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UL Lafayette students to help search for New Acadia settlement

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This summer, some faculty and students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will try to trace the settlement of exiled Acadians around Loreauville, La., almost 250 years ago.

Their research is part of the New Acadia Project. Dr. Mark Rees, an archaeologist and associate professor of anthropology at UL Lafayette, said one of the project’s goals is to learn more about “Acadian settlement and history in south-central Louisiana by finding and investigating the original 1765 homesteads and associated unmarked burials. . . ”

“Students will begin archaeological survey and remote sensing at locations around Loreauville, identified through oral histories as high priority areas for the New Acadia settlements and unmarked burials,” Rees said.

Joseph “Beausoleil” Broussard guided the first Acadian settlers to Louisiana after they were forced from their native Acadie, or Nova Scotia, by British soldiers. When he and 192 others arrived in New Orleans in April 1765, the colonial government of Louisiana gave them land and cattle along the banks of the Bayou Teche in south Louisiana, somewhere between New Iberia and St. Martinville.

Earlier this month, the Iberia Parish Council approved a $50,000 allocation to the New Acadia Project. That brings the total amount raised by the New Acadia Project Steering Committee to more than $75,000.