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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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Sylvan Lake



Cree people dancing

While its French namesake is certainly Father Albert Lacombe, the town of Lacombe has little to do with French-Canadians. In 1883, Ed Barnett of Almonte, Ontario—formerly a member of the North West Mounted Police—arrived just north of present-day Lacombe. Due largely in part to his previous service, Barnett was granted a title to the property, and shortly thereafter, built a stopping-place and stable for passing travellers. Later that year, the area was surveyed.

The railway reaches the Lacombe region.

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Ed Barnett\'s homeDuring the North-West Rebellion of 1885, Barnett was one of the only white men remaining between Edmonton and Calgary. After the Rebellion's conclusion, owing largely to the massive immigration campaign staged by the federal government, the Caucasian population started to grow in the West. Despite substantial growth to the region, it was not until 1891 (when the Calgary-Edmonton Railway reached the area) that Lacombe was actually named. Canadian Pacific Railway officials dubbed it as such in recognition of French-Canadian Father Albert Lacombe, who pacified the Aboriginals that vehemently opposed to the railway.

In 1896, the population of Lacombe was 25, but it grew swiftly to achieve town status by 1902. Today, Lacombe boasts a population of approximately 10,000 people.


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