FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Glen Savoie, minister responsible for La Francophonie, on the occasion of Antonine Maillet’s promotion to the rank of commander of the Legion of Honour in Paris:

On behalf of the provincial government, it is with great admiration that I congratulate renowned Acadian author and playwright Antonine Maillet, who has been promoted to the rank of commander of the Legion of Honour by the president of France, Emmanuel Macron. It is among the country’s most esteemed honours that can be awarded to a person outside France.

This universal order, which honours people of all fields of activity, recognizes Ms. Maillet for her body of work.

Antonine Maillet is the first non-European woman to win the Prix Goncourt, in 1979 for her novel Pélagie-la-Charette, the author of the celebrated play La Sagouine, and, without question, the greatest ambassador for the Acadian people of New Brunswick and elsewhere. Her contribution to the influence and promotion of francophone and Acadian literature worldwide is immeasurable.

Ms. Maillet has also received many other honours, including the rank of grand officer of the National Order of Merit, the rank of officer of the Legion of Honour, member of the Royal Society of Canada, companion of the Order of Canada, chancellor emeritus of the Université de Moncton and member of the Order of New Brunswick.

Because of the event’s historical importance, and because New Brunswick is a member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, representatives from the provincial government — including the premier’s principal secretary, Paul D’Astous, and the premier’s personal representative to the organization, Isabelle Doucet — joined the Acadian delegation.

They took this exceptional opportunity to attend meetings with French economic, cultural and institutional representatives and partners. New Brunswick’s goal is to increase trade and develop unique business opportunities that could positively impact the province’s immigration, tourism, culture and economy.