History

The Francophone heritage in Alberta dates back to the earliest days of the fur trade when the Montreal peddlers came to the Northwest region in search of adventure and business opportunities. The voyageurs married Cree women and the first Francophone and Métis communities, were established. Members of religious orders came and were followed by settlers. In this process, which spanned over 200 years, significant contributions were made to the settlement of the West and the founding of Alberta.

Many of the first settlers to the province were French Canadian. French was the first European language spoken in Alberta. These origins are still visible today and according to the 2006 Census data, 390,895 or 12 per cent of Albertans are French descendants.

Alberta's Francophonie is important historically, politically, economically, culturally and socially. The documentation of the rich heritage of this official language community and the creation of materials to reinforce community identity and pride are of enormous importance. Alberta's Francophone Heritage website tells these individual and community stories from the era of the fur trade to contemporary Francophone communities confidently embracing the future.

To learn more about some of the significant events in the development of Alberta's Francophone communities, download the chronology.

Development of Alberta's Francophone Communities

Franco-Albertan flag

Since June 13, 2017, the Franco-Albertan flag is an official emblem of Alberta, as a symbol of distinction.

Last reviewed/revised: August 16, 2017
Share this page on: