Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Acadia Project Cooperative Agreement

A cooperative agreement between the Steering Committee of the New Acadia Project and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is soon to be finalized. The agreement will support the initial goals and objectives of the project, most notably the initiation of archaeological fieldwork to locate the first homesteads and unmarked burials of Acadians who arrived in south Louisiana in 1765.

 Jean Francois de Civrey, “cure de la nouvelle Acadie” recorded the burial of 44 Acadians in 1765, at places referred to as camp d’en bas, dernier camp d’en bas, and Camp appellé Beau Soleil. Joseph Broussard, “Commandant les Acadiens des Atakapas,” was interred at the latter location on October 20th. A staunch defender of the Acadian resistance to deportation, having led his family and friends to a new and unfamiliar land, was buried in a seemingly solitary grave within sight of the Bayou Teche. Its location, and the places where the Acadian families built their first homes, called Nouvelle Acadie by Jean Francois, remain unknown today.

The search for the New Acadia settlement is long overdue, having been identified as an important goal in a report to the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development 30 years ago. As 2015 commemorates 250 years since the arrival of Acadian families in a region that would eventually become known as Acadiana, the launching of the first expedition of the New Acadia Project in the summer of 2014 is likely to attract widespread interest. Updates will be posted as preliminary site reconnaissance, mobilization, and fieldwork begin.

Additional information can be found on Facebook at Projet Nouvelle-Acadie/New Acadia Project. The New Acadia Project cooperative agreement is made possible by donations being raised by the Steering Committee. Funding is needed for student research assistants and staff, equipment, supplies, and transportation. Is the search for New Acadia of interest to you? If so, the Steering Committee has partnered with The Acadian Heritage and Culture Foundation, Inc., to raise necessary support. Donations to the New Acadia Project can be made at the Acadian Museum or through the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation New Acadia Project Fund.