The Acadians

In Search of a Homeland

Publisher: Anchor Canada
An evocative and beautifully written history of some of Canada’s earliest settlers, and their search for a definitive home.

In 1604, a small group of migrants fled political turmoil and famine in France to start a new colony on Canada’s east coast. Their roughly demarcated territory included what are now Canada’s Maritime provinces, land that was fought over by the British and French empires until the Acadians were finally expelled in 1755. Their diaspora persists to this day.

The Acadians is the definitive history of a little-known part of the North American past, and the quintessential story of a people in search of their identity. In the absence of a state, what defines an Acadian is elusive and while today’s Acadian community centred in New Brunswick is more confident than ever, it is entering a contentious debate about its future.

James Laxer’s compelling book brilliantly explores one of Canada’s oldest and most distinct cultural groups, and shows how their complex, often tragic history reflects the larger problems facing Canada and the world today.

From the Hardcover edition.



Acadie in Question

It was the last day for the Acadians at Grand Pré, the last day for them to live normal lives in the community they had built over the past century. On the morrow the soldiers would arrive on British ships. Their commander had received instructions from Charles...
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“Laxer is in his element, using biography, diplomatic correspondence, journals and a bit of archaeology to give a terrifically lively account of the Acadians’ culture and efforts to preserve their Eden from colonial powers.”
–Calgary Herald

Praise for The Border:

“At once magisterial and entertaining . . . an essential contribution to our knowledge of our country, and our relationship with our southern neighbours.”
Edmonton Journal