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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Francophone Edmonton Online Website

Grandin Station, Edmonton Alberta

The French presence in what became Alberta goes back to the earliest period of the fur trade. Edmonton was the heart of that presence. Fort Edmonton was the administrative centre of the fur trade in the region and it was the place where the Company Men of French ancestry lived with their Cree wives and families, later to be joined by missionaries and other religious orders.

By the end of the 19th century, all of the elements of an established and vibrant culture could be seen: Francophone newspapers, businesses, schools, hospitals, churches as well as a growing population. Edmonton was also the hub for the rural Francophone communities in Northern and Central Alberta.

This website documents and explores Edmonton’s unique, historic role as Western Canada’s second-largest Francophone city (next to Saint-Boniface, Manitoba).   Discover Francophone Edmonton through the pages of this dynamic website.

  • Historic Edmonton — This section explores Francophone history and contributions in the latter half of the 19th century and first part of the 20th century.  It demonstrates that Francophones played an important role in the making of the Province of Alberta.

  • Modern Era — Explore the “Community Snapshots” that provide information about key years in the life of the community as well as informative articles about the Francophone Quarter, religious communities, economic and social life, arts and culture, and education.

  • People — This section begins to profile community leaders and influentials including some oral histories and video vignettes.

  • Cultural Resources — This section allows visitors to explore Francophone Edmonton, from past to present, visually through a photo essay.  The Saint-Jean Archives Virtual Exhibit makes history come alive through documents and records.  A timeline signals important events.  The Manuel des regroupements francophones de l’Alberta, developed by the l’Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA), demonstrates the breadth and diversity of the community in Alberta.  Finally, the Archives section allows you to read key manuscripts documenting the history of the community.

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            For more on Francophone Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
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