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A Changing World: Education in New Brunswick

Centre d'études acadiennes

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Introduction:

During the second half of the 19th century Acadia made perceptible progress in the field of education. Acadian boys and girls setting out for school in the early morning had no idea of the issues at stake. Some people were affected more than others by the unsettled state of affairs in the education system: the teacher denied her rightful place in the new school, the parish priest aware that Acadian schoolchildren did not have an equal chance, the provincial civil servant who wanted to help by confronting the problem but lacked the resources to do anything.

A number of New Brunswickers succeeded in bringing about decisive changes that were to tip the balance in favour of better education in their province. What Acadians needed better-trained teachers, school books in French, and the tools and resources vital for classrooms: a good education was the guarantee of their future.


69.30.249
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Stove
Amherst Foundry Co.
About 1890, 19th century
Metal
80 x 40 x 40 cm
Gift of M. Abel Doucet
69.30.249
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

Before the first schoolhouses were built in the 1850s, young Acadians were taught by travelling teachers who boarded with local families. The peripatetic instructor made sure to provide the pupils with a basic general education before moving to the next school.

After the 1850s most communities had a schoolhouse run by a teacher. It was not, however, attended by all the children of the parish, as only those whose families had the means to pay could pursue their studies. Indeed, children of poor families often had to quit school in order to help at home. But despite the high rate of absenteeism and the lack of teaching materials, the assembly at the end of the school year was a popular event. The whole parish came to see the ceremonies and presentations and to applaud the students' results.

What:

The now-defunct Robb Engineering Company Limited manufactured not only various types of stoves but also steam engines and boilers used, among things, for building electric tramlines.

Where:

The Robb Engineering Company Limited was established in Amherst, Nova Scotia, in 1865. It was one of the biggest foundries in Canada, exporting to England and even Australia.

When:

In the early-20th century the wood or coal stove in the middle of the schoolroom kept pupils and teacher warm and able to concentrate on class work in cold weather.

Who:

Alexander Robb established a cast-iron foundry later to be called the Robb Engineering Company Limited.

70.6.18
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Slate and pencil
About 1920, 20th century
32.4 x 26.5 cm
Gift of Frère Arsène Morin, c.s.c.
70.6.18
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

The schoolmistress taught all the grades. If she was fortunate, the older pupils were able to help her with the youngest ones. She was entirely responsible for all the classes and had to follow the official school syllabus. The school day of a century and a half ago was divided up much as it is today: a mid-morning recess, an hour for lunch and another recess in the afternoon.

Disillusioned by poor working conditions like low salaries, inadequate teaching materials and absenteeism, many young schoolmistresses left the schools they had been assigned to. They often asked to be transferred, which upset the continuity of the teaching in the schools concerned.

What:

Slate-pencils were used to write on a slate, which was wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Where:

At the start of the school year parents went to the general store to buy slates for the children to take to school.

When:

In Acadia slates were used for schoolwork from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century.

Who:

In the schoolroom the boys and girls wrote on slates.

73.3.7
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Drawing
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
50.5 x 40.5 cm
Gift of M. & Mme Edmond Gray
73.3.7
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

Education was an important issue in the thinking of many Acadian men and women. Notable among them was the Abbé Marcel-François Richard (1847-1915), a priest who did not hesitate to condemn injustice wherever he found it. Thus he was at the forefront when the time came to protest against the provincial school laws enacted in 1871.

According to Father Richard, "education, in our day, is a more powerful tool than ever, and all peoples rightly regard it as vital to their national life". (1881)

The passing of the Schools Act of 1871 threatened the very existence of Catholic schools, and thus had a direct effect on education in New Brunswick. Father Richard felt he had to act. He was the first Acadian to establish an institution of higher education in New Brunswick, a boys' secondary school with a classical curriculum. It opened its doors in 1874 in the parish of Saint-Louis, where Father Richard was the parish priest.

What:

This is a drawing of Marcel-François Richard, parish priest of Saint-Louis-de-Kent from 1870 to 1886.

Where:

Marcel-François Richard was parish priest in Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick, and later in Rogersville in the same province.

When:

Marcel-François Richard was born in 1847 and died in 1915.

Who:

Marcel-François Richard, seen here, was the youngest child of Pierre-Luc Richard and Marie-Tharsile Barriault.

PA1-2968
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
Photograph
Convent students, Bouctouche, N.B.
Cormier Photo
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
Paper
12 x 17 cm
PA1-2968
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes

Keys to History:

When the Common Schools Act, the bill regarding non-denominational schools, was promulgated by New Brunswick's legislative assembly in 1871, the government was quite unprepared for the storm of protest that arose from both English-speaking and French-speaking Catholics. This law, generally known as the King Act (George Edwin King, who had introduced the bill, was premier by the time it passed), prohibited the teaching of religion and the wearing of the religious habit in schools, and obliged teachers in religious orders to obtain certification from the province. The King Act also threatened French teaching in schools and so affronted Acadian nationalists. The vehement opposition to the law led to a boycott of state schools and the creation of private schools, some of which even refused to pay the school tax.

What:

Here we see the characteristic « habit » worn by the teaching nuns of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception.

Where:

The photograph shows a typical early-20th-century schoolroom.

When:

The convent at Bouctouche was founded in 1880. The Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception ran it from 1880 to 1924.

Who:

The convent at Bouctouche, New Brunswick, was established by the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception.

1994.450
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Postcard
St. Joseph's College, Westmorland Co., N.B.
The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co., Ltd
About 1910, 20th century
8.8 x 13.7 cm
1994.450
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

The founding of the Collège Saint-Joseph in 1864 heralded a bright new future for the education of the Acadian community in New Brunswick. However, the College was bilingual, and some prominent Acadians felt that English was predominant. The preservation of the French language was always of primary importance to Acadian leaders like Monsignor Marcel-François Richard. The imposition of the King Act of 1871 cast a pall over the spirit of renewal in education then apparent in New Brunswick, where the founding of the Collège Saint-Joseph had seemed to promise better times. As a result of the bill's enactment a number of private schools were established by and for the Acadian community.

What:

Collège Saint-Joseph, seen in this postcard, was the predecessor of the Université de Moncton, New Brunswick.

Where:

Boys came from all over New Brunswick and elsewhere to obtain a good education at Collège Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, New Brunswick.

When:

Collège Saint-Joseph was founded in 1864. In 1953 the Université du Collège Saint-Joseph transferred some of its teaching staff to Moncton, and the Université de Moncton was created in 1963.

Who:

College Saint-Joseph was founded by Father Camille LeFebvre, c.s.c.

XX.1706
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Photograph
His Eminence Monsignor James Rogers, bishop of Chatham, N.B.
1892, 19th century
Paper
11.2 x 8.3 cm
XX.1706
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

James Rogers (1826-1903), a native of Ireland, arrived in Canada in 1831. He was ordained a priest in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1851. When appointed bishop of the new diocese of Chatham, New Brunswick in 1860 he began to play a major role in improving education in the province.

In 1868 he was instrumental in bringing the Montreal order of the Religieuses Hospitalières de St-Joseph to set up a convent in Tracadie, New Brunswick. The nuns settled into their new surroundings, taking charge of the lazaretto or quarantine hospital where they cared for the sick. In 1869 he invited the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame to come and establish convents in Newcastle, Bathurst, Caraquet and Saint-Louis.

What:

This picture of Monsignor James Rogers was published in L'Illustration du Journal Le Moniteur Acadien on 1 July 1892.

Where:

In 1831 James Rogers left Ireland to settle in Canada with his family.

When:

Monsignor James Rogers was ordained a priest in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 2 July 1851.

Who:

Monsignor James Rogers was born in Mount Charles, Ireland on 11 July 1826.

1990.171
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Postcard
Holy Family Convent, Tracadie, N.B.
Photogelatine Engraving Co. Limited
About 1910, 20th century
7 x 13.5 cm
1990.171
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

On arriving in 1868 the Religieuses Hospitalières de St-Joseph de Montréal took over the Lazaretto (quarantine hospital). Things were difficult at first, as no money was forthcoming from the provincial government. It was thanks to generous donors like the parish priest of Tracadie, the Abbé Ferdinand Edmond Gauvreau (1806-1875) that they were able to get by. The Lazaretto became the first French-language hospital in New Brunswick. The sisters later founded other houses in Chatham (1869), Saint-Basile (1873) and Campbellton (1888), devoting themselves to both nursing and teaching. The Académie Sainte-Famille, which opened in 1912, accepted both boys and girls who enrolled for theory classes.

What:

The old Académie Sainte-Famille building now houses Tracadie's historical museum.

Where:

The Religieuses Hospitalières de St-Joseph made their presence felt in the north of the province mainly through their hospital work but also through their teaching.

When:

Construction of the Académie Sainte-Famille began in 1910 and ended in 1912.

Who:

Mother Marie Pagé was founder and Mother Superior in Tracadie, New Brunswick. She moved there with eight nuns in 1868.

66.118.549.a
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
School desk
About 1920, 20th century
Wood
73.5 x 106.7 x 72 cm
Gift of Religieuses Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur
66.118.549.a
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

The schools act of 1837 established school boards to which those who wished to obtain a teaching diploma had to apply. The examinations candidates were required to pass included not only tests of their literary knowledge but also an evaluation of their abilities and comportment. In 1842, following an attempt to reform the system, teaching diplomas were cancelled; only those applicants judged competent by the examiners of the county education committee could obtain a new diploma from the governor.

It was after these new directives had been implemented that a teachers' college was founded in New Brunswick in 1847 to train schoolmasters and schoolmistresses.

What:

The two holes in the top of the desk held inkwells.

Where:

The teacher's desk often stood on a dais to emphasize her or his authority.

When:

Desks like this one were used until the mid-1950s.

Who:

These desks were shared by two pupils, and even three in the case of the youngest children.

7.2-4
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
Account book
Valentin Landry
1879-1880, 19th century
23.6 x 21.3 x 1.5 cm
7.2-4
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes

Keys to History:

After the promulgation of the Common Schools Act two teachers' training colleges, one in Saint-Jean (operating from 1848 to 1870) and the other in Chatham (open from 1867 to 1870), closed down and a new college was established in Fredericton in 1870. English was the language used for instruction, and very few francophones went to train there. In a report dated 1878 the superintendent of public schools T. H. Rand suggested the creation of preparatory classes for French speakers who wished to obtain a provincial teaching diploma. The teacher of French hired for the post, Valentin Landry (1844-1919), was an Acadian from Pokemouche, New Brunswick, who then moved to Fredericton to pursue his new career at the Fredericton college of education. He left this post the following year to become inspector of schools.

What:

The exercise book contains notes on his inspection of a number of schools in New Brunswick.

Where:

Valentin Landry was responsible for inspecting schools in the counties of Gloucester and Kent and some in Westmorland, New Brunswick.

When:

Valentin Landry was inspector of schools from 1879 to 1887.

Who:

As the initials V.A.L. on the cover show, these notes were written by Valentin Landry.

XX.2473
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Photograph
About 1890, 19th century
10.3 x 7.1 cm
XX.2473
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

Trained as a primary-school teacher, Valentin Landry (1844-1919) obtained a first-class diploma from the teachers' training college in Truro, Nova Scotia, in 1868. He worked for some years in Nova Scotia before finally returning to teach in New Brunswick. Little did he know, when he accepted the position of French teacher in the Fredericton training college, that in 1879 he would become the first Acadian inspector of schools in the province. His baileywick as inspector comprised the counties of Gloucester and Kent and part of Westmorland. The gaps in the school system and the inadequacy of the primary school teachers' training soon became apparent to him, and he began to work hard to obtain school books in French and to improve the educational system of French-speaking New Brunswickers.

What:

As well as becoming the first Acadian schools inspector in New Brunswick, Valentin Landry was the founder of the newspaper L'Évangéline, published in Digby, Nova Scotia. The first edition was published on 23 November 1887.

Where:

Valentin Landry studied at Collège Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, New Brunswick and at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

When:

Valentin Landry was born in Pokemouche in 1844 and died in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1919.

Who:

Jérôme Boudreau succeeded Valentin Landry as inspector of schools.

PB1-40
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
Photograph
Normal School, Fredericton, 1885
1885, 19th century
Paper
12.7 x 17.6 cm
PB1-40
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes

Keys to History:

Pierre-Amand Landry (1846-1916) and other Acadian leaders put pressure on the provincial government for a preparatory department for francophone students who wished to receive their teachers' training in French. New Brunswick's future schoolmasters and schoolmistresses had attended training schools since 1848, but courses were still not offered in French. In 1884 a French Department was established at the training college, and Alphée Belliveau, who had succeeded Valentin Landry, became its chairman. He was to occupy the position until 1920.

What:

The training college or "normal school" in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was dedicated to fostering the art of teaching and also that of communicating.

Where:

Alphée Belliveau's house in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was a gathering place for Acadians passing through the provincial capital.

When:

In 1850 the teachers' training college in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was destroyed by fire.

Who:

Marie Babineau, seen in this photograph (second row, second from the left), sewed the star on the first Acadian flag. In the centre (the ringed head) is Alphée Belliveau, chairman of the French Department of the Fredericton teachers' training college.

XX.2306
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Photograph
Dr Marguerite Michaud
About 1970, 20th century
Paper
7.3 x 6.7 cm
XX.2306
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

In the late-19th century women had to struggle to achieve their rightful place in many spheres. When the simple right of admission to a teachers' training school required certain rulings of the legislature to be changed, the road must have seemed a long one.

Training colleges that formerly admitted men only opened its doors to women in 1848-1849. When Martha Hamm Lewis (1831-1892) was accepted in 1849 as a student at the college in Saint John, New Brunswick, she had to obtain a decree from the Lieutenant Governor, the honorable Edmund Head (1805-1868), to be able to register and attend classes.

For some years most of the francophones registered at the normal school were Acadian women. But the phenomenon was not limited to Acadians in New Brunswick: schoolmistresses were becoming the majority of primary-school teachers all across Canada.

It was thanks to those pioneers and to the ambitions of some francophones that Dr. Marguerite Michaud (1903-1982) became in 1961 the first woman to occupy the position of assistant principal of the Teachers' College in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Dr. Michaud never forgot the struggle and achievement of her French-speaking countrywomen.

What:

At the age of thirteen her hard work and excellent scholastic results earned Marguerite Michaud a medal from the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.

Where:

Marguerite Michaud studied at a number of institutions including St. Mary's Academy in Newcastle, New Brunswick and the Université de Montréal, in Quebec.

When:

Marguerite Michaud was born on 4 July 1903 in Bouctouche, New Brunswick. She died in 1982.

Who:

In 1923 Marguerite Michaud became the first Acadian woman to obtain a university degree: a B.A. from Saint-François-Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

XX.1705
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Ribbon
Oscar Gagnon
1928, 20th century
12.4 x 4.1 cm
XX.1705
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

In 1902 in Waltham, Massachusetts, Acadians who had emigrated to New England organized a rally during which the idea of a mutual benefit or friendly society was mooted. One such, the Société mutuelle l'Assomption that was founded the following year with the goal of improving the socio-economic conditions of Acadians in New England, had its members' interests at heart and worked at protecting and defending their religion, language and traditions. In the wake of its huge success, this friendly society expanded; quickly establishing branches all over the United States and the Maritime provinces of Canada. In 1913 the financial institution moved its head office to Moncton, New Brunswick and continued to play a significant social and cultural role in Acadian society, supporting the universities and various French-speaking organizations.

What:

The success of the Société l'Assomption was largely due to its local branches, which enabled Acadians from all over the province to develop the various socio-economic networks that would help Acadian communities to grow and thrive.

Where:

The Société l'Assomption head office is now housed in the tallest building in Moncton, New Brunswick, the l'Assomption Building on Main Street.

When:

From 1914 on, life insurance was one of the services offered by the Friendly Society.

Who:

The symbol chosen to represent the Société mutuelle l'Assomption was, naturally, Our Lady of the Assumption, the Blessed Virgin, as can be seen in the badge at the end of the ribbon.

XX.1865
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Ribbon
1911, 20th century
Silk
2.1 x 11.2 cm
Gift of L'Abbé Jos. A. L'Archevêque
XX.1865
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

Until the early-20th century Acadian primary-school teachers had no association of their own, but took part in the pedagogical meetings of anglophone instructors organized by the Teachers' Institute.

It was with the aim of starting a similar association that in 1911 the Abbé Désiré F. Léger (1855-1939), a member of the board of the Société mutuelle l'Assomption, organized the first French-language teachers' conference in Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick. He wanted Acadian schoolteachers to be kept abreast of new methods of teaching and to use their association to improve their pedagogical skills.

What:

To provide themselves with meetings where they would feel comfortable speaking French, in 1911 Acadian primary-school teachers organized the first francophone teachers' conference.

Where:

Abbé Léger studied theology at the Grand Séminaire in Quebec City.

When:

New Brunswick's anglophone teachers had held their own pedagogical conferences since the 1850s.

Who:

Abbé Désiré F. Léger wrote poetry in his spare time. His poems were published mostly in Acadian newspapers.

13.1-7
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
Manuscript
Philias F. Bourgeois
1901, 20th century
Paper
20.2 x 16.6 x 0.2 cm
Gift of M. Philias F. Bourgeois
13.1-7
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes

Keys to History:

In the early-20th century there was great need for schoolbooks in French among the Acadian population of New Brunswick, and solutions were sought to the problem of lack of funds. Aware of the lack of Acadian teaching materials, Philias-F. Bourgeois (1855-1913) wrote a history of Canada in French to be used in Acadian schools. It was at this time that truly Acadian schoolbooks began to appear. Philias-F. Bourgeois, a proud patriot from Pré-d'en-Haut, New Brunswick, was no stranger to writing; it was an occupation to which he devoted much of his life. He also wrote articles for the newspapers Le Moniteur Acadien and L'Évangéline.

What:

This hand-written version of the Histoire du Canada was the rough copy for the first schoolbook written in French in New Brunswick.

Where:

Philias-F. Bourgeois was born in the Memramcook Valley, New Brunswick, in 1855 and died there in 1913.

When:

The Histoire du Canada was first published in 1903.

Who:

In addition to teaching primary school, Philias-F. Bourgeois was also a Catholic priest, a historian and a journalist.

71.80.277(8)
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
School book
The First Reading-Book
T. Nelson and Sons
1905, 20th century
15.9 x 10.7 x 1 cm
Gift of M. Alban Maillet
71.80.277(8)
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

Leaders in the Acadian community wanted to see more French-speakers in the administration of education in New Brunswick. They were much relieved when early in the century the list of school inspectors cited the appointment of J. Flavien Doucet and Charles D. Hébert. Doucet became inspector of schools in the counties of Gloucester and Madawaska; Hébert was the inspector of schools for Kent, the Frenchspeaking parishes of Westmorland and the parish of Rogersville, all in New Brunswick.

At this time the small number of books in French used in the province's public schools was another cause for concern among prominent Acadian citizens.

What:

This bi-lingual reader has French on one page and English on the other.

Where:

This schoolbook was probably used in the southeast of New Brunswick.

When:

Students moved on to a new textbook once they had absorbed the content, not necessarily at the start of the school year as is the case nowadays.

Who:

Schoolbooks were expensive, and students took great care of them so that they could be used for years on end.

XX.337
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Terrestial globe
Newton's New and Improved Terrestrial Globe
Newton & Son
1816, 19th century
39 cm
Gift of Musée du Collège Saint-Joseph
XX.337
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

Primary-school children studied many different subjects. They included reading, writing, mathematics, grammar, dictation, scripture, history, spelling and a little geography.

For example, in the monthly report of an 11th grade pupil at the turn of the 20th century marks are given for the following subjects: catechism, French reading, grammar, deportment, politeness, silence in class, English language, homework journals, scripture, geography, arithmetic, mental arithmetic and handwriting.

What:

For many years in New Brunswick teaching tools were so few and valuable that instructors used some instruments over and over again. Terrestrial globes were even altered at times so as to update them.

Where:

The terrestrial globe is an educational tool still found today in school classrooms.

When:

Terrestrial globes were used in geography classes.

Who:

After the lessons were well learned and the notebooks tidied away, the teacher would sometimes tell the children stories about distant lands.

PB1-72
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
Photograph
Commander Albert M. Sormany
Studio Laforte
About 1960, 20th century
Paper
25.1 x 20.1 cm
Gift of Dr. Sormany
PB1-72
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes

Keys to History:

Albert M. Sormany (1885-1970) played a leading role in improving Acadian education in New Brunswick. Bettering the school system was his primary concern, as is evident from the voluntary work he did for Acadian institutions. He was an ardent nationalist, always fighting for Acadian rights. His devotion to the cause led him to put pressure on the then Minister of Education, John B. McNair (Liberal, 1940-1952), to provide summer schools in French for Acadian schoolteachers so that they could polish their skills, as their English-speaking peers were able to do. Sormany was also founder and chairman of the Association acadienne d'éducation (AAE), founded in 1936.

What:

Every year the Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick awards the A. M. Sormany prize to Acadian men and women who have contributed to advancing the Acadian cause.

Where:

Albert M. Sormany studied medicine at Université Laval.

When:

Albert M. Sormany practised medicine in Edmundston, New Brunswick, from 1910.

Who:

Albert M. Sormany was a member of the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier until it ceased to exist in 1964. It was a secret society founded to help French-speaking federal civil servants to achieve more standing within the public service.

1997.158
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Mask
1935-1955, 20th century
10 x 20 cm
Gift of Centre d'études acadiennes
1997.158
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

The Ordre de Jacques-Cartier was a secret society founded in Vanier, Ottawa, with the goal of helping French-speaking federal civil servants to find jobs in public service. The organisation was inspired by patriotism and religious faith. Although the society's rules and activities had to remain secret, that did not prevent it from conveying messages it considered important.

With the establishing of chapters known as "commanderies of the order" in 1934 in Campbellton, New Brunswick, the new members were confident that they could influence political and public policy to further the "French fact" in the province. Not surprisingly, the commanderies pitched in to help organize the first meetings of the future Association acadienne d'éducation (AAE). This secret society held meetings in New Brunswick until the mid-1960s.

What:

These masks were used by the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier in initiation ceremonies.

Where:

The Ordre de Jacques-Cartier was founded in Vanier, Ontario, near Ottawa, on 22 October 1926.

When:

During the initiation ceremony of the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier, before the masks were taken off, the song M'en revenant de la jolie Rochelle was sung.

Who:

Among members of the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier there were representatives of the Acadian upper classes from many spheres of professional activity.

XX.1704
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Book
Frère Léopold, c.s.c.
1945, 20th century
Paper
26 x 18 cm
XX.1704
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

The courses leading to the teaching diploma offered by the Teachers' College were mainly given in English. During the Great Depression of the 1930s fewer francophone candidates applied to the college, and the problem of Acadian teachers without a teaching diploma persisted. Monsignor Arthur Melanson (1879-1941) was among those advocating summer schools for Acadian teachers so that they could complete their training. Monsignor Melanson, Brother Léopold Taillon (1895-1969) and many others worked hard for the establishment of a Teaching School at the Université Saint-Joseph. They realized that they had to act quickly to provide a future for the French speakers of the province.

What:

Through summer school at Université Saint-Joseph Acadians could obtain a teaching diploma, various certificates (I toV), a degree in teaching (B.E.E.), an arts degree (B.A.), or a bachelor's (B. Péd.) or master's degree in pedagogy.

Where:

Acadian teachers came from all over the province of New Brunswick to attend teaching courses at Université Saint-Joseph.

When:

Summer courses were offered at Université Saint-Joseph from 1938 to 1955.

Who:

Between 1938 and 1955 some 200 primary-school teachers attended summer school at Université Saint-Joseph.

XX.1105
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Pin and tag
1938, 20th century
13 x 4 cm
XX.1105
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

The Association acadienne d'éducation (AAE) was born at the 10th national Acadian conference in Memramcook in 1937. Discussions on the establishment of the association had taken place the year before. The commanders of the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier of New Brunswick, a secret society that defended francophone interests in the fields of education, politics, social affairs, religion and economics, had laid the foundation of the association during a special meeting held in Campbellton, New Brunswick. Their concerns centred on the standard of education in French, the training of Acadian teachers and their working conditions. The Association proved to be of great use in maintaining French in New Brunswick 's primary schools.

What:

A theatrical performance was given to raise the funds necessary to hold the first conference of the AAE.

Where:

The AAE conference was held in Bathurst, New Brunswick.

When:

As the ribbon shows, the first conference of the Association acadienne d'éducation took place on 30 and 31 August 1938.

Who:

Five hundred people attended the first meeting of the Association acadienne d'éducation in 1938.

1993.281
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Ribbon
1959, 20th century
8 x 5.6 cm
Gift of Centre d'études acadiennes
1993.281
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton

Keys to History:

By establishing these teachers' groups, Acadians hoped to provide services not available from the New Brunswick Teachers' Association. These groups gave them the opportunity to meet to discuss the problems endemic to their profession and to hear lectures on education in French. It was at the conference of the Association acadienne d'éducation (AAE) in Bathurst in 1946 that the Association of Acadian teachers of New Brunswick was founded. In 1967 it became the Association of francophone teachers of New Brunswick. As always, its primary concerns were the interests of its members and the enhancement of education in the French language.

What:

This was the ribbon worn by delegates to the 10th anniversary of the Association des instituteurs acadiens held in Restigouche, New Brunswick, in 1959.

Where:

The archives of the Association des instituteurs acadiens are held in the Centre d'études acadiennes at the Université de Moncton.

When:

In 1967 the Association des instituteurs acadiens became the Association des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick.

Who:

Alban Daigle, an Edmundston primary-school teacher, was the first chairman of the Association des instituteurs acadiens from 1946 to 1947.

Conclusion:

Thanks to the efforts of earlier generations, Acadian society in New Brunswick has access nowadays to a network of colleges and universities that provide education entirely in French. Acadian men and women can continue their education in French from kindergarten to university. The community, while remaining vigilant about its rights, is justly proud of its achievements, from the establishment of schoolhouses in the 1850s to the founding of the Association of francophone teachers of New Brunswick in 1967.

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Voir l'histoire [on line]


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