Saturday, January 7, 2012

CH’s Acadian Expulsion Article

Well I guess it’s really a column but you get my point. If you haven’t read it, here’s the link.

Many of you don’t know, but I’m an Acadian. I grew up in an Acadian community, went to an Acadian school, eat Rappie Pie for Christmas. In fact, I grew up in the oldest region that still presently Acadian. I’m like, Acadian Orthodox.

I find this article to be offensive.

Now let me tell you why, I HATE being told that my Acadian heritage puts me at a disadvantage to others.

I grew up in a community that had a real sense of what a community should be. People were always willing to give not only their money but their time to help others in need. We celebrated our Acadian heritage and never felt ashamed. I went to a school that was well funded by the government especially in comparison to the neighbouring English school (which I thought of as a ghetto school by the way). There is nothing in my childhood that I can even remotely think of would have put me at a disadvantage to others. In fact, my schooling probably put me at an advantage compared to the English speaking school.

Yeah, I know! My family was once expelled and deported from Nova Scotia by the English. They took everything they had and separated families.. blah blah blah. I wasn’t there, you probably weren’t there and neither one of us had any control over it. Chalk it up to the price of war... although lessons should always be learned from history.

But do you know what? My ancestral family CHOOSE to come back. They thought living here in Nova Scotia with the English was obviously a lot more attractive that living in Quebec. My great-great-great and maybe even great grandfather captained the boat which left Boston Harbour bound for New France in the late 1700s full of Acadians who had been deported to Massachusetts. Life was hard for an Acadian in New England. When the ship stopped in Halifax for supplies, an English naval commander, who as a wounded naval officer was helped by an Acadian family, offered them land in their former home and promised them a priest if they wished to stay here in Nova Scotia. It didn’t take them long to accept. They had no allegiance to France or to the other French. They loved Nova Scotia and this was their home. This is why my family and other Acadian families returned to the municipality of Argyle.

I despise people using the Acadian Cultural Heritage card as a weapon to achieve a means.
Especially if that means is a political one. Simon d’Entremont, the first Acadian MLA ever elected came from my community. They called him Simon Squire. He struggled, he had to overcome obstacles but his achievements are great because he never got special treatment. Nobody held his hand and guided him along. He knew what he was worthy of and he went for it. He won his seat in the provincial legislative assembly because he deserved to win. He was a real Acadian role model.

I’m not saying that I agree with the municipal boundary changes or not. But I feel that comparing to what my ancestral family went through in 1700s to what is happening in the re-arrangement of municipal boundaries is impertinent. It’s like Michael Jackson saying that what was happening to him during his legal trails was the same as what happened to the Jews in World War II. 

If these people really wanted Acadians to succeed in this province they should stop telling them it’s so hard, everyone is against you and start telling them that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

I personally I choose to believe that my Acadian Heritage is not a crutch.... or a wheelchair, it’s a blessing.

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