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UMFK French Heritage Council to present Spring Colloquium "Les Champs et les forêts"

March 28, 2003


The University of Maine at Fort Kent French Heritage Council will present their Spring Colloquium entitled "Les Champs et les forêts", on Thursday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room.

One of the two presenters at the colloquium will be Louise Gravel Shea who will be speaking on "La Grande Riviére", which is the international area that encompasses Van Buren, Maine and St. Leonard New Brunswick.

Gravel Shea is the author of a publication entitled L'influence de la frontière canado-américaine sur la population de Grande-Rivière au Madawaska, that was published by la Société historique du Madawaska Inc in 2002.

The author will speak of her findings in the publication, in which she discusses the aftermath and impact of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842, and how it forever changed the two communities along the St. John River that were once one.

Before becoming an author and an historian, Gravel-Shea spent ten years as a travel agent, during which time she was fortunate enough to visit 70 different countries. At the age of 62, she realized another dream, that of obtaining a university education, when she enrolled at Quebec's Laval University.

Since that time, she has become a well-known Acadian historian.

The second presenter will be Kate Albert, a PhD candidate at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She will be presenting her proposed dissertation project entitled "A Political Ecology of Regional Change in the Acadian Forest".

Albert's project addresses the concept of community based forest (CBF) management, an increasingly popular idea in the American West that has been relatively unexplored in the privately owned industrial forests of northern New England.

In particular, she will be contrasting CBF-like projects between Maine and Quebec. Forest practice certification in Maine reflects a starkly different nature-society ideology from the tenant forest farms of the Canadian Model Forest program in Quebec.

Albert will address the key question "What is the potential of a shared place identity among francophone communities in Maine and Quebec to foster regional forest management planning and conflict resolution?"

"UMFK's French Heritage Council sponsors colloquiums every semester on topics related to the French culture in this region," said Tony Gauvin, chair of the French Heritage Council. "Last year we looked at education and bilingualism in the Valley, this year we are exploring "Les champs and Les forest" (the fields and forests). We invite everyone that has an interest in these topics to join us."

The colloquium is open to the public and admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

For more information or to discuss topics relating to the French culture in the St. John Valley for future presentations please contact Gauvin at