The project aims to highlight the central place of Francophone migration in the genesis and evolution of North American populations over a period of three centuries. It will nourish reflections on contemporary issues of immigration, cultural diversity and living together. The project aims to examine the impact of migration on the collective and individual experience of Francophones in North America. To do this, the team, made up of partners and participants, is studying: 1) the migratory movements and processes of North American Francophones; 2) the cultural and linguistic circulations that accompanied them; 3) the stories to which they gave rise.
These three axes are analysed from: 1) from an interdisciplinary perspective combining heritage and academic knowledge; 2) a variety of spatial, social and temporal scales; 3) multiple perceptible interactions at both macro and micro levels.
Four groups are the subject of this extensive investigation: 1) the Acadians, whose origins date back to the early 17th century and whose deployment on the Atlantic coast was disrupted by the Great Disturbance (1750-1800); 2) French Canadians, who came from the St. Lawrence Valley from the 17th century onwards and gradually became present throughout North America; 3) the Métis, born of the encounter between Europeans and First Nations, who occupied large swathes of the central and western parts of the continent at the end of the 18th and 19th century; 4) migrants from France, Belgium, Switzerland and Syria (including the territory of present-day Lebanon) who stayed or settled permanently on the continent.
The problem, which is based on the combined analysis of migratory movements and processes, cultural and linguistic circulations, as well as narratives, is original. For the first time, an interdisciplinary team of historians, geographers, demographers, linguists, ethnologists, sociologists, economists and specialists in literary and cultural studies analyses these three components at various temporal, social and spatial scales, using numerous sources and databases.
This large-scale project brings together 41 participants and 27 heritage and academic partners from Canada, the United States and Europe. The 11 heritage partners, with their varied expertise in research and knowledge mobilization, provide intellectual leadership within the team.
The knowledge produced is disseminated with extensive use of recent developments in information and communications technologies, without however renouncing to traditional modes of dissemination. The project culminates with the creation of a bilingual virtual exhibition. In short, it reaches the scientific community, including students, as well as members and clientele of partner organizations, schoolchildren and any public interested in the Francophone presence in North America.