Thursday, 9 February 2012

The franco-ténoise community (The NWT Francophone community)

The franco-ténoise community

From a cached copy of the original page It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 2 Feb 2012 06:25:13 GMT

The concept of francophony was only born in the Northwest Territories in the early 80s, led to the adoption by the Government of Canada's Constitution Act. The joyful meetings of expatriate French-Canadian from Quebec, New Brunswick, or Ontario, which prevailed previously around a kitchen table or on a beach in Yellowknife, the club held more cultural than the representative association.

Indeed, everything changes with the advent of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and in particular Articles 16, 20, and 23. Some people are then aware of the rights conferred on them, and begin a process of affirmation of identity. In spring 1984 the Government of Canada, through its Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Jean Chrétien, tabled in the House of Commons, Bill C-26 will make bilingual Territories Northwest remedial measure of discriminative official languages Act of 1969, which excludes the Yukon and the NWT from its application. The Government of the NWT vigorously opposed its adoption, citing the presence of both history and a clear majority of the different indigenous groups. The federal government makes its arguments, withdrew his bill after second reading, while the GNWT adopts, June 28, 1984, an Official Languages Act, which recognizes eight, as we have seen. An agreement was signed that day between the two governments: the territory will provide services in French to the condition that the federal government meet the cost (unlimited)and funds community development of indigenous groups.

During the next 15 years, 30 million will be devoted to French, and 53 million indigenous groups. In March 1999 a Forum on the French in the NWT held under the auspices of the FFT, demonstrates the lack of services in French and concluded that the bad faith of both governments. A year later, the Federation, the Aquilon and five other claimants sue the government of the NWT. Because it does not apply its own law on official languages, and the Government of Canada has not fulfilled its Constitution obligations with regard to the Franco-NWT. They are supported by the Federal Commissioner of Official Languages and the AFY. At the beginning of 2003, the judicial stalled still, government lawyers skilfully employing a variety of legal tricks to delay the time of the hearing of the facts and delay the issuance of a decision that they fear.

With the advent in 1988, and under the leadership of the Northwest Territories' Francophone Federation, the community sector is widening, and now includes, in addition to Yellowknife, Baffin Island (Iqaluit), the Mackenzie Delta (Inuvik) the south of Great Slave Lake (Hay River and Fort Smith). Initially, these local associations are created for one purpose: to obtain the signal of Radio-Canada. Gradually, however, the cultural dimension will expand and include in the 1990'sthe field education.

A tough battle indeed committed to Yellowknife in 1988: French-speaking parents require the establishment of an education program in French as the first language. The government opposes the dynamism of the immersion program, already in place. Parents create an association, and bringing a legal action with the support of the FFT. A program was created in June 1989 and September nine children enrolled in a crowded classroom located in an English language school. A few months later, portable houses (rented by the Government of Canada) are available to them. However, being components of the school uniform, they are located in the parking lot of the school Sissons. It was not until September 1999 for the 70 students of the École Allain St-Cyr moved in a separate building, inaugurated in February. On May 13, 1999, the school board (advisory) filed a second petition for creation of a francophone school board and will be effective November 6, 2000.

In summer 2001, the school board of HayRiver, the French language enhancement program was initiated in September 1997 following the Education Summit in French in the NWT. Organized by the Federation in November 1996. The program first-language education finally opened a year later. A school uniform will be launched in September 2001, at the same school of English, but will move in September 2002 in four mobile homes, those very people who sheltered the students and teachers of the École Allain St-Cyr for ten years.

On 1 April 1999, the partition of the Northwest Territories amputates the associative network of its two members in Iqaluit, a third of his community, and 45% of the assets of the FFT. At the same time, it initiates the development of the community of Inuvik, located beyond the Arctic Circle, and so far virtually isolated from the community concentrated around the Great Slave Lake. The local association will be born (or reborn) in April 2000.

The perception that Aboriginal people have of the Francophone community is characterized by the bitterness of course (the suppression of native culture in colleges and convents run by religious francophone (left traces that color relations between individuals), but also by the recognition of a caring partner status, rather than a rival or an oppressor.

Three examples will demonstrate this concept:

  • Dene them call themselves "Dene wa" (real people), they call white people "Mola" (white people), but they describe the Franco-NWT of "Mola wa" (real white people) [dixit Fibbie Tatti, current languages Commissioner of the NWT.]
  • Aboriginal leaders make spontaneous tribute to the French Canadians for fighting for 240 years against the policies of cultural genocide to a Canadian government-controlled English-speaking ethnic group of Orangist spirit, and do not hesitate to draw on their courage and their success in turn claim the preservation of their culture;
  • you should have seen how eagerly and joy Aboriginal artists in 1999 responded to the call of the Federation, who invited them to join Armand Vaillancourt and Chris Ishoj to create an outdoor sculpture now called "Carrefour culturel de Yellowknife, "which evokes traditions and reflects dramatically the harmonious partnership of our respective cultures in the Northern Development.

The balance sheet

  • an associative culture deeply rooted in the Francophone community;
  • an exceptional political credibility and administrative, as evidenced by the smooth process of self-management of Canada-community agreements and the Community Development Programme and cultural development;
  • a federation whose mission is to defend the rights of the community and promote the interests;
  • a registered charity: The franco-ténoise foundation;
  • Three companies (Boréal Consultants, Azimut and Communications Consortium Dunore Co.) with a development;
  • a weekly newspaper L'Aquilon;
  • a home business located in Yellowknife and property of the FFT: the Maison Laurent-Leroux;
  • four cultural associations (Inuvik, Fort Smith, Hay River and Yellowknife);
  • a local association of Francophone parents in Yellowknife, the Association of eligible parents;
  • cultural programs reflecting the needs of the franco-ténois;
  • a community radio station in Yellowknife, which opened September 14, 2001: Taiga CIVR Radio;
  • a school uniform (École Allain St-Cyr) in Yellowknife;
  • another school uniform (School of Boreal Hay River) in Hay River;
  • a territorial school board;
  • French language program in Fort Smith, Hay River and Yellowknife;
  • a Youth Coordinating Committee;
  • Yellowknife Day Care, The Daycare Plein Soleil;
  • An Economic Development Council of the NWT.;
  • NWT Health Network in French;
  • a literacy service;
  • an impressive list of partners, political, economic, or cultural.

© Fédération Franco-TéNOise

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