Manitoba Francophone Immigration Network
Francophone Manitoba in the 21st Century
The long way of the francophonie in Manitoba
The way to the development of Manitoba’s Francophone community has been long, arduous and fraught with obstacles put in place by governments that responded to the demands of an intolerant majority that refused to recognize the historical role of Francophones and Métis. Time after time, assimilation has certainly decimated the ranks of Franco-Manitobans.
Exogamous marriages, i.e. English-French marriages, have experienced very strong increases and their frequency is high, which increases the risk of assimilation into the household. However, French immersion schools are extremely popular and the reception and integration of students from these schools have convinced the community that it is possible to live together in harmony with Francophones from a variety of sources.
After decades of struggle, Manitoba's Francophone community felt that by the beginning of the 21st century, it had enough assets to seek out Francophones from countries where the French language is spoken, understood and respected. Its resilience allowed it to conceive that expanding its space and welcoming newcomers from different continents would not be fatal, on the contrary. This is why the SFM and the community have accepted the strategy of expanding the Francophone space «expension of the francophone area».
The Franco-Manitoban community has many assets to offer newcomers. Bilingualism is now valued in the public service (municipal, provincial and federal), the business world and society in general. French language services are provided under the new Supporting the Development of Manitoba's Francophone Community Act (Bill 5). A francophone is no longer automatically a French Canadian, born in Manitoba or Canada, but rather someone who accepts, speaks and practices the French language, learned in the cradle or as an adult, and who participates in Manitoba's francophone culture.
The community that welcomes you has an institutional infrastructure that includes a rich cultural scene (theater, singing and other activities), a recognized French-speaking university where many international students study, organizations with an economic vocation, a French-language health network that is always looking for new workers, in short, a society that approaches the 21st century with confidence in itself.
Its history contains difficult moments that sometimes explain its reticence, but it is also rich in victories over adversity and ready to open its doors. Welcome to Francophone Manitoba…