Scholars from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Yale and Vanderbilt will discuss the history and culture of the Acadians during a symposium Thursday at Vermilionville.
“The Path to a New Acadia: A Symposium” is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Vermilionville Performance Center, 300 Fisher Road.
It commemorates the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the largest group of Acadians who settled in along the banks of the Bayou Teche. The symposium is free, but registration is suggested via eventbrite.com.
The Acadians were exiled from the Canadian Maritime provinces in 1755, with many traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, throughout the Caribbean and the eastern coast of the American colonies.
In 1765, Joseph “Beausoleil” Broussard led a group of nearly 200 Acadians to Louisiana where it settled along the banks of the Bayou Teche.
Work underway to identify the early settlements of these Acadians will be discussed during the symposium by Mark Rees, a UL-Lafayette professor, anthropologist and archeologist.
“Those first Acadian pioneers laid the foundation for what has evolved into Cajun culture,” Barry Ancelet, a retired UL-Lafayette professor, said in a news release.
Ancelet, a renowned Cajun folklorist, is one of the several symposium presenters.
Other presentations and sessions include:
“A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland” by John Mack Faragher, Yale University
“The Acadian Refugees in France” by Jean-François Mouhot, director, Centre Les Courmettes, France
“The Environmental Context: A Brief History of Bayou Teche” by Shane Bernard, author and historian
“The Initial Acadian Settlement: A New Look at its Location in the Attakapas” by Donald J. Arceneaux, Moscow, Idaho and Lafayette;
“Indians, Settlers, and Slaves on a Colonial Frontier: The Acadians among Other Peoples” by Daniel H. Usner Jr., Vanderbilt University.
The symposium is sponsored by the Center for Louisiana Studies, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and Bayou Vermilion District.