Hundreds of years ago, the Mi'kmaq encampment of "Es-end-ei-ik" was one of the major camps in southeast New Brunswick. The Mi'kmaq word "Es-ed-ei-ik" which means "running far in" (in reference to the tide, which has a long range over the shallow, sandy beaches) eventually transformed into Gédaique.
Acadians first arrived at Shediac in 1749 as a result of the Acadian Exodus from peninsular Nova Scotia. During the French and Indian War, French officer Charles Deschamps de Boishebert made his headquarters at both Shediac and Cocagne, New Brunswick. In the autumn of 1755, Boishebert established himself on the south shore of Cocagne Bay, place known as Boishebert's Camp. The following year, Boishebert moved to Miramichi, New Brunswick, specifically to Beaubears Island. After the war, Acadians returned to the region in 1767.
Today many Francophone residents use the spelling Shédiac; however, the town's name upon its incorporation did not feature an accented "e", and correspondingly the official geographic name for the community is Shediac