Statement by Premier Dennis King on Acadian Remembrance Day
Hon. Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island issued the following statement on Acadian Remembrance Day:
“Today is Acadian Remembrance Day, a solemn day for the Acadian and Francophone community, as we commemorate the lost lives of Acadians who were displaced.
On December 13, 1758, the ship Duke William sank, and more than 350 Acadians drowned at sea. It was the worst of three shipwrecks where almost 1,000 Acadians perished.
More than 3,000 Acadians were deported from Isle Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island), forced to leave their village, abandon their properties and placed on boats going to British colonies or France. Some were able to flee on foot, avoiding drowning at sea or dying from diseases caught on ships.
The Great Deportation is one of the most tragic events in our province’s history. It changed the lives of Acadian families.
It’s important for us to share these stories to both remember and commemorate the lost lives of Acadians. This immense tragedy that Acadians were able to overcome, shows their strength and perseverance. Acadians are resilient people who managed to return home and survived through more hardships. PEI wouldn’t be the same without their traditions, music and language. We are proud of the Acadian heritage and culture.
The Acadian and Francophone community adds liveliness and diversity to the Island. We are proud of the community and its people, and we will continue to support them.
As Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs, I encourage all Islanders to learn more about the Great Deportation.”
Office of the Premier