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Sir John A. Macdonald

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Elementary Education in French
Original title:  Groupe d'écoliers au Couvent de Bouctouche, N.-B. vers 1900.

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For Acadians, a vital part of their struggle to retain their identity involved elementary schooling in French. Also important, but divisive, was education in the Roman Catholic religion. In 1871 many Acadians in New Brunswick opposed the introduction of a non-denominational school system. Théotime BLANCHARD’s biography explains the situation in Caraquet, where the tensions led to violence.

“Blanchard was a leading opponent of the Common Schools Act of 1871, objecting to the compulsory tax it imposed and its failure to fund sectarian schools. He chaired two meetings of Caraquet Acadians: one in August 1873, which called for separation of the school tax from other assessments and legitimate resistance to paying it, and one in November 1874, where parish officers were illegally elected by men not paying the tax.”

To find out about the problems Acadians faced in obtaining French-language schooling, and the divisions over denominational education, we invite you to explore the following biographies.

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