Acadiana is the official term for the south and southwest regions of Louisiana. The area is roughly considered to contain the region west of the Mississippi River east to Lake Charles, LA. The northern boundary is considered to be Alexandria, LA. Lafayette, LA is regarded as the heart of Acadiana, which includes twenty-two parishes in total. Acadiana is also sometimes referred to as Cajun Country.
Early History of the People
The name Acadiana is derived from the term Acadian, which refers to the people who left France in the 1600s seeking religious and cultural freedom. The Acadians settled in the French colony of Acadie (present-day Nova Scotia). Less than two centuries later after the colony was ceded to the British, the Acadians were again forced to leave their home after they refused to pledge allegiance to the British Crown and renounce their Catholic religion. This period, which began in 1755, is known as the Great Expulsion or the Grand Dérangement.
The resilient group of Acadians traveled south in waves with Joseph Broussard leading the first group to Louisiana in 1765. Many followed and the Acadians finally settled and flourished in the bayous, marshes, and prairies of what today is known as Acadiana.
While the Cajuns are the most predominant population in Acadiana, the region is also home to people of Native American, Creole, German, and Spanish descent among others. Lafayette is one of Louisiana’s most cosmopolitan cities and the region’s diversity has contributed to its vibrant and unique culture.
Origin of the Acadiana Name
Although the Acadiana region has such a long storied history, the name Acadiana is actually a relatively recent development. Surprisingly, the term was an accidental invention, the result of a typo. The name was first used unofficially by local radio station KATC-TV 3 around 1963, according to the station’s general manager at the time. The station was locally owned by Acadian Television Corporation.
After an invoice addressed to the studio accidentally inserted an extra “A” at the end of Acadian, the studio decided to embrace the term and used it in its radio shows to describe the area that covered its broadcast signal. The station believed it to be the perfect combination between the words Acadie and Louisiana.
The station never copyrighted the term and people and businesses across the area began to adopt the name. Today there are dozens of businesses in the area with the Acadiana name. In 1971, less than ten years after its origination, the name became official when then Governor Edwin Edwards signed the bill designating the region Acadiana.
Your Acadiana Attorney
If you live in Acadiana or Lafayette and are looking for a personal injury attorney, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. The attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers are experts in personal injury law, including car, motorcycle, and 18-wheeler accidents. Call or visit our website to schedule your free, private consultation with The People’s Trial Lawyer™.