Government of Canada recognizes the national historic significance of Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil
Throughout his life, Beausoleil led Acadian resistance against British rule and aided hundreds of Acadians resettle abroad
August 15, 2023 Gatineau, Quebec Parks Canada
Born in Port-Royal, Nova Scotia, in 1702, Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil was a leader of the Acadian resistance and holds an important place in the collective memory of Acadian communities in both Louisiana and the Maritime provinces. National historic designations encourage us to acknowledge the full scope of our history, both the triumphs and the struggles that define the story of Canada, and help us reflect on how to build a more inclusive society for present and future generations.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the designation of Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil as a person of national historic significance under Parks Canada’s National Program of Historical Commemoration.
In the 17th and early 18th centuries, Mi’kma’ki, the traditional homeland of the Mi’kmaq, was claimed by both French and British colonial interests. Benefitting from close relations with the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik, Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil conducted raids against British settlements, troops, and military posts, commanded a privateer, and avidly defended his Acadian compatriots, helping them to escape deportation and inspiring them to resist British rule.
Beausoleil refused to recognize the authority of the British Crown over Acadia. He refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the British Crown and comply with the restrictive conditions of resettlement imposed in Nova Scotia. Deeming these conditions to be unacceptable, Beausoleil chartered ships to Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), in December 1764, and the Mississippi River in February 1765 for Acadians to settle in these areas. Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil decided to settle in Louisiana where he was appointed militia captain and commander of the Acadians in the Attackapas region in April 1765.
The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, recognizes significant persons, places, and events that have shaped Canada. Sharing these stories helps foster understanding and reflection on the diverse histories, cultures, legacies, and realities of Canada’s past and present.
The designation process under Parks Canada’s National Program of Historical Commemoration is largely driven by public nominations. To date, more than 2,200 designations have been made nationwide. To nominate a person, place or historic event in your community, please visit the Parks Canada website for more information: https://parks.canada.ca/culture/designation/proposer-nominate.
“Today, on National Acadian Day, we recognize the national historic significance of Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil and remember his strong leadership and dedication to the Acadian people. Beausoleil’s legacy is remembered in Canada and beyond as he helped hundreds of Acadians resettle in places like Louisiana.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil is the embodiment of the Acadian spirit of resistance. He is a figure whose actions go beyond the borders of Acadia and who played a crucial role in the survival of the Acadian people in Canada and Louisiana. His name will also be remembered as it gave birth to a very famous musical group in Acadia (Beausoleil-Broussard).”
President, Nation Prospère Acadie
After the 1630s, French settlers, known as Acadians, established farms and created communities in the Maritimes, which became known as Acadia. In 1713, war between the colonial powers of France and Britain led to the Treaty of Utrecht, which resulted in France ceding their claim to mainland Acadia to the British. Some Acadians, including Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, refused to recognize the authority of the British Crown over Acadia.
In October 1765, Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil died from a yellow fever epidemic that struck the Attackapas region of Louisiana.
Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national significance of persons, places, and events that have marked Canada’s history. Together with Parks Canada, the Board ensures that subjects of national historic significance are recognized under Parks Canada’s National Program of Historical Commemoration and these important stories are shared with Canadians.
Parks Canada is committed to working with Canadians in our efforts to tell broader, more inclusive stories in the places that it manages. In support of this goal, the Framework for History and Commemoration outlines a comprehensive, and engaging approach to sharing Canada’s history through diverse perspectives, including shedding light on tragic and difficult periods of Canada’s past.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
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