Little history lesson in answer to your question: Cajuns are cousins of
the Acadians. The Acadians are those people originally from the Loire
Valley in France who came to the Americas in the mid-1600's and settled
in the Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia et.al.). They were prosperous.
They were displaced after the war between the US and England. Some came
to the St. John Valley and some, their cousins, went to Louisiana. The
word Cajun is a corruption of the word Acadian, which is pronounced
The banner is a matter entirely up to the town; I won't promote it or
discourage it, but I do think we do not need the insurance liability.
If you know anything about the law and insurance you know that a simple
disclaimer won't cut it.
Yes, it is an effort to help people from the rest of the country to
know that there is a whole different world tucked away in the boreal
forest here, and a fine state university campus--the most progressive
and successful of the seven state campuses considering its size. The
campus has a state of the art Acadian Archives building and a terrific
new Adirondack style dormitory. The first thing that visitors notice
about Fort Kent seems to be the casual friendliness. No one locks
doors, you never hear arguments, there is a strong sense of
cooperation. The area is bilingual, with some speaking only French and
some speaking only English. There are literally no strangers here as
everyone knows everyone else and the university students are quickly
integrated into the community. The border with Canada only recently
(with the 9-11 disaster) became an inconvenience sometimes; before that
the communities flowed freely back and forth. We might have some
activities or workshops in Edmundston, NB, at our sister university,
and at the arboretum in St. Jacques. (Note: passports will now be
required even to walk across the bridge, compliments of the US.) When
you come here you are stepping into another culture entirely. I'll
send some promotional material later that you can reproduce as
handouts, as well as whatever I can pick up from the chamber of
commerce. This trip I see as an opportunity because eventually the
whole country will be paved and this will be lost with the chains like
McDonald's, RedRoof Inns, etc. replacing local businesses, and with
change in commerce comes change in culture.
Next installment: the forest and the river and the critters found there.
On May 20, 2008, at 7:07 PM, Gail Guth wrote:
> Hi, Joan -
> Wow, a town welcome! That is impressive, and sounds like a lot of fun.
> I am looking forward to the Acadian music, but what is "cousin Cajun"?
> I'm guessing similar to Cajun, which I love to hear. Lively is the
> I personally think we deserve a banner! We can put a disclaimer on it
> in small print ("If you pass under this banner, you do so at your own
> So sorry to hear about your roof, and moreso that you are low on the
> repairs list, but I guess you are happy just to have a home in one
> piece. What a nightmare with so many homes ruined.
> I'm sure many are surprised that northern Maine has a university! We
> will definitely do some "educatin'".
> I'm not sure about the guidelines... Gretchen?
> hang in there,