Joseph Bernie Wayne David *
Inducted on July 28, 2010
Joseph Bernie Wayne David, born in 1944 and raised in Cow Island, a hamlet in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana, is Acadian/Mi'Kmaq from his maternal and paternal lines. On his mother’s side, his 8th generation great-grandfather was Joseph Beausoliel Broussard. On his father’s side, his 8th great-grandmother was Anne Marie of Port Royal, Nova Scotia, who was part of the Mi'Kmaq community founded by Chief Membertou, that befriended the Acadians.
David has a M. Ed. from McNeese State University and an A.S. Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Nichols State. For 42 years he worked in the oil industry and in 2005 retired from Exxon Mobil.
David was raised on traditional Cajun music. His earliest memory is being held in his mother’s arms dancing to Cajun music. David was fortunate to have Mr. Will Marceaux living near his home because he was able to listen to him play the accordion under the oak trees in Cow Island. David said: “This instilled in me the desire to play the accordion and to promote our culture.”
In 2009, David became aware of his connection to the Mi’kmaw Aboriginal First Nation Indians of Nova Scotia and that a cousin from Maryland had written a book about his ancestor Anne Marie called “Revisiting Anne Marie”. David wrote a song about Anne Marie called Le Valse de Anne Marie. In August 2009, he was invited to the play the song at the Mi’kmaq –Acadian Cultural Festival and Reunion. He was invited to attend the Sweet Grass and Honor ceremonies and played the song Le Valse de Anne Marie. At that time, one of the Elders received his Mi'Kmaq name and Ellen Hunt and George Paul (“Medicine Man”) gave it to David: Etlintoq Muin (“Singing Bear”).
Other of David’s achievements follow:
• When his great-nephew Luke David was being treated at St. Judes Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, played at the Ronald McDonald House;
• Organized an annual Bastille Celebration in Folsom, La.;
• Supported the book Acadian Redemption by playing at the Cabildo, Barnes and Nobles, Ursuline Academy and the Winslow House Museum in Marshfield, Ma.;
• Was chosen to play for the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition on “Roots Music;”
• Went to Snow Hill, Maryland, to play Cajun music;
• Went to Nova Scotia where he played Cajun music inside the church in Grand Pré;
• Has supported the Kaplan Museum by playing music on several occasions;
• Played at the “Dew Drop” (oldest Jazz Hall in the South) in Mandeville where he introduced Cajun music;
• Has given school programs on Cajun history and music;
• Presented a Cajun/history/music program at Denham Springs Library;
• Was the first Cajun Band to play at the “Riverboat Festival” in Columbia, La.;
• He is a 32nd degree Mason from the Valley of New Orleans.
Invited special guests for the event include: Leland Surette (Mi’kmaq-Métis) Aboriginal Spiritual Leader, Nova Scotia, Keeper of the Sacred Pipe; Dr. Raymond Lussier (Abenaki, Vermont), Tribal Judge of the Koasek Traditional Band; Amerindian DNA-specialist and author Marie Rundquist (A’tugwet Mui’n), Maryland-Cajun and member, Associations des Acadiens Métis Souriquois (AAMS), and the Métis of Maine. Marie’s 12th -generation grandmother, Anne Marie, a Mi’kmaq woman of Chief Membertou’s Village of 17th -century Nova Scotia continues to re-unite her family, tragically separated by the Grand Deportation in 1755, as she has cousins Bernie and Marie, and her spirit is with us today.