Canada Responds to New Orleans

Canada has a deep connection to New Orleans. Over a seven year period between 1755-1763, thousands of (while it is difficult to arrive at a number, roughly 13 000 were deported in all) Acadians from Nova Scotia were deported for not pledging allegiance to Britain. Many found their way to Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. Some ended up in France after Virginia shipped them out arguing that they were British subjects.

Finding life difficult in France, about 1 500 Acadians sailed to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a natural place to migrate to for Louisiana was French speaking and Catholic. Approximately 1 million residents of Louisiana trace their roots back to Acadia. From the Bayous to the Prairies, Acadian culture flourished and eventually they came to be known as the Cajuns. The word itself is a derivative of 'Acadien' which was shortened to 'Cadien' and eventually settled on 'Cajun.'

It is not surprising then, that the Conservative government of Nova Scotia, a relatively poor province, has offered $100 000 to the Canadian Red Cross to help in the relief efforts. The Canadian Red Cross is sending volunteers as well as other relief agencies. Another Maritime province, tiny Prince Edward Island (population 130 000) has also offered to help coordinate finding shelter for the displaced people of New Orleans.

The Canadian government has sent the Coast Guard vessel Sir William Alexander and the Canadian Navy has sent three warships; the HMCS Atahabasca, Ville de Quebec and Toronto. It has also sent three Sea King helicopters. All are carrying relief aid and humanitarian aid.

Canada is a country built on adventure. The people of New Orleans will learn about how incredibly resourceful and competent our soldiers are. I remember years ago when two Americans were stranded in Antarctica. With each passing day, the likelihood of them surviving was dwindling. Their only hope rested on the skill of the pilots of the Twin Otter sea planes from Canada. It was a risky rescue operation that not only had high probabilities of failing but it was also possible that the planes would be lost. On that day Canadian might and bravery prevailed and the Americans were rescued and safely returned. The wild Canadian spirit pulled it off.

Sources: CBC; 'Origins' - Canadian History to Confederation: Francis, Jones, Smith.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9/02/2005

    Seb Joins Socialtext
    I'm completely stoked to share the news that longtime M2M contributor Seb Paquet has joined Socialtext.
    Friendly Stranger
    hydroponic growing


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