August 27, 2013
The Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes at the University of Maine at Fort Kent held its first Acadian Institute, a French immersion program for teachers of French, June 23-29.
Organized by Lise Pelletier, director of the Acadian Archives, and Dr. Raymond Pelletier, co-director of the Canadian-American Center of Orono, the Institute was an exploration of the geography, culture, history, literature, foods, and traditional arts of Acadia. Participants included professors of French, graduate students, and French teachers from the states of Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and Louisiana.
In the St. John Valley, in addition to seminars about Acadian and St. John Valley history, Acadians in Québec, the “Republic of Madawaska”, and the boundary conflict, the group visited UMFK's Acadian Archives and historic sites in Van Buren, Lille, St. David, Ste-Agathe, and Fort Kent.
Participants ate a traditional Acadian meal consisting of patates fricassées, turnips and carrots, chicken stew, ployes, sugar pie, and molasses cookies in UMFK's Nowland Hall.
During the evening, at the Archives, Les Chanteurs Acadiens entertained the group with traditional, as well as original, songs.
Upon leaving Fort Kent, the group took a field trip, which included a stop at the historic Acadian Village in Caraquet, New Brunswick; to the Land of the Sagouine in Bouctouche, New Brunswick; and a meeting with famed Acadian author, France Daigle.
The Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes at the University of Maine at Fort Kent documents, preserves, celebrates, and disseminates information about the culture, way of life, and history of the Franco-American and Acadian people of the Upper St John River Valley. A repository for manuscript materials and audio-visual documentation relevant to regional folklore, folk life, and history, the Archives serves the University community as well as individuals and organizations regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally.