Francophone Communities Across Alberta

Alberta is filled with communities that have unique names&mdashsome are obvious Aboriginal influenced, such as Wetaskiwin—while others such as Beaumont, Brosseau, Grande Prairie, and Lacombe are French influenced.

Over the years, Albertans have transformed these names into English approximations. For example, Grande Prairie retains the French spelling but is Anglicized "Grand" Prairie in pronunciation. As a side effect of this Anglicization and the minority status of 65,990 French speakers, few Albertans—even those living in the communities—know the history behind their hometown.

Some of these communities were ministered by the Oblate Fathers and named in honour of these men or their patron saints. Others were named for the animals, the geography of a specific region or for the prominent French individuals of the local population. Their histories vary, but all of them are connected to the French people.

On the occasion of Alberta's Centennial in 2005, the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta (ACFA) produced a historical map and a commemorative book. The book and map highlight Francophone communities across the province and the francophones' many contributions to the development of Alberta. The historical map, Jamais je ne l'oublierai, and the book. Alberta's Francophones, are available in English and in French and can be purchased from the ACFA directly.

 

Last reviewed/revised: July 29, 2014
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