From the late 1620s to 1763, Acadia was an undefined territory east of New England and southeast of New France. The
inhabitants of French extraction, cut off from other French colonies and with little immigration from their homeland, developed a distinctive Acadian culture. After their forced expulsion to the United States and Europe in 1755, and the subsequent return of many to the region, their Acadian heritage was reaffirmed.
After 1763, the name Acadia was superseded by Nova Scotia, which applied to New Brunswick and peninsular Nova Scotia as we know them today. Later, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, the southern Gaspé coast, and even Îles de la Madeleine were considered parts of Acadia.
Some contemporary writers have suggested that New Brunswick, where the vast majority of Acadians live today, is the centre
of modern Acadia, and have looked to Moncton and its university as its focal point. But the soul of Acadia resides in many
small towns and villages, such as Caraquet and Cap-Pelé in New
Brunswick; Urbainville in Prince Edward Island; and Pubnico, Comeauville, and Chéticamp in Nova Scotia.
Many may regret that Acadia is not a country, with borders and legal institutions. But as the successor of the fabled beautiful
land of the classics, perhaps it is best that modern Acadia resides in the hearts and souls of a people with a proud social and cultural heritage based on nearly four centuries of settlement in Eastern Canada. No matter where Acadians dwell, their rich literature, language, and music will tell them they are in Acadia.