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Socialogist Edmund Aunger, in his article, “The Decline of a French-speaking Enclave,” uses St. Paul as a case study to address the gradual linguistic erosion of the Franco-Albertan population.
When the colony first opened to outside settlement in 1909, almost the entire population of St. Paul and surrounding area was Francophone. Many were immigrants from Québec, and others came from Belgium, France and the United States. They contributed to the already French-speaking, Catholic Métis population. According to Aunger, there has been a consistent decline in the French population, and he now describes St. Paul as an “English-speaking multi-ethnic community,” even though French is still the largest ethnic group in the town. The increased immigration of English-speaking residents into the area, and contact with the dominant English-speaking majority, has contributed greatly to the decline of the Francophone population in St. Paul and Alberta as a whole.
The following charts represent the results of a 1996 Statistics Canada Community Profile:
For the Town of St. Paul
For St. Paul County No. 19
Aungur, Edmund A. (1993). The Decline of a French-Speaking Enclave. Canadian Ethnic Studies. 25(2)
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