Fete Nationale de l’Acadie

A lovely tree lined walk, named the Promenade des Acadiens, sits in the heart of Quebec City. The far end of the walk rises to meet the Monument aux Acadiens, accented from across the street by several flags of Quebec that stand proud along the “Promenade des Premiers-Ministres”. The monument in the form of a lighthouse topped by the colours and the star of the Acadian flag is entitled, “Vers la lumiere” (Towards the Light) and is a symbol and reminder of the important role and contributions of Acadians and their descendants in the history of Quebec.

The history of the Acadians is one of great pride for the descendants of the French colony even today in much of Eastern Canada and doesn’t come without some strife. Le Grand Dérangement is a period of history where nearly 12,000 of the 14,000 Acadians were forceably removed by the British to the Thirteen Colonies.

The devastation to Acadians is equal to that of the Scottish people who were removed from their land during the Highland Clearances in the late 18th-early 19th centuries and certainly to that of the Indian Removal signed into law in the US by President Andrew Jackson in 1830 that forceably removed the indigenous peoples of the US from ancestral lands they rightfully owned. Thousands of the 12,000 Acadians forceably removed died along the way, suffering disease and often ending up on boats to the colonies that were lost at sea. A remaining few settled along the eastern seabord and finally in Louisiana where they reestablished their culture, became part of the southern culture, and slowly “Acadien” became “Cajun”, a beautifully rich morphing of an already distinct French culture.

August 15 is known as the Fete Nationale de l’Acadie and is an important reminder of a vital part of Canada’s history and a chapter of Quebec’s history, and indeed North American history, that deserves to be taught and shared more prominently. And its food, music, and culture are something every Canadian should feel proud of.

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Incidentally… on animal conservation

bears

Being from Canada, it embarrasses me and frankly sickens me that a Canadian conservation officer was just suspended without pay for NOT killing two healthy, harmless, and still nursing bear cubs because the Ministry of Environment allowed their mother to be killed (and not tranquilized) for repeatedly eating out of someone’s fridge. That’s right, Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant was suspended because he chose NOT to kill the eight week old cubs, but rather to take them to a vet and Wildlife Recover Centre. You’ve replaced THEIR natural habitat with a house, noise, a giant white box full of fresh food and enticed them with smelly, rotting garbage outside in metal cans and then you get mad because these bears show up on your front porch? And for trying to get food for their young because they’ve got nowhere left to hunt anymore, you kill them instead of relocating them? And we’re supposed to be the country that takes animal rights seriously? You know what, you don’t like bears going through your garbage and your fridge?.. don’t live in a forest!

The Oxford English Dictionary (I think we can all agree that they know a thing or two about language) defines conservation as: “Preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment and of wildlife”, not “destruction of any wildlife that comes near my frozen pizza”. Preserving wildlife. Protecting wildlife. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant deserves a medal, not a suspension. And the philistine cretins who suspended him should be smacked with animal cruelty charges. As for those people who got their fridge broken into, you wanna get that “nice house in the woods” and “live surrounded by nature” away from the big city and from all that crime and pollution, well then accept what that entails. These baby bears are now motherless and if you know anything about raising wildlife in captivity (which you should quite frankly, just a little, it’s the least we can do for systematically destroying our planet’s wildlife) you’ll know that it will be a long, difficult road being nursed by humans in the slight hope that maybe they can one day be released to survive on their own in the wild and continue to populate the species. All because someone’s fridge got raided by a bear for crying out loud. We’re pathetic creatures and my country should know better, because yeah, we do nature better than pretty much anyone else. At least I was raised to think we did.

There is a petition to have the officer reinstated, if you’re interested in signing: https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-environment-mary-polak-reinstate-conservation-officer-bryce-casavant

The link to the story: http://t.co/mpzZldrowU