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Alberta Place names

Alberta places are often named from Aboriginal terms. Another way of naming is from those who were important in some way. Many communities and places are named for Francophone contributors to their history – French-Canadian and Métis. Some of these have been changed from the original name. Albertans may not know the history behind the name of their home town. This might even include many of the 70,000 French speakers in Alberta. Place names can remind us of a Francophone heritage. Some, like Grande Prairie have kept the French spelling but are pronounced in the English way - "Grand" Prairie.

Some Alberta places got their names from missionaries and patron saints. Other names came from the French name for an animal or a natural feature. Still others seem to tell a short story in their naming – for example Rivière qui barre.


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