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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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Political Life


Royal Commission
on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (RCBB)

Languages Act

Trudeau and the Canadian Charter

Franco-Albertan Politicians

Influential Figures


Prime Minister Trudeau speaks at a Palliser Hotel banquet for Queen Elizabeth, Calgary, Alberta, July 1973.

In the 1800s French immigrants from Europe, the United States, and Eastern Canada were starting to filter into the West, thanks in no small part to the Oblate Fathers who attempted to establish western French communities. Some of these communities bloomed, and can still be visited today (see the Community Section). But despite this push to colonize, the French-speaking population of Alberta would always maintain a minority status, and this would be felt no more keenly in the political language policies that came into force in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Despite the enormous individual efforts towards French/English language equality in Canada, it was only in the last 40 years that Canada resembled a land where our official languages enjoyed any such semblance. Today French persists in Alberta in our French communities, French-language programs in schools, and the politics that made it possible.

This section covers the legislation that influenced Alberta’s political structure in regards to the French language. Read about the important bills (Official Languages Act), organizations (Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism), and the individuals (Trudeau, Roy, Maynard) that changed Alberta.


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            For more on Francophone Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
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