Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History » French  

Acadian Conventions

Many Acadian gatherings (conventions) were held from 1881 to recent times. 
First Acadian Convention: 1881 - Memramcook, NB
Second Acadian Convention: 1884 - Miscouche, PEI
Third Acadian Convention: 1890 - Pointe de l'Église, NS
Fourth Acadian Convention:  1900 - Arichat 
Fifth Acadian Convention: 1905 - Caraquet 
Sixth Acadian Convention: 1908 - Saint-Basile 
Seventh Acadian Convention:  1913 - Tignish, PEI
Eighth Acadian Convention:  1921 - Point de l'Église & Grand Pre, NS
Ninth Acadian Convention: 1927 - Moncton, NB
Tenth Acadian Convention: 1937 - Memramcook, NB
Eleventh Acadian Convention: Festivals of 1955 
Twelfth Acadian Convention: 1957 - Memramcook, NB
Thirteenth Acadian Convention: 1960 - Point de l'Église, NS
Fourteenth Acadian Conventions: 1965 - Caraquet, NB 
Fifteenth Acadian Conventions: 1972 - Fredericton, NB
Sixteenth Acadian Convention: 1979 - Edmundston, NB

  For CMA info, go to:      CMA 1994      CMA - Louisiane 1999      CMA 2004     CMA 2009

      In 1880, the Société Saint Jean Baptiste of Quebec invited the Acadians to their congress. Dozens of Acadians attended and decided to organize their own Acadian Convention the following year.  Over the next 100 years, a number of gatherings were held.  Generally, the topics were the same.
 

First Acadian Convention: 1881 - Memramcook, NB
     Held on July 20-21 at St. Joseph's College, the initial convention was attended by over 5000 Acadians, though only a few hundred actually participated in the discussions..  A number of topics, including emigration, acadianization of the Church, journalism, education, colonization, agriculture, industry, trade, and politics.  One of the first topics was the selection of an Acadian holiday.  Though some suggested St. Jean Baptiste day (June 24) which was already a holiday for the Quebécois.  But the Acadians wanted their own distinct day.  Led by Father Marcel-Francois Richard, they selected the day of the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary ... August 15. The Société Nationale l'Assomption was established as a quasi-governmental body for the Acadians.

Second Acadian Convention: 1884 - Miscouche, PEI
     A second meeting took place on August 15, 1884 at Miscouche, PEI.  The topics covered three years earlier were again discussed.  The main order of business was to select the national Acadian symbols.  This convention chose an Acadian flag, an Acadian Hymn, and an Acadian emblem.
    For the flag, they chose the blue-white-red French flag with a gold star in the upper left corner.  Father Richard had brought a flag already made to the convention.
    For the hymn, the choice wasn't as easy.  A couple of early ideas were Un Acadien errant and the Marseillaise.  During the discussion, Father Richard began to sing Ave Maris Stella, and the whole convention joined in.  When Father Richard then called for someone to create an anthem, Pascal Poirier suggested that they choose Ave Maris Stella.  The convention agreed.
    The convention also selected an Acadian emblem that was supposed to be worn on the lapel on holidays.  It consisted of a blue silk embossed with a radiating star.  Above the star was a ship in full sail with the word "Acadie" written on its flag.  The motto, "L'union fait la force" (Strength through Union) was placed at the bottom.  The emblem is on a background of a rosette of white and red ribbons.

Third Acadian Convention: 1890 - Pointe de l'Église, NS
    The major topic of the third convention is on the language used at Sainte Anne college, Acadian convents, and schools of Nova Scotia.  They say that French should be the language used in classes, but English should also be used.

Fourth Acadian Convention:  1900 - Arichat
    The appointment of an Acadian bishop and other church matters was a major topic for the convention.  The Acadian newspapers are also encouraged to work together for the Acadian people.  The prime minister of Canada, Wilfred Laurier, attended this Convention.

Fifth Acadian Convention: 1905 - Caraquet, NB
    "Strength through Union"
Discussions over the appointment of an acadian bishop were still a hot topic.  A recommendation is made for the government to better support Acadian farmers. Acadians are encouraged to become more involved in industry and trade.  A French text was adopted for the Acadian schools.  It was also recommended that French be taught in the teacher training schools of the Maritimes.

Sixth Acadian Convention: 1908 - Saint-Basile
    "Strength through Union"
This convention decided to send a petition to the Pope asking him to send them an Acadian bishop.  Also, recommendations were made to the Acadian newspapers.  For example, they were advised to print fewer articles from foreign newspapers.  Acadian writers were encourage to work together.

Seventh Acadian Convention:  1913 - Tignish, PEI
    "Congress of Thanksgiving"
This convention was almost like a festival.  The Acadians were celebrating the nomination of an Acadian bishop in 1912.  A committee was also set up to look into "repatriating" the exiled Acadians and restoring them to Acadian soil.

Eighth Acadian Convention:  1921 - Point de l'Église and Grand Pre, NS
    "The Congress of Remembrance"
This convention was based in Point de l'Eglise.  A journey was made to Grand Pre, where the SNA had
aquired land and planned an Acadian memorial.  A plea was made that the recorded histories should make
the necessary corrections relative to the history of the Acadians.  Acadians were also encourage to subscribe
to an Acadian newspaper.

Ninth Acadian Convention: 1927 - Moncton, NB
    Recommendations are made to increase the representation of Acadians in the New Brunswick government.
Acadians were encouraged to work together to buy and sell goods.  Using the French language in
communications in business and government was emphasized.  Recommended that a commission meet once
a year to study Acadian matters.

Tenth Acadian Convention: 1937 - Memramcook, NB
    "The Congress of Recognition "
The two major points of discussion were school rights and colonization, though other topics (such as agriculture and Acadian history) were covered.  Resolutions were passed on dealing with the Acadian press and the fishing industry.

Eleventh Acadian Convention: Festivals of 1955
    In 1955, after almost 20 years of inactivity, the Société Nationale l'Assomption organized a committee to organize events to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Grande Derangement. The Festivals of 1955 was a larger event, with activities taking place in a number of Acadian locales. Though it didn't take the form of previous gatherings, it is still regarded as the eleventh convention.

Twelfth Acadian Convention: 1957 - Memramcook, NB
    The gathering resumed the traditional planning for the future.  A new constitution was adopted for the Société National l'Assomption.  There were a number of changes, including a name change (to La Société Nationale des Acadiens), creating a Board of Directors, and the formation of a permanent secretary.

Thirteenth Acadian Convention: 1960 - Point de l'Église, NS
    "The Acadians of 1960"
This convention looked at the present needs of Acadians and their future prospects.  The meetings were organized by four commissions.  One was designed to review the effectiveness of the La Société Nationale des Acadiens since the reorganization.  One commission looked into how the Acadians could improve their economy.  Another had the job of defining Acadian patriotism.  A fourth commission looked into the propagation of the Acadian culture.

Fourteenth Acadian Conventions: 1965 - Caraquet, NB
    "Our forces face the future with strength"
The emphasis at this convention is on the future.  The current situation of the Acadians was studied and information was collected on how to meet the needs of the culture in upcoming years.

Fifteenth Acadian Conventions: 1972 - Fredericton, NB
    "Congress of the French people of  New Brunswick "
Over a thousand New Brunswick Acadians were in attendance to vote for 264 resolutions on a variety of topics ... such as bilingualism, economics, education, politics, and culture.The La Société Nationale des Acadienswas again selected as the spokesman for the interests of the Maritime Acadians.

Sixteenth Acadian Convention: 1979 - Edmundston, NB

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