BY: Warren Perrin
I believe that old injustices must be addressed. The exile was one of the darkest chapters in North American history. It represents the first example of “ethnic cleansing” of Europeans in the history of the continent. From 1755 to 1763, the British cleared Nova Scotia of Acadians. It is impossible to capture in words the suffering of the Acadians during the years of expulsion. One-third of the Acadians died. Yet, my culture continued developing in Louisiana, allowing us to maintain our cultural identity. Cajuns continue to evolve as a vibrant part of the American mosaic.
The 1960s saw the rise of Cajun pride signaling our efforts to reclaim our heritage through a variety of measures: from protecting the French language in the constitution to my demanding that the Crown acknowledge its mistreatment of the Acadians. Because the memory of evil will act as a shield against evil, countries have to wrench themselves into gazing into the chasms of their past.
Ironically, appropriate to our cause is the quote from Winston Churchill about the Germans during WWII: “You do your worst - and we will do our best.”
On July 28, (2005) we will commemorate both the 250th anniversary of our deportation and the first “Day of Remembrance” as decreed by Queen Elizabeth II. As urged by a Congressional resolution to be passed in July by the U. S. Congress and Resolution No. 49, passed by the Louisiana legislature in May, 2005, we invite everyone to remember the sufferings of the Acadians who have now been redeemed because...it’s never too late to right a wrong.2
1 y be viewed on our website: acadianmuseum.com.
2 Perrin’s quote from the current issue of National Geographic magazine article,
“Remembering the Acadians,” by Margaret G. Zackowitz, July, 2005, “Geographia” section.
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Warren A. Perrin has a Juris Doctorate degree from Louisiana State University School of Law, and is an attorney with the firm of Perrin, Landry, deLaunay, Dartez & Ouellet, President of CODOFIL (the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana), an Adjunct Professor at the University f Louisiana at Lafayette and author of “Acadian Redemption: From Beausoleil Broussard to the Queen’s Royal Proclamation.” He was a member of the board of directors of the Congrès Mondial Z:\Darylin\MUSEUM FILES\ARTICLES WRITTEN BY WAP\It Is Never Too Late To Right A Wrong - This I Believe.wpd Acadien - Louisiane 1999, President of the Lt. Governor’s Task Force of FrancoFête ‘99, and the founder of the Acadian Museum of Erath, Louisiana.