Queen to recognize deportation of Acadians

It may have taken 249 years, but the Queen and her Acadian subjects have agreed to put the deportation behind them.

It may have taken 249 years, but the Queen and her Acadian subjects have agreed to put the deportation behind them.

The federal government, in the name of the Queen, has agreed to issue a proclamation next week recognizing the wrongs suffered by Acadian settlers and their deportation in 1755.

Euclide Chiasson, head of the Socit Nationale des Acadiens, respectfully petitioned Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to apologize for all the wrongs caused by the deportation of Acadian settlers in 1755.

Chiasson's ancestors were among the Acadians kicked off their land 249 years ago by English soldiers. Acadians have been trying ever since to get an apology from the British Crown.

Now, Chiasson has received word the government will issue a proclamation recognizing all the wrongs suffered by Acadians.

"Well, it feels very good. I am a happy man. I think, it is going to be part of our history."

Chiasson says the government has also agreed to set aside July 28 as a day to remember what happened to his ancestors.

"There will be a commemorative day for the Grand Derangement, for the deportations and so that means for our history and for something that we should never forget, something that created our identity, that is part of who we are and I think this recognition, this proclamation is very important for our people."

Sheila Copps was the federal minister in charge of the project. Her ancestors on her mother's side were among the Acadians deported in 1755. She says she's sent an invitation to the Queen to come to the Maritimes in 2005.

"And we have put an invitation to Buckingham palace in a preliminary way because they are starting to plan for 2005."

Euclide Chiasson says it may not be an apology but it's the next best thing.

"These are the historical facts and the recognition of these wrongs that were done to our people are also in this proclamation. For us these were the two fundamental things to be on paper and to be very clear."