Located in the heart of Cajun country in Erath,
Louisiana, the Acadian Museum commemorates and honors the Acadian heritage and Cajun
people of Louisiana.
The Acadian Museum strives to preserve a culture and heritage
that has endured for over 400 years, both here and in the far reaches of Canada. The unique Cajun/Creole culture, along with the Native
American culture, are the only cultures that wholly developed in North America. The term Cajun
is the anglicized pronunciation of the French word 'Cadien, which is what the Acadians
called themselves when they arrived in Louisiana, as far back as 1764.
The Acadian Museum of
Erath, a part of the non-profit Acadian Heritage and Cultural Foundation, Inc., was founded
in 1990 to promote awareness and appreciation of the mixed Prairie/Bayou Acadian culture
of Vermilion Parish, which has a larger percentage of French speakers than
any other county in the United States. The museum preserves and displays material traces of
the history and folklore of this region, featuring exhibits about Acadian/Cajun politicians,
musicians, religion, folklore, military, ranching, trapping and traditional life ways, including both
domestic skills and traditional outdoor occupations.
All exhibits in the Erath Room are in
French and English. The Acadian Room has many rare Acadian artifacts dating to the
17th century and contains an exhibit on Joseph “Beausoleil” Broussard, leader
of the first Acadians to migrate to Louisiana in 1765. The extensive collection in the
Prairie Bayou Room of research materials on Cajun history, exhibits and genealogy are
open to the public without charge. (read more)
The Queen’s Royal Proclamation: In January, 1990, we prepared
a petition and had it hand-delivered to the British Crown and government. The petition
sought a formal apology from those entities for their role three centuries ago in the 1755
illegal deportation of 15,000 Acadians from Nova Scotia, the lands that they had settled
in 1604 when it was then the French colony of Acadie—16 years before the Pilgrims
dropped anchor off the coast of Plymouth. Happily, with near-unanimous international
support—and the adoption of resolutions backing the human rights initiative by
the Louisiana Legislature and the U.S. Congress—the effort was successfully
concluded on December 9, 2003, when Queen Elizabeth II’s representative
Adrienne Clarkson, the governor-general of Canada, signed the Royal Proclamation.
The implications were three-fold: an acknowledgment of the horrific wrongs committed
against the Acadian people in the name of the British Crown; a symbolic reconciliation
for the death and suffering resulting from the diaspora; and the establishment of
July 28 of each year as a Day of Commemoration of the Acadian Deportation.
In part, the motivation to launch the petition was the U.S. apology to the
Japanese-Americans for their internment during WW II and the respect such
an action would show for our Acadian ancestors.
Click below for more details:
Our Cultural Representatives
In Memoriam (Dearly Departed)
How to Help