Acadia <<uh KAY dee uh>> was a region in eastern Canada. It became the site of the first permanent French colony in North America. French colonists settled there in 1604. Acadia included what are now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The colony also included parts of what are now the province of Quebec and the state of Maine.
In 1755, during the French and Indian War, British officials tried to force the Acadians to swear loyalty to the British king. But the Acadians refused. Between 1755 and 1763, the British forced about 10,000 Acadians to move to colonies farther south. Their story is told in the poemEvangeline (1847) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, an American poet.
After much hardship, most of these people later returned to Acadia and settled in New Brunswick. Some Acadians went to Louisiana, a former French colony in what became the United States. Descendants of these Acadians are called Cajuns.