University of Maine at Fort Kent hosts session on 1971 Madawaska Rebellion

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Acadian Archives acadiennes and the Maine Acadian Heritage Council will host Dr. Michael Hillard, professor of economics and director of the food studies program at the University of Southern Maine, on Thursday, March 22, to present his documentary about the 1971 Madawaska Rebellion on March 22, 2018.

Hillard will present the results of his research, “The Madawaska Rebellion,” at 7 p.m in Fox Auditorium.

Hillard’s original research of the 11-week strike at the Fraser Paper Mill between July and September 1971 focused on labor unions and economics.

“The strike culminated in massive civil disobedience that stopped Fraser managers from moving 27 freight train cars full of paper,” Hillard stated. “Strikers began to physically block the train tracks over for four days. As this confrontation evolved, strikers ripped up train tracks at night and then brought children, wives, and pets to the mill to lie on train tracks preventing the train from leaving the mill.

“Protesters rioted when Maine State Police and county sheriff officers tear-gassed them on the morning of Aug. 9. Strikers destroyed a train engine, several police cars, and injured a number of the troopers.”

More recently, Hillard revisited the events of the strike with an emphasis on the Acadian culture of the mill workers and the “English/French” divide, on one side the Anglos who comprised Fraser’s middle and upper management; on the other, the French who provided the work force.

Immediately following the presentation a panel of experts who participated in the study — Dr. Nicole Lang, Paul Cyr, Guy Dubay and Lise Pelletier — will answer questions from the audience.

This event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information, call Anne Chamberland at 834-8631 or go to

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.