The French Acadians (Acadiens)
The Acadians are the descendants of French colonists who settled in Acadia during the 17th and 18th centuries, some of whom are also Métis. The colony was located in what is now Eastern Canada's Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island), as well as part of Quebec, and present-day Maine to the Kennebec River. Although today most of the Acadians and Québécois are French-speaking (francophone) Canadians, Acadia was a distinctly separate colony of New France. As a result, the Acadians and Québécois developed two distinct histories and cultures. They also developed a slightly different French language.
The Acadians lived for almost 80 years in Acadia, prior to the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710. The British, together with New England legislators and militia, carried out the Great Expulsion of 1755–1764 during and after the war years. They deported approximately 11,500 Acadians from the maritime region. Approximately one-third perished from disease and drowning.
Acadians speak a dialect of French called Acadian French. Many of those in the Moncton, New Brunswick, area speak Chiac and English. The Louisiana Cajun descendants speak a dialect of American English called Cajun English, with several also speaking Cajun French, a close relative of the original dialect from Canada influenced by Spanish and West African languages. [Learn More] [And More]