Franco-American TED Talk by Susan Poulin

Franco-American culture with humor! “Can You Find Your Identity Through A Heritage-Language?” is an entertaining Ted Talk, by Susan Poulin, now available on-line.

Susan Poulin and Alphonse Poulin

Susan Poulin with Alphonse Poulin at the 2017, Franco-American Hall of Fame induction in the Augusta Capitol. Distant cousins!In the presentation, Poulin narrates a joy filled educational lecture about her personal journey as a Franco-American who is trying to connect with her primary culture and language. She has lived the American dream as a Franco and as an American.

During Les Fêtes, the season when families naturally gather to share memories and to tell stories, might be the perfect opportunity to watch this enjoyable 20 minute video. Poulin’s experiences transcend generations. She speaks about her French-Canadian family and her coming of age as a Franco-American. In fact, she has worked long and hard to “find the French in her head” and to reconnect with her primary language, spoken at home and learned before she spoke English.

French is Poulin’s first language, but she only spoke it until she was 4. Although proud of her heritage, she didn’t know a lot about what it meant to be Franco-American. So, she and her husband Gordon Carlisle began a search to help her re-connect with her Franco-American identity. She explains that, since her 40s, she has been trying to find her identity through relearning her lost language.

Watching this Ted Talk can support conversations about the Franco-American immigration experience and teach how assimilation has impacted cultural awareness, even among those who grew up in other cultures.

Poulin speaks about her experiences with wit and wisdom.

I was delighted to receive this video link from the Poolye

This video is an entertaining way to learn about  what it means to be Franco-American.

Poulin recorded the video in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Susan Poulin is a gifted performer. She travels the country as an actor and facilitator for PowerPlay, a professional applied theater company based at University of New Hampshire. In May of 2019, during a joint session of the Maine State Legislature, Susan was inducted into the Franco-American Hall of Fame in honor of her body of work and promotion of Franco-American cultural identity. She continues to be a leader in bringing a female voice to New England storytelling, and humor, and sharing the healing power of laughter with audiences statewide and beyond.

In 2017, it  was my honor

to be with Susan when she and I were inducted into the Franco-American Hall of Fame, at ceremonies hosted by the Maine Legislature.

Poulin’s narrative is a story for all Americans. Her experiences are especially relevant for Franco-Americans who have lived as proud “hyphenated Americans”.

Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 30 years.