CONFEDERATION

(a YOUNG ACADIAN BOY - 13-16 years old reads the following letter.)


July 1, 1867

Dear Sophie,

Today is the day Confederation takes effect and Papa says it is an historic moment. He says a nation is being born. It is hard for me to imagine what this birth means and how things will change, but Papa says that great things lie ahead. He says there is strength in numbers and that united there is nothing we can not accomplish.

I think Papa should run for political office, but he says he is happy serving in the background. I think it might be something to do with our being Acadian, but I have not asked him. How is New Brunswick? I miss you and my friends from school. Papa says I will make new friends here once school starts. I hope he is right.

Ottawa is a strange choice as the capital of a country. It is really a rough lumber town stuck in the middle of dense forest. Papa says I will be amazed how quickly it will grow. He says it is an inspired choice for a capital due to its location on the border between Canada West and East and because it reflects both French and English settlement. Whatever its merits, it is still a lonely place for me and a long way from you and my frieds.

Our house is on the Ottawa River and I spend many hours imagining native hunters, explorers and the early voyageurs paddling by in their canoes. How brave our ancestors must have been. Papa says that the natives helped them to survive by teaching them how to live off the land and by showing them the river routes.

Papa and I saw some men hanging flags and bunting on the new Parliament Buildings yesterday in preparation for today's celebration. We also saw the new Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. MacDonald go by in his carriage. Papa says he is a great man and will face many challenges in the running of our new nation.

I must end this letter now, for Mama is calling me for supper. Please write soon and tell me your news.

Your friend and fellow Canadian,

Louis Cormier