Gregory Kennedy is Associate Professor and Research Director of the Acadian Studies Institute at the Université de Moncton

Acadians of the St. John River Speaker Series: A Path Not Taken: the Middle Ground along the Wolastoq/St. John River, 1654-1690 by Gregory Kennedy

The failure to achieve middle ground between 17th century Indigenous, French and English historical actors on the Wolastoq / St. John River will be the focus of a presentation by historian Gregory Kennedy in the Acadians of the St. John River Speaker Series.

This FREE event takes place Thursday, November 7 at 7.00 pm at Government House, 51 Woodstock Road, Fredericton. Refreshments will be served and the public is welcome to attend.

Gregory Kennedy is Associate Professor of History and Research Director of the Acadian Studies Institute at the Université de Moncton. He explains that for a relatively brief moment, during the second half of the 17th century, there appeared to be an opportunity to construct a more peaceful world built on trade, negotiation, and common meaning.

“Indigenous homelands such as Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kma’ki could exist alongside and overlap with colonies like Maine and Acadie,” Kennedy says. “This path, which held much promise for Indigenous, French, and English historical actors alike, ultimately disintegrated under the weight of imperial entrenchment, competition for resources, and demographic imbalance. The ensuing warfare in the region, which unlike previous conflicts led to the militarization of large numbers of its Indigenous and European inhabitants, left a powerful legacy of antagonism that destroyed any hope for a shared future, setting the conditions for more drastic and destructive actions in the century ahead.”

Kennedy’s first book, Something of a Peasant Paradise? Comparing Rural Societies in Acadie and the Loudunais, 1604-1755 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014), won the Canadian Historical Association Clio Prize for the best new scholarly book on the history of Atlantic Canada.

He is currently working on a new book, Lost in the Crowd: The Volunteer Soldiers of the 165th (Acadian) Battalion and their Post-War Transition, 1911-1921. He is also the co-director of the interdisciplinary project, Repenser l’Acadie dans le monde in collaboration with the Université Sainte-Anne as well as the lead researcher of a partnership development project with the University of New Brunswick called Military Service, Citizenship and Political Culture: Militia Studies in Atlantic Canada, 1700-2000.

The Acadians of the Saint John River lecture series is made possible with a grant from the Open Academy of the Royal Society of Canada as well as the support of the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor, the York Sunbury Historical Society, the Fredericton Region Museum, and the Conférences Alphée-Belliveau, Department of French, University of New Brunswick.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Chantal Richard, Guest Curator, Pointe Sainte-Anne Exhibit
University of New Brunswick

Melynda Jarratt, Executive Director,
Fredericton Region Museum