Shane K. Bernard



Shane K. Bernard, a New Iberia native, is historian and curator of McIlhenny Company, the producer of TABASCO® brand pepper sauce, and Avery Island, Inc. He is the author of Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues, The Cajuns: Americanization of a People, TABASCO®: An Illustrated History and Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: A Young Reader's History.


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Les Cadiens et leurs ancêtres acadiens l'histoire racontée aux jeunes

Originally published in 2008 in English, Shane K. Bernard's Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: A Young Reader's History has now been issued in French.

Les Cadiens et leurs ancêtres acadiens : l'histoire racontée aux jeunes retrace le périple de quatre siècles de ce groupe ethnique nord-américain distinct des autres. Accessible aux adolescents, ce volume s'avérera également utile et pratique pour le lecteur adulte qui cherche à connaître à la fois ce peuple remarquable et ses ancêtres.

Le récit suit la trace des Acadiens, les premiers ancêtres des Cadiens, de la France du dix-septième siècle à la Nouvelle-Écosse, là où ils se sont épanouis jusqu'à ce que des soldats britanniques les expulsent lors de cet évènement tragique que fut Le grand dérangement -- un triste épisode qui a débuté en 1755 et que nombre d'historiens modernes considèrent comme un parfait exemple de nettoyage ethnique, voire de génocide. Près de trois mille survivants ont (péniblement) traversé les treize colonies américaines pour se rendre jusqu'en Louisiane, alors sous le régime espagnol. Là, ils s'installent à nouveau, s'intègrent à la population locale par le biais du mariage et forment peu à peu ce qu'il est aujourd'hui convenu d'appeler le peuple cadien. Aujourd'hui, on compte plus d'un demi-million d'habitants d'origine cadienne en Louisiane.

Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: A Young Reader's History traces the 400 year history of this distinct American ethnic group. In its original English, the book proves a perfect package, comprehensible to junior high and high school students while appealing to and informing adult readers seeking a one-volume exploration of these remarkable people and their predecessors. For the first time, it is available in French.

The narrative follows the Cajuns' early ancestors, the Acadians, from 17th century France to Nova Scotia, where they flourished until British soldiers expelled them in a tragic event called Le Grand Dérangement (The Great Upheaval) — an episode regarded by many historians as an instance of ethnic cleansing or genocide. Up to half of the Acadian population died from disease, starvation, exposure or outright violence in the expulsion. Nearly 3,000 survivors journeyed through the 13 American colonies to Spanish-controlled Louisiana where they resettled, intermarried with members of the local population and evolved into today's more than half-million Cajun people. Since their arrival in Louisiana, the Cajuns have developed an unmistakable identity and a strong sense of ethnic pride.

In recent decades, Cajuns have contributed their lively cuisine and accordion and fiddle dance music to American popular culture. Les Cadiens et leurs ancêtres acadiens: l'histoire racontée aux jeunes includes numerous images and more than a dozen sidebars on topics ranging from Cajun music to horse racing heroes to Mardi Gras. Shane K. Bernard's welcomed and cherished history of the Cajun people, translated into French by Faustine Hillard, offers a long-sought immersion text, ideal for the young learner and adult alike.

Intended to appeal to both native French speakers and English-speaking students who are learning French, this French translation of Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: A Young Reader's History is perfect for middle school and high school readers enrolled in conversational and French immersion classes. Adult readers of French will also find it a useful primer of Acadian and Cajun history.


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