Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Sunday, September 19, 2004

From New Brunswick ...

flag causes hard feelings in Bathurst. City Hall will fly flag of the "Anglophone Society," which is opposed to bilingualism in New Brunswick. Clueless mayor says it is "no different than the Acadian flag or the Union Jack."

Saturday, September 11, 2004

"New England Threatened"

How did New Englanders of the late 19th century view Acadians?

Rev. Calvin E. Amaron, Your Heritage; or New England Threatened (Springfield, MA: French Protestant College, 1891). Introduction, by Rev. Joshua Coit, Secretary of the Massachusetts Home Missionary Society:

The importance of the French-Canadian problem in New England can hardly be overstated. The present number of French Canadians in New England (in Massachusetts one twelfth of the whole population); their certain increase, both by immigration and by propagation; the openly declared purposes of those who control the great mass of this people as no other class in our land is controlled:--all unite to make this problem a present and pressing one. The French already begin, not only to feel, but also to boast of the strength of their numbers. The Boston Herald of June 25 1891 in its very full report of the "Fête Nationale" held by the French Canadians in Pawtucket R.I. on St. Jean Baptiste's day, June 24, credits an ex-Mayor of Pawtucket with saying: "Mr. Thibault, in his address in French, made a remark that I have heard in English many times to-day. "Here are the future rulers of the country." This is because there is no other race more prolific than the French Canadian unless it be the Irish." These are significant words uttered by one, repeated by many and endorsed by a mayor of no mean city.

It may seem foolish to pay any heed to what should be looked upon simply as the idle boast of a Fête-day orator. But the same hope or expectation crops out in many ways and in many places. Formerly and until recently the order from the bishops and priests to this people was "Do not become citizens in the states, but return with your gains to your old homes in Canada". And the order was obeyed and the French were a shifting, restless class among us. But now the word has gone forth: "Become citizens" and this is obeyed. The French are buying farms and homes. Many have become voters already and very many more have taken out the first papers. This means that there is gathering among us a large mass of voters more pliant and obedient than ever the Irish were to be controlled by orders from their superiors. Great care is taken by the Romish priests, not only through the parochial schools but also from their pulpits, to keep these people well in hand. That they succeed so well is to be accounted for not simply by the ignorance of the people, though this is deplorable, but also by their piety, which is admirable. The danger to our land of this state of things among any considerable portion of the people is plain and will become plainer as the years go by. What risks are in store for our civil and religious liberties. What confusion between public and parochial schools. What conflicts at the ballot box.

This book assures us that the warfare has already begun and brings before the public an array of facts that should be considered by every lover of his country. Make what abatement you please on account of the enthusiasm of the author, there still remains uncontrovertible evidence of peril.

If New England is to maintain its high standing in our land as a home of intelligence, education and religion, she must recognize the changes that are taking place from year to year and awake to the danger of an imperium in imperio.

Let the French Canadians be truly Americanized and freed from subjection to a foreign power and by their industry and frugality they will add strength to our strength. But kept distinct in language and religion, told by those to whom they listen to remain French, they add weakness.

There is no better way to Americanize them than by the influence of Christian education. They seven French Protestant churches under Congregational auspices in Massachusetts, the missions under other denominations, the French Protestant newspaper and the French Protestant College are all in the way to do great service to the State by moulding the characters of those who, if the prophecy of the Pawtucket orator be true, are to be the future rulers of the country.

Boston, Mass., June 25th, 1891.

Texas Cajuns

Texas' French connection; on Cajuns who came over from Louisiana after Spindletop.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Speaking of Quebec ...

The Quebec flag is a recent creation. It was designed in 1902, but not adopted until 1948. Still, they are quite strident about their flag. An Act Respecting the Flag and Emblems of Quebec declares it to be "the national emblem" and it "must be flown on the central tower of the Parliament Building," and "in all cases" it "has precedence over any other flag or emblem." A related law says that all bodies which must display the Quebec flag "must not" display it "on a mast or flagpole together with another flag or banner."

Quebec is near-sighted

The official tourist webpage of Quebec doesn't tell the story right. It starts the history of New France in 1608--not 1604. It talks about the founding of Quebec city and Montreal, and then has this:
From 1660 to 1713 the settlement of New France accelerated as France established colonies in Acadia (now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) and along the shores of the St. Lawrence.
I dropped them a note.

Monday, August 23, 2004

You can go home again

Times-Picayune on the Shaw family's welcoming of the Thibodeaus.

Family names bridge borders, forge bonds

Times Picayune on Acadian names.

Fr. A. T. Bourque

Biography of Fr. André-T Bourque, author of a number of well-known Acadian songs from the late 19th century, including Evangeline.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Apart, but a part

"Thousands of miles may separate Nova Scotia and Louisiana, but present-day Cajuns and Acadians live in areas defined by water, and they share a sense of cultural isolation."

Acadian Homecoming

Thousands of Louisianians reunite with their long-lost cousins in Nova Scotia--the ancestral home of Cajuns.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Evangéline musical

When in Church Point, NS, be sure to see the Evangéline musical.

Other books purchased ...

Barbara LeBlanc, Postcards from Acadie: Grand-Pré, Evangeline & The Acadian Identity.

Margaret C. Melanson, The Melanson Story: Acadian Family, Acadian Times.

Alfred Silver, Three Hills Home (a novel about Beausoleil, recommended by a cousin when I said someone had asked me to find them a story about the deportation).

A great discovery

John W. Doull Bookseller - Rare and out-of-print books, in Halifax. One of the best used bookstores I've found. Just take a look at their Acadian section. I bought a number of books, including Bona Arsenault's History of the Acadians, Paul Surette's Le Grand Petcoudiac, a 200th anniversary commemorative of the parishes of Memramcook, an English translation of La Sagouine, a cute children's book--Adolphe à Nicolas et sa charrette, and probably some things still in the suitcase.

Radio Canada stories on close of Congrès

Several reports (in French).

Réveille

Last Sunday's concert began with Zachary Richard's Réveille. Powerful lyrics. It concludes,
Réveille, Réveille,
Hommes acadiens,
Pour sauver l'héritage

Congrès mondial acadien 1994

Congrès mondial acadien 1994, archived webpage. Lots of interesting history and photos of the first CMA.

Friday, August 20, 2004

La Sagouine

I bought an English translation of Antonine Maillet's Acadian classic, La Sagouine, and am reading it with the kids. Now we'll need to visit Le Pays de la Sagouine next time we're in New Brunswick.

More CMA photos

Mass and closing and here.

Concert and here.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I am Acadian ... And this is not a beer commercial

I am Acadian by Rosella Melanson.

An Acadian's awakening

Interesting reflection by Zachary Richard of how he came to understand himself not just as "Cajun" or "Cadien" but as "Acadien."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

How they viewed us ...

Here's what New England Yankees thought of Acadiens in the 1880s, when my great-grandmother's family came to Connecticut. This is from the 12th Annual Report of the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor (1881). Commissioner Carroll D. Wright wrote:
With some exceptions the Canadian French are the Chinese of the Eastern States. They care nothing for our institutions, civil, political, or educational. They do not come to make a home among us, to dwell with us as citizens, and so become a part of it; but their purpose is merely to sojourn a few years as aliens, touching us only at a single point, that of work, and, when they have gathered out of us what will satisfy their ends, to get them away to whence they came, and bestow it there. They are a horde of industrial invaders, not a stream of stable settlers. Voting with all that it implies, they care nothing about. Rarely does one of them become naturalized. They will not send their children to school if they can help it, but endeavor to crowd them into the mills at the earliest possible age.
Cited by Gerard J. Brault, The French-Canadian Heritage in New England (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1986), p. 68.

At the same time, Protestants targetted them for proselytizing. Methodists, Congregationalists, and Baptists were most active in this, identifying Protestantism with Americanism. Typical examples were the Protestant newspaper, Le Franco-Américain, published in Fall River in 1888, and Rev. Calvin E. Amaron of Massachusetts, author of The Evangelization of the French Canadians (1885), republished as Your Heritage, or New England Threatened (1891).

Not much different today; outside of Grand Pre last week the Evangeline Baptist Association were distributing tracts (along with lagniappe like mardi gras beads, candies, and mini Tabasco bottles) to those entering the park (see this article).

Je reviens au berceau de l'Acadie

My photos from Congrès Mondial Acadien 2004.

Catholic News Service notices Congrès

Marking deportation, Acadian descendants celebrate Nova Scotia Mass

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Concert highlights

I can't begin to describe the extraordinary experience I had with 10,000 other Acadians on Citadel Hill Sunday night at the closing "Spectacle." The Acadian flag fluttered above the old British fort and from smaller versions we waved in time with the music or held high as we stood for "Ave Maris Stella."

The concert began with a circle of Mi'kmaq drummers which transitioned into Zachary Richard's "Réveille," in which he was joined gradually by the other members of the evening's concert.

I'm in love with Edith Butler! It just took a simple rendition of "Le grain de mil."

"L'hymne à l'espoir."

Lennie Gallant doing "Ouvrez les Aboiteaux."

The two hours went by quickly--and stopped abruptly at 11:00 for the sake of the TV network. Then the clouds opened up, and we all ran for our cars.

Ouvrez les Aboiteaux

I first heard Ouvrez les Aboiteaux, a new and moving song by Lennie Gallant, on the radio the other day. Then he sang it at the concert Sunday night. This article talks about it.

Other articles on closing

La fête de l'Acadie célébrée de toutes parts.

Prime Minister's visit.

10,000 at closing concert

10 000 personnes ont assisté au spectacle de clôture du 400e de l'Acadie

Les Acadiens se font entendre

Radio Canada on the closing.

Traditional ceremony kindles emotions

Mass at Beaubassin on August 14. I wish I could have gone.

Martin on hand as Acadians gather

Yes, we saw the Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin.

Congres deemed rousing success

Toujours l'Acadie!

The New York Times is clueless

Evangeline's People Gather and Weep for Ancestors' Fate.
The happy-go-lucky came wearing holsters packed with bottles of hot pepper sauce and bringing recipes for gumbo to distribute to cousins they had never met. The sincere carry dog-eared copies of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem "Evangeline" and miniature French dictionaries in their back pockets.
Yes, I saw one Cajun with a holster of Tabasco. No, we are not "Evangeline's people" (she never existed). All of us at the CMA were sincere. I saw not a one with a copy of "Evangeline," dog-eared or otherwise.

Acadians make trip to l'Acadie for Congres

Report from Lafayette.

Parks protest follows PM across the country

Parks protest follows PM across the country

Strikers step aside for Acadian event

Strikers step aside for Acadian event.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The LeBlanc Reunion

The Acadian Cross tour was a highlight of yesterday. A tractor pulled us on a long wagon with lots of bus-like seats; the driver narrated in French and English. The Deportation Cross is on the farm of the Fuller family which has been in possession of the land since 1760. This year, for the Congres, they've provided for access to the site. They were charging $15CDN, but it was worth it. The tour stops first at the Deportation Cross, marking the site at which the Acadians of Grand-Pre were placed onto boats, then to the dyke at the water's edge, and to the ruins of the dock used by the New England planters. A CBC reporter accompanied us with a camera; he was covering the Congres but had the day off, and was doing this on his own. He knew more than the guide, and filled in a lot of information. He interviewed several of us afterwards, including me.

Nothing much was happening at Belliveau Cove except for pre-registration. It was getting cold and was starting to rain, but I was able to get my registration out of the way and get my wristband, nametag, and program.

I stopped at one restaurant that had been recommended to me, but it was closed, and ended up stopping at L'Auberge au Havre du Capitaine in Meteghan. It was crowded, but they promised they'd try to seat me within fifteen or twenty minutes. In the meantime, I joined the others waiting listening to a musical duet: a ten year old girl on fiddle and her 14 year old brother on electric base, playing traditional Acadian and Celtic tunes. Wonderful! I started up a conversation with a couple sitting by me on a couch from Moncton, and the wife was a descendant of Firmin, as I am. When it came time to be seated, they invited me to join them, and we had a delightful evening together. Then on to Yarmouth.

My hosts left today for a Cuban vacation(Canadians get to have those), so I said good-bye to them (though I'm staying another night in their home, and headed to Church Point for the reunion.

I'll describe more when I get home and post my pictures. A summary: mass, opening greetings, lots of music, meeting of lots of Firmin descendants (a couple even descended from Jean dit Bis à Firmin!), more Rappie Pie, getting reacquainted with folks I met five years ago, etc. Another talk by Lucie and one by Stephen White (telling the tale of one Acadian woman who was deported FIVE TIMES by the British!!). Lucie was leaving early, and so gave me her ticket to the "Evangeline" musical at the University. It was exceptionally well done. At the intermission, I was speaking with the fellow behind me, and at the end of the play he introduced me to the rest of the party and when I said my name I heard "Bill Cork!!"--and it was Nicole, from the comments box below. We all left together for dinner; restaurant they were going to go to, that said they should come at 8, said when we got there that they were closed. So Nicole suggested we go to the Social Club of Clare which was having an outdoor concert and food. I already had a ticket. It seems most of the food vendors they were expecting were at the reunion and ran out of food--our only options were hotdogs and sausages. Well, it was still a nice couple of hours. No traditional music, but a little Cajun and a lot of rock. Around 10:15 we said our farewells for the evening.

Tomorrow, mass at Grand-Pre and closing concert in Halifax. We're going to try to look for each other.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Bonjour from Grand-pre!

I'm writing from the Public Internet Access Site in the new visitor's center at Grand-Pre National Historic Site. I sit a couple hundred yards away from the memorial church of St. Charles-des-Mines. A vast vacant field to my left out the window is being prepared for Sunday's closing mass.

I drove up from Yarmouth early this morning, stopping by Annapolis Royal, then to the Melanson Settlement National Historic Site, to Belle Isle Hall (which now has exhibits of Acadian artifacts and is dedicated to the memory of the Savoie family whose nearby farm has also been excavated), drove past the LeBlanc homestead, and then to Grand-Pre.

I finally got to meet my fourth-cousin-twice-removed, Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, who gave a wonderful talk on Acadians of New England. In a quickly convened meeting of the Society of New England Acadians, my design for a flag for this overlooked Acadian population was unanimously adopted. :-)

The visitor center has a very nice exhibit which includes a cut-through model of a dyke, a model of a village, and artifacts from digs. I roamed the site, taking a number of pictures.

Then across the road to visit the Grand-Pre Festival.

In 25 minutes I'm going on the Dyke/Acadian Cross tour, then off to Belliveau Cove for the beginning of the LeBlanc Reunion.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

A review of the day

Took a drive down to Pubnico today. Went to Le Village historique Acadien de la Nouvelle-Ecosse and the Musee Acadien, where I spent a few hours in the archive. Had a late lunch at the Dennis Point Cafe, with some seafood chowder and my first rappie pie. Returned to Yarmouth, and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the town.

Greetings from Acadie!

I arrived safely yesterday afternoon. Got up at 4:00 a.m. to get to the airport in time for my 6:30 flight. Flew to Toronto, then to Halifax. I awoke from a nap on the plane just in time to look out the window to a beautiful view of the Annapolis Valley as we flew over the coast of Nova Scotia. Stopped to see friends in Bridgewater, arriving just in time for supper (they were expecting me) then on to Yarmouth, where I'm staying with other friends for most of this week. I'm off to West Pubnico today.

Downside is I'm having problems connecting to my wquercus.com e-mail.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Last post before I leave

I'll be leaving in the morning (6:45 a.m. flight to Toronto, then to Halifax), so this will be it for now. I may be able to do some end-of-day blogging from Nova Scotia--À bientôt!

More Cheticamp photos

Galleries five and six, with photos of Bruce Daigrepont, Waylon Thibodeaux, and various VIPs, including premier John Hamm.

Paul Martin is coming

Prime Minister to Attend Mass and Closing Ceremonies of the World Acadian Congress at Grand-Pré on Sunday.

A search for roots in the broader Western world

Ralph Surette writes, "Every family has a dramatic story of flight and/or bare survival from the destruction of Acadia."
The Congrès mondial acadien is a fantastic party. So much so that it's giving Acadians of a certain vintage--myself, for example--some trouble adjusting to being a cultural hot commodity after centuries of being more or less told to disappear.

Monday, August 09, 2004

1999 CMA LeBlanc Reunion

I had my dad scan some photos my mother took at the Famille de LeBlanc Reunion in Erath, Lousiana, during the 1999 Congrès Mondial Acadien.

Now accessible

You used to have to view the deportation cross at Grand Pré through a telescope. Now Acadian Cross Historic Site is open and accessible to visitors.

Look for me in Acadie ...

I've made a couple t-shirts to wear for the LeBlanc reunion. On the front, three flags of Acadie (the well known ones, and my design for a New England flag); on the back, the chart of my descent from Daniel LeBlanc.

More Festival du Matin photos

Gallery 3; Gallery 4.

Beaubassin: Our Living History

Beaubassin: Our Living History. Mass on August 14, on location of Assumption parish, will include ringing of the bell that was in the original church.

Le Congrès mondial acadien semble attirer moins de visiteurs que prévu

Report that events so far have only attracted about half the participants expected, notably the Festival du Mitan. But others say it is too soon to tell.

Un hommage au père Anselme Chiasson

Un hommage au père Anselme Chiasson.

Festival du Mitan photos

Festival du Mitan in Chéticamp, August 5. Photos at CMA webpage. Gallery 1; Gallery 2.

Acadian Cross Historical Site

Acadian Cross Historical Site webpage (the Deportation Cross at Grand-Pre).

Cajun Day at Grand-Pré

Congrès devotes day to Louisiana cousins.

Daigle reunion report

The Daigle reunion was this past weekend in Halifax.

Whittling history

Don Marston of Gaspereau had a 1-meter piece of pine from an aboiteau; he's been using it now to whittle wooden crosses which are now being sold in Kentville, Wolfville and Berwick.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Coins salute French arrival

Coins salute French arrival.
The Royal Canadian Mint has joined La Monnaie de Paris in issuing coins marking the 400th anniversary of the first French settlement in Canada.

Canadian and American officials first showed the new circulating 'L'Acadie' quarter at St. Croix Island in the St. Croix River, the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick.

Commemorative versions of the coin are available, too, but Canadian officials wanted to heighten awareness of the event by putting the quarter in circulation.

CMA Photo Gallery

CMA webpage now has a photo gallery up of the opening in Clare. Soon to come, pictures of the Mitan at Cheéticamp.

25 ways to spell a name

Thibodeaux genealogy easy to trace, but spellings harder to decipher. Many Louisiana names differ from the Canadian version by having an "x" on the end--e.g., Boudreaux, Thibodeaux, Brasseaux, Comeaux--but it has nothing to do with marks made by illiterate people, says historian Carl Brasseaux. The "x" form was a variant in the 19th century, and there was an effort to standardize spellings in the 1820 census. But he fears it will be hard to eradicate the myth. "Once these things take a life of their own, like the urban myths on the Internet, you never eradicate these things."

Congrès brings long-distance families together

Congrès brings long-distance families together. Report on the Thibodeaux reunion, which included a party at the Shaw homestead--a family descended from the New England planters who settled on Thibodeaux land after Le Grand Derangement.
"It's a great feeling," said Dorothy Thibodeaux Boudreaux, a native of Church Point and resident of Houston. "It feels like we're home."
That sentiment, was shared, ironically, by a Shaw descendent.
Despite the lyrical sounds of various French and English accents, the one voice that captured everyone's attention was that of Sara Beanlands, a Shaw descendant with no Acadian heritage, who delivered a lecture on her famil's farm.

Beanlands' farm lies in the area once known as Pisiquid, land that was once a Thibodeaux farm. Samples from the house's beams and foundation are currently being date-tested to see if the structure was once a Thibodeaux house, Beanlands said.

She invited the Thibodeauxs to visit the farm, view the home's old beams and foundation and an excavation site that uncovered Acadian artifacts believed to date back to 1749. Dozens of Thibodeauxs took her up on the offer and the Shaws graciously opened their home.

"Welcome to the Shaw ancestral land," Beanlands said on Tuesday, enthusiastic to share her historical findings with people equally interested. "This is really about the land because only you and the Shaws have inhabited this land.

"Welcome home," she finished.

Archaeologists have been excavating other Acadian sites in the area. We visited the Saint-Famille cemetery on a visit to the Pisiquid area last year.
Walking back to the farmhouse, the Thibodeauxs passed a small historical marker that Beanlands erected for the occasion. It simply stated that the Shaw land was settled by "Pierre Thibodeau and Anne Bourg in 1690."

"We put it up yesterday," she said with a smile.

"But it's going to stay for a long time."

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Statue of Baron Philippe Mius-d'Entremont

Statue of Baron Philippe Mius-d'Entremont at the Historic Acadian Village of Nova Scotia at West Pubnico.

Association des descendants de Sieur Philippe Mius d'Entremont

Association des descendants de Sieur Philippe Mius d'Entremont. They're having their reunion this weekend.

I could join: William Cork > Wilifred Smith > Frederick William Smith > Domithilde LeBlanc > Obeline Gautreau > Domithilde LeBlanc > Charles LeBlanc > Georges-Robert LeBlanc > Marie-Josephe Bourg > Elisabeth Melanson > Pierre (dit Pedro) Melanson > Marguerite Mius d'Entremont > Sieur Philippe Mius d'Entremont (10th great-grandfather).

Ste-Anne Church and first chapel site at Rocco Point

Ste-Anne-du-Ruisseau.

Genealogical fun

I was typing data into my genealogy program (Personal Ancestry File)--adding the children of the folks I'm descended from--when I noticed one of those things that makes family history interesting. Three of the sons of Firmin LeBlanc & Ludivine DuPuis married daughters of Michel Bourque & Ursule Forest. Of these three pairs, I'm descended from Jean dit Bis LeBlanc & Rosalie Bourque; noted Acadian genealogist Lucie LeBlanc Consentino is descended from Sylvain dit Sailor LeBlanc & Ursule Bourque.

Grou Tyme on-line now

Atlantic Airwaves is now broadcasting (3:05 p.m. CDT) excerpts from the Grou Tyme Festival held earlier this week in Halifax.

Acadians on cusp of celebration

CBC - Nova Scotia interview with CMA organizer Ron Bourgeois.

Forgotten hero in Acadian past

CBC - Nova Scotia on Pierre du Gua de Mons, leader of the 1604 expedition which established l'Acadie on St-Croix. Why has he been overshadowed by Champlain?

Rappie pie anyone?

CBC - Nova Scotia on the traditional Acadian dish. Tip--peel the potatoes the night before.

Meet the Thibodeau clan

CBC - Nova Scotia report on the Thibodeau reunion (Real).

Acadian celebrations a business boon

CBC - Nova Scotia report (Real).

Ville de Dieppe

Ville de Dieppe--webpage of my great-grandmother's town in New Brunswick, though it became a town long after she and her family left. It was created by merging the villages of Lakeburn, Dieppe, St. Anselme, Fox Creek, Dover, and Chartersville. The village of Dieppe was named after Dieppe, France, to commemorate Canadians killed in an attack on Normandy on August 19, 1942.

Festival du Mitan

CMA Festival du Mitan this weekend in Chéticamp.

Landry Reunion

Landry reunion is this weekend.

Un dimanche aux couleurs de l'Acadie

Patrick Beaupré on the "Tintamarre acadien de Saint-Liguori."

Cousins, mais d'Amérique

Cousins, mais d'Amérique--from Le Figaro.fr, in French.

Voyages - 400 ans !

Le Devoir.com (in French).

Friday, August 06, 2004

acadievacances.com

Site officiel de La Commission du tourisme acadien du Canada atlantique.

L'Acadie en chanson

New album: "L'Acadie en chanson." Two CDs.

Digital Archives of the Argyle District Acadians

Digital Archives of the Argyle District Acadians. Just came across this. Fascinating site on the Acadian heritage of the area of Nova Scotia I'll be visiting. The story begins with Sieur Philippe Mius d'Entremont (my 10th great-grandfather), who founded Pubnico in 1653.

Melanson Family Reunion

Official Website of the Melanson Family Reunion 2004. The Melanson reunion was August 2-5. It included, on Tuesday, the Official Opening Ceremony of the Melanson Settlement National Historic Site.

I'm descended from both Charles (through his daughter Elisabeth, who married Michel Bourg/Bourque) and Pierre Melanson (through his son Pierre's daughter Elisabeth, who married Ambroise Bourg/Bourque). I look forward to visiting the Melanson Settlement National Historic Site next week. The museum at Fort Anne National Historic Site includes some of the artifacts from the Melanson excavation--there's no experience quite like looking at a knife and fork that may have been used by an ancestor of yours 300 years ago.

Order of Good Cheer to meet again

Grand Pre Festival this year includes a culinary tribute to Champlain's Order of Good Cheer. The event is Sunday, August 8, at 6:00 p.m. On the menu, Rabbit Poached In Sweet Apple Cider And Wild Herbs, Complimented With Wood Mushrooms And Spring Onions; Succotash Of Rabbit In Corn Crust, Served With Wild Berries And Summer Flowers Honey Compote; Applewood Smoked Sturgeon and blackberry preserves; Warm Salmon Rilletes with Lobster Mousseline, and more. One price for everything: $125. Only 400 tickets will be sold.

"Acadians flock to Canada to build a 'country of the heart'"

Jacques Lemieux writes for Agence France-Presse.

Rug hooker world-renowned

Acadian rug-hooker in Cheticamp, Elizabeth Lefort.

Aucoins meet Aucoins

Aucoin reunion in Cheticamp. Nova Scotians hope to see a revival of Acadian culture in the province. Louisiana Aucoins hope to meet some relatives. Some speak of seeing family resemblances (we heard--and saw--this at the LeBlanc reunion in 1999). One person said,
they loaded their truck and camper with 900 kilograms of Cajun souvenirs - including beads, packets of spices, hot fish sauces and Tobasco sauce - just to give away to reunion participants in Cheticamp, as well as Halifax later next week.
Good idea ... but I can't get that much lagniappe on a plane!

Pockets of pickers

Pockets of pickers; bluegrass music at Acadian Village in Lafayette.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Churches to visit ...

Saint Mary's, Church Point. St. Bernard. St. Pierre, W. Pubnico.

Planning my trip

I'm writing down all the details of my itinerary for next week; just a summary here.

I leave here on August 11 (Feast of St. Clare), and will get to Halifax about 3:15, will rent a car and drive to Yarmouth, which will be my base.

On August 12, the pace will be more relaxed, but I will explore the Acadian Museum and Historic Acadian Village in West Pubnico.

Friday could be busy. I want to go to Annapolis Royal, and may go as far as Grand-Pre, to hear Lucie LeBlanc Consentino's presentation on New England Acadians. The LeBlanc reunion will begin with a "Meet and Greet" in Belliveau Cove late in the afternoon.

Saturday will be spent at the LeBlanc reunion in Church Point.

Sunday will begin with a long drive to Grand-Pre for 11:00 mass and 12:30 CMA Closing Ceremony. Afterwards, I'll head to Halifax for the concert on Citadel Hill. I'll spend that night in Tantallon, a relaxed day Monday, and return home Tuesday.

Acadian festival ... in France

Acadian music charges crowd at French Celtic festival.

Various reports

The ChronicleHerald has several features, including reader contributions on What it means to be Acadian.

Not quite time to panic, but ...

I can't find my ticket to the CMA closing concert!! I put it in a safe place so I wouldn't lose it ... and now can't remember where I put it. Still a few days ...

Update: Whew! My wife found it!

Acadian MPs in NS seek changes

More French services sought
Acadian Nova Scotians want a guarantee that they can get some government services in French.

The Federation Acadienne de la Nouvelle-Ecosse made such a proposal to the Hamm government last week, and Acadian Affairs Minister Chris d'Entremont said Wednesday that he'd like to bring a bill forward during the fall session of the legislature.

"Right now, there is no law. Right now, any service in my language is by accident," said Stan Surette, the federation president.

Discrimination against Acadiens continues in Nova Scotia

French parents sue over funding: Not fair only English schools get extra cash from HRM, they say.
The Municipal Government Act dictates that area rates levied in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and the former Halifax County for supplementary funding go back to benefit schools in those areas.

The fund helps bolster such things as music, art and physical education and special-needs programs for some schools operated by the Halifax regional school board.

But metro schools in the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial are shut out.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

St. Croix

French settlement on tiny St. Croix Island didn't last long.

Letter of Archbishop Brendan M. O'Brien

Letter of Archbishop Brendan M. O'Brien, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada.
From July 31 to August 15, Nova Scotia will host the Third Acadian World Congress in the very places where—exactly 400 years ago—the first French colonists settled on Canadian soil. What a path has been trod from those earliest painful origins, first on Saint-Croix Island and then at Port Royal! From that point onward, the history of the Acadian people has become part of our collective memory. It is a history that has been marked with happy events, but also with tragic occurrences, ones that even today evoke compassion and respect on behalf of those who were victims.

After the congresses held in New Brunswick and Louisiana, it is fitting that the 3rd Acadian World Congress be held in Nova Scotia, the very place where the French language and Catholic faith first took root in our midst, thanks to the labours of such precursors as Pierre Dugua, Samuel de Champlain, Reverend Jesse Fleche and Father Enemond Masse, to name only a few. It is with legitimate pride that the thousands of descendants of all of the first Acadians should flood into various places in Nova Scotia to participate in the numerous activities of this grand reunion. As President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada, I would have liked to be able to join with them, but other engagements prevent me from being present.

In the name of all of the Bishops of Canada, I would be very grateful if you would kindly transmit to those taking part in the Acadian World Congress my warmest best wishes and assure them, as well, of my fraternal prayer for them. May Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption and Patron of the Acadians, protect them and bless them with her maternal smile all through these festivities.

CBC News: Acadian painter Nelson Surette dies

From CBC, July 26.

More photos, and a report from opening ceremony

Acadian Ancestral Home. Click also under "CMA 2004/CMA Photos" on menu.

Genetic genealogy.

Amiraults try to track their roots: Men participating in genetic testing to determine lineage.
More than good food, music and fun await guests at this week's Amirault family reunion - a round of genetic testing may also give them a better understanding of their history.

Organizers of the reunion, held as part of this summer's Congres mondial acadien, will share their results, which may shed light on the region's first Amirault, Francois Amirault dit Tourangeau.

The DNA testing on 15 men involves local Amiraults, plus others throughout Canada, the United States and France....

Ms. Amirault said the project is also expected to confirm that many different branches of the Amirault family tree have the same roots.

She said there are at least 20 different spellings of her last name, including Mirault, Mireault, Amiro, Amero and Emero.

"The idea was to prove that all the Amiraults and Miraults and Amiros, and whatever spellings there are, are all related," she said.