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Alberta's Francophone Heritage
Background, People, Culture, Heritage Community Foundation, Albertasource and Alberta Lottery Fund

 

Francophone Edukit

   
Francophone Communities and Their History
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Central Alberta

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Group of Frenchmen, pioneers, Trochu, Alberta, 1907.Alberta is filled with communities with unusual names, but in contrast to names with obvious aboriginal influences, like Wetaskiwin, are towns and villages like Beaumont, Brosseau, Grande Prairie, and Lacombe. Over the years most English-speaking Albertans have transformed these names into English approximations—Grande Prairie, while retaining the French spelling, became the Anglicized "Grand" Prairie in pronunciation. As a side effect of this Anglicization and the minority status of the 70,000 French speakers in Alberta, few Albertans, even those living in the subject communities, know the history behind their hometown.

Some of these communities were helped along and ministered by the Oblate Fathers, and were named in honour of these men or their patron saints. Others were named for the animals or the geography of a specific region, or for the prominent French individuals of the local population. Their histories vary, but all of them are connected to the French people in some way.

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