Valley Talks, a series of biweekly historical lectures by the Museum of Work & Culture, continues Sunday, March 7 at 1pm on Zoom.
Writer and historical reenactor Paul Bourget will examine the Sentinelle Affair, the local underground movement to preserve French Canadian culture that led to the excommunication of 61 congregants. The Movement Sentinelliste, one of the most divisive periods in Woonsocket’s history, caused battle lines to be drawn among French-Canadians in St. Ann’s Parish and throughout New England. Bourget will discuss the roots of the movement, its impact on the city, and the long-term ramifications of the members’ actions.
This year’s series is presented as part of the Rhode Island Historical Society’s Taking a Stand in Rhode Island, a yearlong examination of how the people who have called this place home, from the 17th century to the recent past, have identified aspects of society that needed to shift and how they worked to change them.
Paul Bourget is the owner of Bourget & Associates. He was the editor, researcher, and co-writer of Towers of Faith and Family, a history of Woonsocket’s St. Ann’s parish, and was the founding president of St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center. He currently serves as the Immediate Past President of the Museum of Work & Culture’s Preservation Foundation and is Chairman of the Woonsocket School Committee.