INTRODUCTION

The first Europeans in western Canada were francophones. We will follow the trail of the voyageurs to learn what they were looking for in this vast land, what they found and whom they met along the way. We will discover why newcomers, over more than a century, sought to come and stay in the land we now call Alberta. Let us share the experiences of francophones from these past times and the struggles they lead to preserve their language and their cultures. This will allow us to learn about institutions and issues that continue to govern francophones today in order to better understand how Alberta’s Francophone heritage is rooted. We will take a close look at the history of French in Alberta in order to put the accent on heritage.