- Exiled Acadians become Louisiana's Cajuns -
The monument in front of you commemorates the "Great Upheaval" of the Acadian people from their homeland in what is now Nova Scotia, Canada. Beginning in 1755, Acadian villagers, caught in a power struggle between France and England were uprooted - families torn apart, homes burned, possessions confiscated. In the late 1700s many of the exiles found refuge here in Louisiana's bayou country.
The Sociétè Nationale de l'Adadie of New Brunswick, Canada, is placing monuments around the world to commemorate the 250th anniversary of these tragic events. The monument in Houma was unveiled in 2011.
The cross replicates the 12 ft. tall Deportation Cross which stands at Grand-Pré in Nova Scotia, the official site of Le Grand Dérangement. The paddle shape at the bottom of the cross recalls the journeys across the waters.
The bronze plaque depicts the Acadians' complex migrations. Note the Acadian flag, the church of Grand-Pré, and Louis Phillipe Hébert's famous sculpture of an Acadian family.
The monuments foundation symbolizes a star which guides sailors across the sea, and also represents Our Lady of the Assumption, the patron saint of the Acadians.
Deportation from Acadia by the British, 1755. Loaded onto overcrowded ships, thousands died in filthy, unbearable living conditions. Exiles were sent to the American colonies, England, France and the West Indies.
Examples of family names recorded in Acadian census documents. These Cajun names are evidence throughout Houma and Terrebonne Parish today.