Sharing research on Acadians, Grand-Pré

John DeMings
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Talks in French, English on July 19

For over 10 years, the Société Promotion Grand-Pré has organized a series of talks that take place in July during the Acadians Days at Grand-Pré National Historic Site. The talks give specialists the opportunity to share findings of their research on Acadian history and on the Grand-Pré region.

Flag of Acadia

As in the past, two talks in French will be given in morning on Saturday, July 19, and two talks in English will be presented in the afternoon. Admission is free.

The morning starts at 10 a.m. with a presentation by Dr. Gérald C. Boudreau on the famous French missionary, Jean Mandé Sigogne, who served the Acadians of southwestern Nova Scotia from 1799 to1844.

Boudreau, after a career as administrator at Université Sainte-Anne, has devoted his energy to numerous community organizations at the regional and national level and was co-president of the Grand-Pré UNESCO nomination project.

At 11 a.m., Georgette LeBlanc will talk about ‘Prudent’, her poetic novel inspired by her ancestor Prudent Robichaud. He was an 86-year-old translator who, along with 231 other Acadian deportees, was loaded onto the vessel Pembroke headed for Virginia.

LeBlanc teaches French at Université Sainte-Anne, and has received numerous prizes for her two other poetic works, Alma and Amédé.

Dr. Gerald H. Gerrits will start the afternoon session at 1:30 p.m. with a talk on the impact of Dutch farmers who settled in the Annapolis Valley after the Second World War. Born on a farm in the Netherlands, Gerrits arrived in Nova Scotia with his parents and siblings in 1953. Instead of becoming a farmer, he opted for an academic career and taught in the history department at Acadia University from 1980 to 2008. He was one of the contributors to the Ivany Report.

At 2:30 p.m., archeologist and ceramic artist Talva Jacobson will give her first public presentation on the reconstruction process of the child’s skull that was found in 1996 during the digs to establish the perimeter of Sainte-Famille Cemetery in Falmouth. The cemetery was part of the former Acadian village of Pisiquid (Windsor).

Jacobson is preparing her doctoral thesis at Michigan Technological University and is currently working at the Medalta Potteries National Historic Site in Alberta.

Organizations: UNESCO, Acadia University, Michigan Technological University Medalta Potteries National Historic Site

Geographic location: Virginia, Annapolis Valley, Netherlands Nova Scotia Falmouth Alberta

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