Isle Madame resident Gabriel LeBlanc was awarded the Ordre de la Pléiade during a ceremony at Province House in Halifax on May 8. He is pictured with MLA Rafah DiCostanzo (left) and Minister of Acadian Affairs Lena Metlege Diab.

HALIFAX: Ten members of the Acadian and francophone community joined the Ordre de la Pléiade during a ceremony at Province House in Halifax on May 8.

Ordre de la Pléiade is an initiative of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie that began in 1976. This is an international honour given to people who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of the French language.

The Nova Scotia section of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, which is overseen by the Speaker’s Office and includes all elected members, submitted nominations to receive l’Ordre de la Pléiade to the Bureau de l’Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie at its meeting in January.

“The dedication of these Acadians and Francophones toward their community and Nova Scotia’s Francophonie is exemplary,” said Acadian Affairs and Francophonie Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “As we welcome ten outstanding Nova Scotians into the Ordre de la Pléiade, I want to salute and honour their invaluable contributions to Nova Scotia’s vibrant and dynamic Acadian and francophone community.”

The 10 Nova Scotians were recognized for contributions to the Acadian and francophone community in the fields of French first language education, community radio broadcasting, community development, music, writing, health, women’s rights and preservation of the French language and culture.

Contributed photos — MLA Rafah DiConstanzo pins the Ordre de la Pléiade on retired educator and author Gabriel LeBlanc during a ceremony in Halifax on May 8.

The recipients included retired education, author and volunteer Gabriel LeBlanc of Isle Madame. LeBlanc recently written a second book, entitled, La tradition orale de mon Isle Madame: Le conte acadien.

Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Alana Paon recognized LeBlanc for his dedication to the Acadian and Francophone community.

“Gabriel has demonstrated tremendous leadership in the francophone community. His experience and volunteerism in promoting the French language and Acadian culture dates back to 1969,” says Paon. “This is a well deserved recognition and it was an honour to be there when he received l’Ordre de la Pléiade.”

The recipients were appointed Grade de Chevalier (Knight). One of the five classes in the Ordre de la Pléiade, it is awarded to people from the political, social, scientific or literary worlds.

“It is an honour to recognize this year’s Ordre de la Pléiade medal recipients for their passion, commitment and engagement to preserving the French language and Acadian and francophone culture,” said Chris d’Entremont, president of the Nova Scotia section of l’Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie. “Their contributions have made it possible for future generations to keep their French language and culture alive and vibrant in our province and for this we thank each of them.”

The Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophone has sections in Africa, America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Its mandate is to promote democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and allow for the prospering of the French language and cultural diversity around the world