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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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Assimilation
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French Language Education

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Assimilation

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The assimilation of a minority ethnic group into another is a reality which has always existed. A people’s language is considered to be its cultural vehicle, and is the most obvious part of the culture to disappear when one ethnocultural group is absorbed by another.

Canada, which is based on the partnership of two founding peoples, the English and the French, is obliged by its constitution of 1867 to protect both groups and their languages.

Without laws to protect the language of minority groups, in a democratic country, the power of the majority can overwhelm a minority and make it extremely difficult to survive.

It is certain that cultural and economic reality play an enormous role in the process of assimilation, and without basic tools, a culture is practically doomed. In Canada, the right to education in both the French and English languages is considered fundamental, and the right to health care in French or English is also being debated. The problem with federal assistance in those domains is that, according to the constitution, these are rights which belong to the provinces. Nonetheless, it remains the responsibility of the federal government to protect the existence of the country’s two founding peoples.

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