'Acadia' was a colony of New France in northeastern North America which included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and Maine to the Kennebec River. During much of the 17th and early 18th centuries, Norridgewock on the Kennebec River and Castine at the end of the Penobscot River were the southernmost settlements of 'Acadia'.

Explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano is credited for originating the designation 'Acadia' on his 16th-century map, where he applied the ancient Greek name "Arcadia" to the entire Atlantic coast north of Virginia. This term later changed as explorers and settlers moved into the region.

The French government specified land bordering the Atlantic coast, roughly between the 40th and 46th parallels. It was eventually divided into British colonies. The population of 'Acadia' included the various indigenous First Nations that comprised the Wabanaki Confederacy and descendants of French colonial settlers ('Acadians'). The two communities intermarried, which resulted in a significant portion of the a person of mixed indigenous and Euro-American ancestry called, 'Métis'.

The term 'Acadia' today refers to regions of North America that are historically associated with the lands, descendants, or culture of the former French region. It particularly refers to regions of The Maritimes with French roots, language, and culture, primarily in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Magdalen Islands, and Prince Edward Island, as well as in Maine.

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