkation of these first two vessels to the 8th.

In the meantime the news that it was now to really happen, that they were to be put on vessels and sent away from their lands, swarmed from family to family. The men, too, were to get the news from the family members who came aboard the prison ships as they had been allowed to do right along. A certain group of young men, about 24 of them, in the confusion of a rain storm, on the 7th, managed to make good an escape. According to an account given by Winslow, they had gotten away from two of the "prison ships" by disguising themselves as women. (It was a regular daily event for Acadian women to go back and forth to the vessels with baskets of food for their menfolk.) They got ashore and were on the loose for a number of days. Winslow was to launch an immediate investigation: he wanted to know how these men got loose. He was to determine that the escape took place mainly through the instigation of one Francis Hebert, "either the contriver or a better." Hebert, I believe, was one of the prisoners aboard the Leynord, presumably, one of the two vessels from which the young men had made their escape. Winslow was to pull Francis Hebert off the vessel together with "his effects shipt." Winslow then ordered that he should be brought to his (Hebert's) house, there, at Grand Pré. Herbert was then ordered to put all of his goods inside of his house. He then was made to stand there in front of his house, together, presumably, with a gathered crowd so that they might all witness the next event. The house was torched by the English together with all of Hebert's "effects." Then Winslow made pronouncement for all the spectators to hear, if "these men did not surrender themselves in two days, I should serve all their friends in the same manner."

So, it was, that the loading of the Acadian families started on October 8th, 1755. The Elizabeth and the Leynord were the first to be loaded and were to receive 80 families from the Grand Pré region. The Acadians embarked, as Winslow was to describe in his journal, "very sullenly and unwillingly, the women in great distress carrying off their children in their arms. Others carrying their decrepit parents in their carts and all their goods. Moving in great confusion and it appears as a scene of woe and distress."

"The Lion and the Lily" - Peter Landry

Monday, October 4, 2010


Beautiful Video and song about Evangeline. From Youtube on this video:

One of the most beautiful songs ever written.

This particular version performed by Marie-Jo Thério, Evangéline is a French-Canadian song that celebrates the legendary woman of the same name and her incredible story. Whether or not you have Acadian blood, I hope this song inspires you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Creole is not Cajun, & Cajun is not Creole

According to the historical records of both ethnic groups, Creole is not Cajun, & Cajun is not Creole.

Acadians (Cajuns) originating from the West coast of France (Poitou) first settled Nova Scotia in 1604. They called Nova Scotia, "l'Acadie" - hence the word "Acadien". On the onset of the "French and Indian War" which pitted France and Britain as mortal enemies, the Acadiens, aka the French Neutrals, who would not fight against their native Mi'kmaq Indian friends & family or the French, were brutally deported by the British in what is known as "Le Grand Dérangement of 1755". 

They were scattered throughout the world and in the 13 colonies were considered "prisoners of war" where they lived in "concentration camp like areas" until 1763. Half of their population were destroyed in this genocidal diaspora. Many chose to settle in French and Spanish South Louisiana starting approximately 1764 rather than risk going back to Nova Scotia to be subjects of the "hated empire" that murdered their families and seized and destroyed every inch of their properties.

Creoles  were originally descendants of early French and Spanish settlers in the New World. The term "creole" became very popular in the colony. It was used to apply to people and things native to the colony. The word comes from the Spanish "criollo" meant "a child born in the colony". The term first applied to natives of the West Indies, Central and South America, and the Gulf States region, but eventually became synonymous with the race of people found in all of Louisiana.

Intermarriages with other ethnic groups were lower among the people of Cajun descent than people of Creole descent. Although these two did mix, the Cajun ethnic group remained less diverse than the Creole group.

Cultural renaissance is being experienced by both of these sister cultures. We are of the same family of ethnicity and should stand united and proud in family love as the world gets a "taste" of the pride we call "home".

Posted in response to a Facebook post by the group "Creole, French Creoles with ties to Louisiana" - Post: "Is the term "Cajun" overriding the Creole ethnic group?" 


Sunday, September 26, 2010

"No French, No More" :: No Way !!

"Papa couldn't tell us and it didn't make no sense
When the teacher told us we couldn't talk No French
No more..."
- Zachary Richard, Acadien-Cajun, artist-activist, modern day hero. 

:: Two generations of Cajuns were punished and made to feel ashamed for speaking French. Subsequently our language almost died. Our parents and grandparents, as Cajun children whose only language was French, were humiliated and often beaten in Louisiana schools in an attempt to eradicate our maternal tongue. Richard's song is based on the experience of his parents.

"No French, No More" tells of the shame imparted to French speakers for doing nothing more than speaking their native language, and of how the simple desire for a better life for their children became a vehicle for that shame.

::  For decades, Zachary has led the effort to preserve and promote Cadien/Cajun culture, coastal preservation and the French language of Louisiana. Today, thanks to Acadien-Cajun activists such as Richard and the actions of The Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) things have turned around. C'est très différent! French and Cajun French is now heard throughout Acadiana (South Louisiana). French Immersion schools are available in many school districts with all subjects being taught in French (except for English), and while most of the instruction is in standard French, many programs include and/or touch on Cajun French. 

In addition, there is something called "The French Table" where locals in different Cajun towns gather together once a week for lunch or breakfast and speak only French. Experienced Cajun French speakers are joined by novices and they interact with one another.

Music is the other VERY IMPORTANT avenue for keeping the Cajun language alive! Cajun music has had a big resurgence in popularity and now, young people are playing the music and singing the songs.

While we have made great strides, our culture, language and coastal lands are still at risk!  Join us for The Acadien Awakening, "Le Grand Réveil", our  cultural renaissance in full swing not only in South Louisiana but the Canadian Maritime Provinces (formerly Acadia aka l'Acadie in French) and within the Acadien community around the world!

:: Vive Le Grand Réveil!!  Link:

:: Fier D'etre Acadien!!

"The first time my teacher made me sit in the corner for speaking
Cajun I was humiliated. The second time she made me sit in the
corner I was indignant. The third time I was defiant" - Renee Laurent


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pride in our language restored

Louisiana is a wonderful blend of many different cultures and histories. During the colonial years prior to statehood, Louisiana was settled by French, Spanish, Acadian ( Acadien) French and German settlers.

The French people of Louisiana have a rich language history. The types of French cultures in Louisiana are namely, The French (from France), Acadian French (from Acadia or present day Nova Scotia) and the Creole (or Kreyols who are a mix of many cultures including French and Acadian French) . 

The Acadians: Sent to by France to settle Acadia (l'Acadie and now, Nova Scotia) largely from the French region of Poitou, they took the 17th century French language with them. This language has undergone almost as many migrations and alterations as did this great Acadian Culture (Acadien) which experienced ENORMOUS adversity against the survival of our culture.

One such adversity was the 1916, State Legislative Act 27, banning of speaking French in public schools in Louisiana. And, be informed that this was yet another attempt at the assimilation of this French culture by the English speaking Imperialists. During this horror, children were punished for speaking French. Their parents stopped speaking to them in French and spoke only English so that their children would not be punished or face ridicule.

Not only did this generation experience the horror of English imperialistic ridicule, but it was the generation that experienced having to turn their back on their family French speaking heritage that up to this point was passed on for better than 500 documented years.

This horror resulted in yet another brutal expulsion of the Acadians who had been brutally removed from their American homeland by the British in 1755. This time it was a linguistic and cultural expulsion. It was not until the 1960's that this horror was re-thought by the Louisiana authorities. The legislature instituted CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana) which was established in 1968.

From that time until now the French speaking population began to increase again. We are now experiencing a resurgence in the PRIDE that our families have felt since being sent to settle the American continent.

Louisiana law NOW states: 
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Legislature of Louisiana, the Senate thereof concurring that the Legislature of Louisiana designate the cultural region known as The Heart of Acadiana within the state of Louisiana consisting of, but not exclusively, the following parishes: Acadia, Avoyelles, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Pointe Coupée, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge, and other parishes of similar cultural environment.Therefore, since these other parishes outside of the 22 named parishes also have a French-speaking population, and by extension a similar cultural environment of French-speaking culture, they are also considered to be part of (The Heart of) Acadiana.

This region includes native Louisiana French speakers from many walks of life whether they be Cajun, Creole or American Indian. This region also includes an increasing number of heritage French speakers who have realized the importance of French in Louisiana and have dedicated themselves to learning to speak French like their French-speaking families.

This blog and website are in reference to the historic account of l'Acadie, and the Louisianne Colonial Acadien Settlement - Acadian settlement in South Louisiana, now called Acadiana - plus information on our cousins scattered throughout the world by the 1755 - Le Grand Derangement, the brutal British expulsion of the Acadian (Acadien) People from their North American Homeland.

Louisiane Acadien Website:

For the Historic Account of l'Acadie, Nova Scotian and Louisianne Colonial Acadian Settlement and Information of Le Grand Derangement - The Acadian Deportation and Exile