Acadians were allowed to return to Nova Scotia in 1764 with a few conditions: they had to take the oath of allegiance and they were ordered to settle at a great distance from the Islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
After 1764, the British authorities in Halifax allowed exiled or imprisoned Acadians to resettle in Nova Scotia. This permission was conditional to their taking the oath of allegiance and settling in small dispersed groups throughout the colony. Because the New England Planters had occupied the vacated Acadian lands between 1760-1763, those who returned had little option but to settle the coastal areas. That set the geographic pattern of settlement still evident today. The accompanying map of Nova Scotia shows the seven locations where Acadians reestablished upon their return from exile. Their descendants are still located in those areas.
Acadian Identity in the 19th Century
|It was during the occasion of their second national convention, held in Miscouche in Prince Edward Island in 1884, that the Acadians of the maritime provinces chose their flag and national anthem. They adopted the French Tricolor in order to demonstrate that they were not forgetful of the origins of their ancestors. What distinguishes the Acadian flag from that of France is a star "Face of Mary", situated in the blue rectangle of the former, for the color blue is symbolic of the Virgin Mary. This star, "Stella Maris", which is praised in the Acadian national anthem guides the Acadian people through their hardships.|
The Acadian identity remains to this day profoundly touched by the events that have surrounded the deportation. However, there is much more to this identity than simply this tragic fact. There are numerous factors that were important to the Acadian identity in the past and they still are today. During the Golden Age (1713-1748) the Acadians had cultivated a remarkable sense of independence with respect to their neighbors. They remained proud of the French language, their Roman Catholic faith, their families and communities, as well as their culture and work. Many of these elements are still valued today. We conclude with contemporary images which reveal the Acadian identity today.