LAFAYETTE, La. — A Louisiana musician, poet and activist who has worked to preserve Acadian culture and promote French education has been named an officer in a historic French order.

The Advocate reports Zachary Richard was bestowed the honorary title in the French Academic Palms during a ceremony Monday in Lafayette. The honorary title was created by Napoleon I in 1808 to honor service to French education.

The Consul General of France in Louisiana said in a release that Richard has dedicated himself to supporting immersion schools and promoting French and Creole language. He's also founded a nonprofit to preserve Acadian culture.

During the ceremony, Richard launched a fundraiser to buy materials for the schools.

Richard's accomplishments include receiving honorary degrees from U.S. and Canadian universities, performing sold-out concerts and producing platinum albums.

Louisiana native Zachary Richard, a singer, songwriter, poet and long-time activist fighting to preserve the Acadian culture, was named an officer in the French Academic Palms during a ceremony Monday in Lafayette. The honorary title was created by Napoleon I in 1808 for university members and extended in 1866 by Napoleon III to non-teachers who rendered illustrious service to French education.

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