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

 

Francophone Edukit

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North-East Region
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Bonnyville

Brosseau

Cold Lake

Lac-la-Biche

Mallaig

Plamondon

Saint-Paul

Saint-Vincent

Thérien

Végreville

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The Queen's hotelAnticipating the closure of the Saint-Paul-des-Métis colony, the Oblate missionaries encouraged French-Canadian settlers to the region. The territory had barely been surveyed when prospective settlers began to arrive. They called the region "Alberta-Nord" (Alberta North) and "Petit Québec" (Little Quebec). As well as French-Canadians and Franco-Americans, emigrants from France, Belgium and the French region of Switzerland also arrived, settling in the region where Métis families from the former colony still lived.

Under the encouragement of Bishop Vital Grandin and of his successor Bishop Émile Legal, settlers were encouraged to homestead in the Lac La Biche region, where French speaking Métis had been living since the beginning of the 19th century. Despite the fact that the potential for agriculture was marginal, several new francophone communities were established in the region, including Plamondon, Gourin and Grandin. A group of settlers from New England settled in the Bonnyville area; they were French-speaking protestants and their leader Dr. Duclos (also their pastor) established a much needed hospital and boarding school west of the town of Bonnyville.

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