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Acadians Nova Scotia Acadians in Nova Scotia

Today over 40,000 Nova Scotian Acadians can be found in several regions: Clare in Digby Co.; Argyle in Yarmouth Co.; Pomquet near Antigonish; Larry's River in Guysborough Co.; Isle Madame and nearby villages in Richmond Co.; Cheticamp, St. Joseph du Moine and Magre in Inverness Co.; and the urban regions of Halifax-Dartmouth and Sydney. A few thousand Acadians are from across the province.

Points of Interest
Acadian Shore
Land of Evangeline
Grand Pre
Evangeline Trail

The Acadians are descendants of approximately 100 French families who settled along the shores of the Baie francaise (now the Bay of Fundy) during the 17th century. A distinct Acadian culture gradually evolved. The Acadians fished and farmed, and claimed valuable farmlands from the bay by building dykes. A sense of community life and independence grew as they worked together to survive. By 1750, the population of Acadia had exceeded 10,000.

In was not long, however, before the Acadians were embroiled in the French-British territorial disputes. In 1755, fearing that the Acadians would support the French, the British government demanded that they sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to the Crown. Most refused, wishing to remain neutral. The infamous Acadian Expulsion resulted. From 1755, over 8,000 Acadians were deported to New England, to the southern colonies and to Europe (France and England).

The Acadians were allowed to return to Nova Scotia in 1764. However, the fertile lands they had worked were now occupied by other settlers. Since the British would not allow the Acadians to form large settlements, they gradually settled along the various remote coastal regions of the province.

The Federation acadienne de la Nouvelle-Ecosse (FANE) serves as representative for the Acadian population of Nova Scotia. It undertakes community development in Acadian regions. Most Acadians now in their thirties and above have been educated in English. Today, many schools within the various Acadian regions have been designated as Acadian or partially Acadian. The College de l'Acadie offers technical and vocational programs through an advanced distance education system. Six learning centres have been established throughout the province. Another institution, l'Universite Sainte-Anne in Pointe-de-l'Eglise, is the only francophone university in Nova Scotia.

French media such as radio, television, and newspaper are essential in regional development in isolated areas of the province. Le Courier de la Novelle-Ecosse, the francophone provincial newspaper, is published weekly in Yarmouth. La Societe Radio-Canada (French CBC) broadcasts from Halifax a three-hour radio show, "Bonjour Atlantique", five days a week. Radio-CIFA broadcasts both in Clare and Argyle municipalities, while Radio-Cheticamp will soon be on the air full-time.

The Conseil culturel acadien can be proud of its many achievements: co-production with Societe Radio-Canada of many cultural television programs. Acadian Days in Grand-Pre, development of distribution networks for Acadian audio products, promotion of visual arts and crafts and a provincial song contest.

Acadian culture is well and alive in Nova Scotia. In the summer, visitors can attend many Acadian festivals, as there are several of them across the province from May to August.

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