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Alberta's Francophone Heritage
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Francophone Edukit

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Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta
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L’Association canadienne-française
de l’Alberta
from 1955 to the
year 2000

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The idea of an association which would regroup the various Franco-Albertan organizations had been considered by the members of the Société du parler français in 1912. In 1914, the outbreak of the First World War put such growth on hold and nothing was realized until 1925, when the need for such an organization once again became obvious.

The clergy, under the direction of Archbishop O’Leary, was not particularly sympathetic to the needs of the French community and many believed that a lay organization would be a better way to assure the protection of linguistic and educational rights. With the rise of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), who the rural Franco-Albertans voted for, a rift had been driven between the urban and rural French community. As if that wasn’t enough, the politically minded Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste also lost favour.

The first meeting was held on 13 December 1925; and organized by the feminine group, le club Jeanne-d’Arc; 400 people were present. However, it was 17 July 1926, that the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA) was established, using parish circles to determine the thrust of the organization.

The ACFA, which exists to this day, pursues the mandate of protecting the rights of French-speakers in Alberta. The ACFA published the first edition of la Survivance (a publication created to serve the association) and organized a series of bimonthly radio concerts which were broadcast from Edmonton and listened to with great appreciation. The organization promoted a competition for the top students of the French program organized by the Association des Éducateurs bilingues de l’Alberta. A bilingual agronomist was named by the Alberta government and an organization for school children, "l’Avant-garde de l’ACFA" was established. The notes of their meetings and some of their texts were published in la Survivance.

For nearly 80 years now, the ACFA has been protecting the rights of Franco-Albertans; over 50 organizations are represented by her. The membership is no longer represented by parish circles as it was in the beginning, but by local circles and regional offices which answer for the local members.

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