Being French-Canadian in Zenon Park, Saint Isidore-de-Bellevue and Marcelin, Saskatchewan
Marcotte, Giselle M
This study was pursued in order to determine how and to what extent a minority ethnic group, French-Canadians in Saskatchewan, could maintain its distinct culture and language in a dominant anglophone environment. Three communities were chosen for a comparative analysis: Zenon Park, St. Isidore-de-Bellevue and Marcelin. The historical research and literature review conducted for this study revealed that French-Canadians had been struggling to maintain their rights to live and be educated in French for over one hundred years. My primary research among FrenchCanadians showed that many were still struggling to obtain and maintain many of those same rights. The continued presence of French in Zenon Park and St. Isidorede- Bellevue demonstrated the success of French-Canadians' efforts to maintain their language. Their strategies resulted in the creation of French language institutions which served to transmit and promote the French language. In Marcelin, where these institutions did not exist, the presence of the French language was minimal and no plan to build French maintenance institutions in the future was evident. The present study contributes to the body of literature on the FrenchCanadians. It provides an anthropological perspective on the strategies employed by members of the Zenon Park, St. Isidore-de-Bellevue and Marcelin communities to maintain their ethnic identity. It utilizes a model that can be applied cross-culturally. The text presented herein reflects only a part of what it means to be French-Canadian in Saskatchewan. Further ethno-linguistic studies are warranted. In the future, it is anticipated that the study group will have more involvement in analyses of their opinions and in developing the final drafts of research reports. It is hoped that the conclusions drawn from this research will be useful to French-Canadians in Saskatchewan.