British Journal of Canadian Studies

Celebrating Acadian milestones in 2004

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2018), 31, (2), 133–149.


In the year when Canadians celebrate 150 years of confederation, we recognise the frequent absence of cultural minorities from national commemorative events, such as the Acadians. However, minority commemorative events serve as a strong factor in helping maintain ideologies, as imposed on the minority’s general population by their cultural elite. In addition to a synthesis of ideological evidence in Acadian commemorative events, the current project addresses the importance of ethnographic work in the study of ideology of small ‘nations’. Drawing upon a series of open-ended interviews, a collection known as the 2004 ArtcaDIT corpus collected by Le Musée acadien du Québec, this article details the results of a short content analysis of transcribed oral testimonies by New Brunswick Acadians who reflect on the impact and purpose of the 2004 Acadian Quadricentennial Celebration. While the data set is small, patterns suggest that views among New Brunswick Acadians of 2004 do in fact corroborate the Acadian national ideology imposed by the Acadian elite who have sought cultural minority protection of l’Acadie moderne through linguistic rights and duality. However, these results are not exclusive, as a number of testimonies also suggest a lingering adherence to traditional Acadian views that emphasises the importance of history and genealogy. Finally, this article demonstrates again the presence of the Acadian ‘dilemma’ which could be alleviated by further studying ideologies within other Acadian regions.

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Basque, Maurice, Nicole Barrieau, and Stéphanie Côté, 1999, L’Acadie de l’Atlantique (Moncton: Centre d’Etudes Acadiennes). Google Scholar

Beaumier, Jacques, 2008, ‘Le Canada se fabrique une histoire nationale’, l’Action nationale, Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Bernard, Shane K., 2000, ‘Anglo-Conformism: the Acadian Bicentennial Celebration of 1955’, Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association, 41:2, 161–74. Google Scholar

Boudreau, Annette, 2014, ‘Des voiz qui se répondent: Analyse discursive et historique des idéologies linguistiques en Acadie: l’exemple de Moncton’, Minorités linguistiques et sociétés, 4, 175–99. Google Scholar

Boudreau, Annette, and Emilie Urbain, 2013, ‘La presse comme tribune d’un discours d’autorité sur la langue: représentations et idéologies linguistiques dans la presse acadienne, de la fondation du Moniteur acadien aux Conventions nationales’, Francophonies d’Amériques, 35 (Spring), 23–46. Google Scholar

CEA (Centre d’études acadiennes), Fonds SNA, 41.23–6 Activité: fêtes du bicentenaire, «Discours de Monsieur Adélard Savoie», 1954. Google Scholar

Congrès mondial acadien, 1996, L’Acadie en 2004. Actes des conférences et des tables rondes (Moncton: Editions d’Acadie). Google Scholar

Gauvin, Karine, 2004, ‘Une analyse discursive de l’identité acadienne à l’aube du Congrès mondial acadien’, in Denise Deshaies, et Diane Vincent (eds), Discours et constructions identitaires (Québec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval), pp. 57–75. Google Scholar

Gravel, François, 2017, ‘Les oubliés de l’Histoire’, Acadie nouvelle, 5 April. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Keppie, Christina, 2011, ‘Understanding the meaning of Acadie’, Journal of Canadian Studies, 45:1, 200–27. Google Scholar

Keppie, Christina, 2013, ‘Meaning Systems of Two Identity Concepts: Acadie versus Acadien’, American Review of Canadian Studies, 43:3, 315–33. Google Scholar

Keppie, Christina, 2016, ‘The Effects of le Congrès mondial acadien 2014 on la grande Acadie’, International Journal of Canadian Studies, 53, 85–110. Google Scholar

Keppie, Christina, (forthcoming), ‘Living Testimonies of Acadians of les Iles-de-la-Madeleine’, Port Acadie. Google Scholar

Lachance, Sébastien, 2017, ‘Canada: The Story of Us oublie l’Acadie et est la cible de critiques’, Acadie nouvelle, 30 March. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Lapierre, Jean-William, 1993, ‘Festivals en Acadie. La fête le rite et l’identité collective’, Revue de l’Université Sainte-Anne, 37–43. Google Scholar

LeBlanc, Mélanie, and Annette Boudreau, 2016, ‘Discourses, Legitimization, and the Construction of Acadianité’, Signs and Society, 4:1, 80–108. Google Scholar

Lefebvre, Marie, 2012, ‘Le rôle géographique de la fête: le Congrès mondial acadien comme catalyseur identitaire et inhibiteur de frontières’, PhD dissertation (Ottawa: Université d’Ottawa). Google Scholar

McLaughlin, Mireille, and Mélanie LeBlanc, 2009, ‘Identité et marché dans la balance: le tourisme mondial et les enjeux de l’acadianité’, Francophonies d’Amériques, 27, 21–51. Google Scholar

Mercier, Samuel, 2017, ‘New series The Story of Us is not the story of Canada’, The Globe and Mail, 2 April. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Richard, Réginald, 2002, ‘Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine: Une Société distincte?’ (Québec: Éd. des Montants). Google Scholar

Richard, Sacha, 2002, ‘Commémoration et idéologie nationale en Acadie. Les fêtes du bicentenaire de la Déportation acadienne’,Revue d’histoire intellectuelle de l’Amérique française, 3:1, 27–59. Google Scholar

Robitaille, Antoine, 2004, ‘Commémoration de 1604, premier établissement français permanent en Amérique du Nord – Les Acadiens se réapproprient leur 400e anniversaire’, Le Devoir, 14 August. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Rossignol, Rino Morin, 2017, ‘The Story of Them’, Acadie Nouvelle, 28 March. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Société nationale de l’Acadie, 2002, ‘La Société Nationale de l’Acadie organise une mission d’information portant sur le 400e anniversaire de l’Acadie aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine’, La Picasse,30 August. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Société nationale de l’Acadie, ‘La Commission jeunesse de l’Acadie’. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

Thériault, Joseph-Yvon, 2007, Faire société. Société civile et espaces francophones (Sudbury: Éditions Prise de Parole). Google Scholar

Vie des Arts, 2004, ‘Exposition l’ArtCADIE’, 49, p. 195. Available from: (accessed 26 November 2018). Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Author details

Keppie, Christina