Through many trials and tribulations – and lots of struggle – Cumberland County’s Acadian community has persevered and prospered over nearly 400 years.
Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott joined with members of council and the Minudie Heritage Association and the Cumberland Acadian Society to celebrate National Acadian Day with a proclamation signing and flag-raising at the Upper Nappan Service Centre on Monday, Aug. 15, 2023.
“In Cumberland County we have a strong history with the Acadian community. We see it in the Minudie Heritage Association and the new Cumberland Acadian Society, which are continuing to raise the profile and celebrate the heritage of the Acadian community,” Mayor Scott said. “It’s so important to us and such a part of our past that includes Minudie, Beaubassin, Beausejour and the dikes. It’s such an important part of our history and one that we’re pleased to celebrate.”
Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott was joined by Deputy Mayor Mark Joseph and Coun. Angel McCormick and members of the Minudie Heritage Association and the Cumberland Acadian Society in raising the Acadian flag at the Upper Nappan Service Centre on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, to celebrate National Acadian Day. Darrell Cole – Municipality of Cumberland photo
National Acadian Day was first observed on Aug. 15, 1881, as a way to celebrate Acadian culture in the region. The federal government proclaimed Aug. 15 as National Acadian Day on June 19, 2003. It was proclaimed by the province on May 24, 2004.
Mayor Scott said it’s in the interests of all Canadians to share the rich historical and cultural heritage of Acadians and to become more familiar with all its aspects, both traditional and contemporary.
Sharon Gould of the Minudie Heritage Association said that while there are many people of Acadian descent in Cumberland County, it’s something that’s not widely recognized within the community. She said the heritage association and the new Acadian society based in Amherst are striving to change that by hosting events to raise awareness of the Acadian contribution over time.
“Each and every time we have a festival or an event it draws attention to the fact the Acadian community is here to stay and is growing,” Gould said. “We take great pride in our Acadian heritage at the Minudie Heritage Association and this year we hosted our third annual Acadian Day celebration in Minudie. It was well attended, with a great crowd, lots of music and lots of fun.”
Gould said the Acadians first arrived to Minudie in 1672 to dike and farm the rich farmlands along the Bay of Fundy. Many of them were forced to leave by the British during the Acadian expulsions of the 1750s, but they returned soon after and the Acadian traditions have been protected and handed down from generation to generation.
Leon Landry, president of the Cumberland Acadian Society, said it’s important to recognize everything the descendants of the first Acadian settlers have done to continue traditions more than 350 years old.
“We are friends, family and descendants of this region’s Acadian settlers and others who are interested in our heritage,” Landry said of the society. “We strive to share with one another, stories of our ancestors and of our history. We endeavor to increase the awareness of Acadia and to promote the enhancement of our local historical sites.
“Our society seeks to reconnect local Acadian people with their culture. It is unfortunate that because of the expulsion of our ancestors, we have been forced to endure the intergenerational assimilation of our cultural identity and anglicization of our heritage. This means that we must continue to work through adversity to ensure that our ancestry and traditions receive the recognition and respect that they deserve.”
Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott signs a proclamation declaring Aug. 15, 2023, as National Acadian Day within the municipality while (from left) Sharon Gould of the Minudie Heritage Association, Leon Landry of the Cumberland Acadian Society, Deputy Mayor Mark Joseph, Coun. Angel McCormick and Michele LeBlanc of the Minudie Heritage Association look on. Darrell Cole – Municipality of Cumberland photo
The Cumberland Acadian Society will hold its first celebration on Thursday, Aug. 17, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Victoria Square in Amherst, featuring food, games, prizes, a tintamarre parade and music with Michelle LeBlanc, Sebastien Dol and Ray Legere.