Heritage Minutes: Acadian Deportation

Heritage Minutes: Acadian Deportation

(woman singing
Acadian lullaby)
Our ancestors came
here from France
to build a better life.We lived here happily for
Maman!…until the British decided
they wanted our land.
The men were called to a
meeting and then imprisoned.
(pounding on door)They demanded we swear
an oath to their king
and took everything,
We were forced from Acadie,
the only home we knew.
Mon Acadie n’existera plus.Non, non, non! Narrator:
From 1755 to 1763,
over 10,000 Acadians were
ripped from their homeland.
Despite this, Acadian culture
endures in Atlantic Canada.

Comments (27)

  1. Oh dang, a new Heritage Minute? Go off đź‘Ť

  2. why not tell us about Christian Island massacre(in georgian bay) where Iriquois wiped out 2000 huron? shall I name more?

  3. My Acadian roots run deep in
    Maritime Canada. I also worked as a tour guide in the area where this was filmed and know several people involved in the film
    production. Great to see this! Well
    done Historica.

  4. The amount who perished from this ethnic cleansing is incalculable. All suffered.

    The British referred to the acadians as vermin to erase from existence and it was made obvious that preserving life or dignity was not a priority. Many perished on the ships and in camps. Acadians were held in concentration camps (like George island near halifax, still not open to the public and it's tragic history still unknown, if not outright censored for the comfort of the anglophones) with no shelter or food. Many perished before even setting foot on the boat that would deport them. There were many such sites, good luck piecing that history together. They were dispersed in an attempt to squash them out and assimilate them , including to Caribbean islands where none survived. The capital of New Brunswick stands on the land of an Acadian village where Acadians were raped, murdered, scalped and dispersed. This information is also not widely known, perhaps long censored. This history is not known because the Anglo majority persists in wanting to squash the ugly history and the enduring culture of its survivors.

    That any Acadians have their culture, speak their language and remember their history is a triumph in the magnitude of David versus Goliath. They had no military strength , cut off from France and Quebec, and what the English truly despised was the alliance with the indigenous peoples- ( the Mi'kmaq) who often fought on our behalf, as they saw Acadians as cousins who lived peacefully with them. They helped free imprisoned Acadians and they helped recover stolen goods like cows for them. They taught Acadians to forage in order to survive, which my family still practices to this day. Sadly , that relationship has not been maintained between acadian and indigenous people.

    The point is that the Acadian people continue to survive, no thanks to the governments and no thanks to anglophones, who fought against our acquisition of rights and recognition at every step, even now and for hundreds of years. Any rights won were hard won and the struggles persist today.

    Just this year, officially bilingual New Brunswick tried to take away the right of francophones to have bilingual ambulanciers, citing economic reasons. Acadians are constantly blamed for the woes of the majority and the people's alliance party (which has seats and aligns with the conservatives) is for all intentions and purposes an anti Acadian hate group.

    The media in New Brunswick is a monopoly owned by the powerful Irving family, so that the state of free media in new brunswick is comparable to the third world , and will never threaten the majority. Dangerous viewpoints are easily silenced or adjusted ( on cultural, economic or political fronts).

    No one ever discusses the inequality when it comes to intergenerational wealth between oppressor and deported, or the success and struggle for Acadians to have the rights for their francophone education and university, and what it took for generations of Acadians to finally educate themselves to uplift themselves into middle class and sometimes upper class existence.

    And importantly, being acadian is not a past tense verb – resisting assimilation and understanding our heritage and how it continues to survive, maybe even thrive, is a daily reality for these descendants.

    Moreover, despite predating the Canadian and Quebec flag, the acadian flag is not recognized and does not officially fly. This is bewildering considering that the Ontario and Alberta francophones have won their flags.

    The fight continues for us on a number of fronts. You are welcome to join celebrating our continued survival today, on our national holiday!

  5. – why isn't the full true Acadian history told, why has it been so whitewashed ?

  6. It is good to know our history but that was the past and we are all intertwined today. Keeping resentments are unnecessary and unhealthy! Vive Acadie!

  7. Thank you for creating this, it's sad however to see so many negative comments. This is part of Canadian history, not just Acadian history and it is so sad to see the state of New Brunswick today with issues surrounding language, culture dividing us to this present day over 260 years later. So many Acadians are lost as we have no feeling of belonging anywhere.
    Je suis fier d'ĂŞtre Acadien!

  8. Wow this is an interesting narrative…the British wanted whose land exactly? You mean they wanted INDIGENOUS land that these ppl being portrayed as victims colonized. Epic whitewashing and revisionist history here, but yeah "reconciliation" sigh

  9. This was beautiful

  10. It's missing one important part of what happens next. Many Acadians found refuge with the Mikmaq and then generals and loyalists like moncton kept pursuing them in New Brunswick. It also does not put blame on Nova Scotians turning on Acadians.

  11. This is a very good video, aside from calling it "their" land. It is also disappointing that there is not even small display/mention of the strong relations between the Mi'kmaq and Acadiens, when that was a defining trait that separated them from the British.

  12. For more information about Acadian communities, history and culture, check out our "Who are the Acadians" video here:

  13. about time they made one, i am proud of my Maternal Acadian Heritage

  14. Still sad to see so many negative comments, as a person with Acadian roots I believe this was well done!
    In reply to some comments, its not a documentary people, they had a short time limit to work with. Vive L' Acadie!

  15. Maybe the rest of Canada will know we exist now….
    Sad it took this long to acknowledge the genocide.

  16. So the British only expelled poor women and children? The feminists are now hijacking history. Where were the men? Oh, they were off fighting the war. NOT! They refused to fight.

    Yes the Acadians were expelled, but not in the heart-string-tugging way it's portrayed here. At least get it right.

  17. There are two glaring errors in this video:

    1. "Until the British decided they wanted our land" -The British already had Acadia as a result of the most recent peace treaty with France. What they wanted was for it to stop being used as a base to attack them.

    2. "They demanded we swear an oath to their king and took everything regardless" -The Acadians in fact refused to swear an unconditional oath on multiple occasions and some members of that community continued participating in attacks on British interests (examples include Father Rale's War and Father Le Loutre's War). The fact that previous British governors had accepted a conditional oath probably made it seem like the Acadians could refuse an unconditional oath. But in a time of international tension that was always going to be a risky move.

    I know that short videos like this tend towards simple black and white interpretations but @Historica Canada could have done more to avoid it being a hagiography.

    The lack of Charles Deschamps de Boishébert et de Raffetot is a crime.

  18. This is the history of my family, the Babin's. Never again !

  19. History is….history. This is nice but since it really has nothing to do with the country of Canada which wasn't established as i until 1867. This was pre confederation Canada. It was more about England and France. Cruel things happened to many people in those days.

  20. Loyalist PIGS ,why is the Queens face still on our money? What an insult….

  21. Prime Minister of Canada,
    I am writing to you to share my concerns and ask you why the situation of injustice I am about to describe has not yet been rectified even after so many years.
    Here’s my story.
    I am over fifty years old and of Acadian origin. I was born in Schefferville and have been living in Ontario for over thirty years.
    During his lifetime, my maternal grandfather was a great advocate for the Acadian cause. He fought to ensure that his contemporaries and their descendants would have the right to speak their language and be respected on a cultural level. Philippe Bourgeois, born on January 11, 1911 (11-1-11), was recognized by his peers and some of his achievements are described on a commemorative plaque in the village of Saint-Louis-de-Kent, the birthplace of the Acadian flag (the first Acadian flag was designed in Saint-Louis-de-Kent at the request of Bishop Marcel-François-Richard, one of the fathers of the post-deportation Acadia). Even after my mother's birth in the 1940s, Philippe Bourgeois and his colleagues continued their fight to regain the living conditions that all Canadian citizens were entitled to. Indeed, French speaking Canadians were and are still treated as second-class citizens who had to surrender and obey the rules of the English-speaking majority.
    Until the 1970s, Acadians were still too oppressed to take their rightful place in society. Fortunately, people like my grandfather and many others have succeeded in giving hope back to this unloved people, that some would rather forget. Through their courage, these warm-hearted survivors succeeded in helping the Acadians regain their autonomy by freeing them from the submission to which they were forced. They are now able to sell the products of their land to support their children, have access to financial institutions, live more freely, pursue their studies in their mother tongue and regain their dignity.
    Let’s go back in time. Many Acadians who survived the deportation of 1755 were forced to live as fugitives for many years. For more than two centuries, they were only brought into the world to starve to death and be forgotten. Up until the 1970s and 1980s, Kent County, which is predominantly inhabited by Acadians, was identified as the poorest region in Canada.
    In any case, we can say that contemporary Acadia, even if not officially recognized in all sectors of influence, now occupies a strong place in society that we can be proud of.
    I would like to address the fact that the history of Acadia seems to be destined for oblivion. Here in Ontario, we hear nothing about the plight this small group of francophones from eastern Canada had to go through and their stories remain untold in our schools and everywhere else. Furthermore, it continues to be forgotten and ignored, even in television productions endorsed by your government such as The Story of Us, in which this part of the Canadian history, which belongs to all Canadians, is shamefully hidden. Do not tell me that it is only a matter of different point of view. The fate suffered by my ancestors and myself as an Acadian and Francophone living in Canada is not a matter of perception; the traumas that these events have left in our genes many centuries ago are a testament to this. And one question remains : wasn’t tax payers’ money used to make this production celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary? Your party often boasts about being open to all cultures and defending diversity, but why does it continue to silence the history of this people who have contributed to the development and growth of Canada?
    This non-recognition of history is prolonging the suffering of those who have experienced this long oppression. Why do they still feel like second class citizens? Could it be related to the oblivion of their existence? It breaks my heart as an Acadian to be told that I am not worthy of being a part of the great Canadian story, or even more so, to be told by an immigrant who does not know my story, that I am a privileged white woman because no one has told her this story – the story of an exiled, oppressed and forgotten people to whom I belong.
    In Ontario, all I have to do is open my mouth and people think it gives them the right to make me feel that being a francophone is horrible and inferior condition that has no place in this country, but ironically where every other minority seems to have its voice. Do French-speaking Canadians have a voice when it comes to denouncing the oppression and discrimination they had to endure for many years, and that the privileged white label does not adequately describe the reality they have experienced? Do we really live in a country where everyone has the privilege to be understood, has rights and is appreciated for who they are? As a mother, it breaks my heart to witness my children being ridiculed because of their French language and culture. What can we do about this injustice caused by the ignorance of so many citizens, which my country continues to support and reinforce through its inaction?
    Why do Acadians are still being put aside when it comes to the recognition of their history? Yet the world could benefit from learning about this great adventure – the story of two distinct peoples, the Aboriginals and the Acadians who, despite their differences, got along, lived prosperously in harmony for one hundred and fifty years before the arrival of the French and English oppressors.
    My grandfather, on the other hand, will never be forgotten by his people who considered him to be a great and proud man. He was a poor little peasant who managed to change his destiny and the one of so many others through his firm positions and devotion toward the Acadian people.
    Today, Mr. Prime Minister, I ask you personally to see that your government no longer gives itself the right to forget this exemplary people whose story is not only that of my grandfather Philippe, son of Fidèle, son of Abel, son of Romain, son of Benjamin, son of Claude, son of Germain, son of Jacques; but also mine, the one of my mother, my children and more than three million Acadians dispersed on this land.
    This summer, my children, my family and I will attend the 6th World Acadian Congress which will be taking place in southeastern New-Brunswick and on Prince Edward Island. During this great gathering, Acadians from all over the world will reunite to laugh, cry, share their plight and celebrate their achievements.
    Mr. Prime Minister, from the bottom of my heart, I ask you to officially recognize the history of the Acadian people and contribute to their development by letting their story be know to all Canadians.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
    Marie-Chantale Carrière

    Thank you CBC for this clip … so much more to say ….

  22. Lecture d'un extrait du journal du colonel John Winslow, septembre 1755.

    Nous savons que nous ne sommes pas seuls


  24. Made it seem like the Acadians were the only ones who went through this, and their homeland? Made it look like they were the only ones living on this Unceded territory called Mi'kma'ki. This was a terrible time, very brutal. sugar coating the horrible treatment and events.

  25. France and Britain were colonial superpowers, they were a product of their time and shaped the world we live in, this advert does nothing but stir up anti British resentment and has no place in modern Canada. The British as so did the French made many positive contributions in the formation of Canada. If we were to portray anyone as victims of that time period it would be the First Nation people, this advert has a strong unbalanced bias and should be removed.

  26. Don’t understand why we have to start making videos about oppression to represent Canada’s history. We have many great things to be proud of and my ancestors being able to stay on this land despite the hardships is one of those things.

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