The Country of Acadia


175 pages
ISBN 0-88924-143-0





Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


Many of their fellow Canadians scarcely know that the Acadians exist: a country within a country. The striking cover art of The Country of Acadia, with the Acadian flag flying above the much smaller Canadian flag, on the same flagstaff gives notice of which of the two command the more heartfelt allegiance of the Acadians.

The first settlers of the East Coast as early as 1604, Acadians lived at peace among themselves while control of the country shifted back and forth from French to British. Then, in 1749, the British government decided to “anglicize” Nova Scotia. In 1755, deportations began, which eventually dispersed three-quarters of the 12 thousand to 15 thousand Acadians to the southern British Colonies and England. A few managed to escape, to hide in the woods or to flee north to New Brunswick, New France (Quebec), or to Isle Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island). Some settled in Louisiana to become the ancestors of today’s Cajuns. Others made their way back to the Maritime provinces and established small settlements.

This pictorial study of the Acadian way of life shows a sturdy people, distinguished by their own proud history and culture, at work, at play, at worship. It is a handsome introduction to a very special part of Canada.


Gallant, Melvin, “The Country of Acadia,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,