Vive l’Acadie éduqué! How the 1968-1969 Acadian Student Demonstrations Redefined "Acadianité" and French-Canadian Education


  • Kad Mariano


In 1968-1969, Acadian university students protested against inequities present in New Brunswick’s bilingual education system. These students reconceptualized historical understandings of acadianité, the essence of Acadian identity, to redefine their relationship with Anglo-Canadian governance. This paper analyzes the historical progression of acadianité and its connection with New Brunswick’s French-Canadian education system. In the 1960s, the Acadian students viewed themselves as a colonized people within an English-dominated province, redefining the Acadian imagined community. This idea contradicts the dominant Anglo-Canadian narrative of “two communities living equally.” Using this conceptualization, the Acadian students mobilized to establish a dual English and French school system within New Brunswick. This semi-integrated system provided Acadians with the means for economic and linguistic development in a society that historically oppressed them. This paper also argues that the Université de Moncton was at the confluence of Acadian nationalism and governmental power. Because of its political position, the university fostered and became the medium for these student demonstrations. The 1968-1969 Acadian student protests reconceptualized Acadian nationalism and transformed Anglo-Franco relations within New Brunswick. They defied the socio-political assumptions embedded into New Brunswick society, including Acadian compliance and English dominance. This paper then details the implications of these protests on Indigenous identity and a separate Indigenous-oriented education system. Ultimately, this paper questions the relationship between education, educational institutions, and the imagined community that education serves. Education is consequently an institution that improves or limits a community’s socio-political development and its ability to develop a national identity.




How to Cite

Mariano, K. (2022). Vive l’Acadie éduqué! How the 1968-1969 Acadian Student Demonstrations Redefined "Acadianité" and French-Canadian Education. Revue YOUR Review (York Online Undergraduate Research), 9. Retrieved from



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