Jeanne Douillard Presents: Silent Presence – The French in New England
June 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Jeanne Douillard believes the past is important. To her way of thinking, history shapes people, shapes cultures. History does matter. “We are the heirs of our ancestor’s journeys,” she says. “Their experiences matter. We carry them with us even if their story is lost to us.”
Her talk, “Silent Presence – The French in New England,” brings a unique, fresh look to the story of “un petit people.” It is an approach which combines history and story, attempting in its essence, to get at the heart of a people. It is a tale which is not well-known: a story of a peoples’ struggle to reclaim pride, a story of forgiveness and hope; a story which has not been told in just this way.
Jeanne is one of the major contributors to the book Building a Better Life – The French-Canadians in Western Massachusetts published by the Republican newspaper in Springfield, MA. Her narrative poem, NOT SO MUCH THE SAME PLACE, is found in an anthology of women writers of French heritage, entitled Heliotrope. And finally, Jeanne has published her own book under the auspices of Swamp Press of Northfield, MA. In her book, I Remember… Je Me Souviens…, she presents in greater detail the story of the French in the Americas. She also shares the story of her travels to France in 2014 and 2015 when she and her husband, Armand Proulx, went off in search of their ancestral villages. The final piece covers the story of the Deerfield raid by the French and the Natives in 1704 in Deerfield, MA.
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