Northeastern part of Alberta was also an early settlement area for Francophones. Fur traders and voyageurs had passed through the area for years, and some had established agricultural plots around the forts and outposts. However, the main rush of settlement in Northeastern Alberta began when the Saint-Paul-des-Métis colony was winding down. This is when the land was surveyed for homesteader claims.
- 1908 Land became available around north of the North Saskatchewan River and west of the Saskatchewan border. French-Canadians were among those who first took homesteads.
- 1907, settlers claimed land in the Vincent Lake area.
- 1908 Father François Bonny, came to Alberta in an attempt to regain his health and became the parish priest at Moose Lake. His origins were Franco-American.
The beginnings of settlement in this area were not easy. The Ministry of the Interior required that a railroad must be available for the farmers to support sale of livestock and cereals, and to transport incoming merchandise at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the railroad was not yet built and would not be for many years.
Many French-speaking settlers took homesteads, and eventually the region became known as "Alberta-North," and also "Little Quebec."
- On the North Saskatchewan River, at a shallow fording spot, Edmond Brosseau had settled and a community taking his name arose. Brosseau was also a Franco-American and married a daughter of L'Hirondelle, a Métis fur-trader from St. Albert. Together the couple tended a hotel and store.
- On the south side of the river, Duvernay was established. It was named for a patriot of the 1838-1839 Upper and Lower Canada rebellions.
- When Saint-Paul-des-Métis was abandoned, over 100 French-Canadian settlers arrived to homestead on the land which came available.. Stores, post offices, and schools were opened.
Sometimes, if the centre was important enough, a church was constructed. Regardless of their success at the time, few of these centres exist today. At the height of the French settlement in the Northern Alberta region there were the communities Lafond, Foisy, Lavoie, St. Lina, Bordenave, Thérien, St. Vincent, La Corey, St. Édouard, Grand Centre, and Bonnyville.
The names of the communities were not always French.
- Fort Kent was a reminder of the former home of some of its French-speaking New England settlers;
- Cold Lake had been known as "lac Froid" but was anglicized.
- Mallaig was chosen by employees of the Canadian National Railway for a manager's Scottish home.
Although the names of the settlements were sometimes deceiving, French was the language of choice by many in these Alberta communities.
The priests and Bishop Legal encouraged settlers to take homesteads further and further north to the very edge of the boreal forest.
- Early frosts were common and often damaged the crops.
- The land was more suitable for grazing and hay than for cereals.
Eventually homesteading in the more marginal areas within the boreal forest was discouraged by the government agents. Still, communities established in the Lac La Biche area included Brièreville, Grandin, Gourin, Plamondon and Normandeau. Many settlers were Franco-Americans, and a group, those of Gourin, all came from a small town of the same name in Brittany, France.