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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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Northwestern Alberta



Central Alberta

Southern Alberta


Settlement in Northwestern Alberta was initiated slightly later than the other more temperate regions of the prairies, but when the available land was all taken up on the prairies and the parkland, the long sunny summer days of the Peace River district began to take on a more desirable look. As it was, settlers came to the area willing to endure the gloomy winters in exchange for the long days of the growing season which were able to produce quick-growing crops on its fertile plains.

Efforts to settle the area began as early as 1899, when Jean A. Lemieux, a priest from Quebec, established the Peace River Colonization and Land Development Company. The company was established to create a block settlement for French Canadians and although Lemieux managed to have about 20 townships set aside, nothing ever came of the scheme. The Oblates encouraged settlement in the area and two of the community’s priests, Jean-Baptiste Giroux and Constant Falher promoted homesteading south of the Peace River. In 1912, 24 settlers applied for homesteads, and gradually the towns of Falher, Donnelly, Guy, Girouxville, Tangent, Dréau, Marie-Reine, and St. Isidore were established. The two largest centres of the area, Peace River and Grande Prairie, also attracted French Canadian entrepreneurs.


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