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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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Societé St. Jean Baptiste
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Societé St. Jean
Baptiste

Alliance nationale
and Artisans
canadiens-français

Societé du parler
français

Societé francophone
de communication de l'Alberta (SFCA)

Association
canadienne-française
de l'Alberta

Youth

Quicklinks

St. Jean BaptisteFounded in Montreal in 1834 by Ludger Duvernay, the noted patriot and editor of La Minerve, the Société Saint Jean-Baptiste was created with the intention of evoking nationalistic feelings in all French-Canadians, an idea clearly outlined by the organization’s motto: "Our institutions, our language and our rights."

An Alberta branch of the society was created in 1894. The first president was Georges Roy; the first vice-president was J. H. Gariépy; Wilfrid Gariépy was secretary; J. H. Picard was treasurer; and Joseph Brunelle was the master of ceremonies.1 The directors of the branch were Stanislas La Rue, Antonio Prince, G. Corriveau, Joseph Chénier, and F. Desgagné—in short, the notables of the city. The group’s mandate was to regroup French-Canadians and support their culture and heritage. Subsequently, a parade and celebration took place every year on 24 June and was the occasion for a large gathering.

For a considerable length of time, the society played a political role and encouraged the protection of French language and educational rights. In 1909, the society suggested regrouping all of the French language organizations of the province, but nothing really came of it at the time.

In Alberta, the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste’s role as a political catalyst diminished, particularly during the 1920s and during the rise of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) which strongly divided rural and urban Franco-Albertans.

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