Posted: August 15, 2022
National Acadian Day 2
The Acadian Flag

Today is National Acadian Day. We are committed to sharing and learning about the traditions and customs celebrated in our community and are excited to share the articles developed by our team and shared with our team to learn more about holidays celebrated throughout the year.

This article was written by Claire Grevatt, MSW, RSW.

Acadian people have celebrated Acadian Day in Canada since August 15th, 1881. National Acadian Day highlights the contribution of Acadians to the Canadian cultural fabric, recognizes their historical presence on the land, and celebrates their cultural specificity in all its diversity.

Acadian people are a distinct and separate cultural group in Northeastern North America, often with mixed blooded ancestry comprising of French and Mi’kmaq heritage. The lands they inhabit are referred to as Acadie (Acadia). They are sometimes called Acadian-Métis or Eastern-Métis although they have been denied the formal status of Métis under the Constitution of Canada definition.

It is well documented that Acadian-Métis people were discriminated against for their refusal to sign allegiance to the British Crown or evacuate their lands into French Territory. Therefore, beginning in 1755, approximately 10,000 Acadians were deported by British troops, which is known today as Le Grand Dérangement (Expulsion of the Acadians). Thousands died of disease or starvation in the terrible conditions on board ships, and those that survived were shipped to English colonies, France or the Caribbean, and wandered interminably in search of loved ones or a home. Although Acadians were not actually shipped to Louisiana by the British, many were attracted to the area by the familiarity of the French language, and remained there to develop the culture now known as "Cajun."

Many who remained in Eastern Canada during the deportation, including my family, escaped to the forests where they hid with their Mi’kmaq families, and the British continued to hunt them down for the next five years. Eventually, the Peace and Friendship Treaties, a series of documents signed by the British government with various groups of Mi’kmaq, were enacted, which ended the conflict. Throughout the ordeal the Acadian-Métis people maintained their sense of identity, as they do today. Le Festival Acadien de Caraquet, the largest Acadian celebration, runs from August 5th to 15th, 2022. More information can be found at

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