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Chapter: Who We Are

Topic: English and French

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French and English

The society of Canada that we see today arises from the French as well as English-speaking Christian civilizations that came to the place by settlers from European settlers. The French and the English people of the present generation represent the reality of daily life and also constitute the official language of the nation. According to Federal Law, the government is bound to offer goods and services in French and English across Canada.

At present, more than 18 million Anglophones can be found. They are people who have English as their first language. Also, there are people having French as their first language – Francophones, as they are referred to. Although the major percentage of French-speaking people hail from Quebec Province, around a million of them can be found in Ontario, Manitoba, and New Brunswick, along with a meager presence across other provinces of Canada. New Brunswick deserves special mention here as the only official bilingual province of Canada.

This brings us to the point of the Acadians, who had French descendants as their roots. They started settling in 1604 in this province which is now called the Maritime Province. During the tenure of war between France and Britain from 1755 to 1763, over 2/3rd of Arcadians were evicted from their motherland. In spite of the suffering, which history has remembered as the ‘Great Upheaval,’ the race has managed to not only survive but also keep up their individual identity. The culture is flourishing well and has become a lively aspect of French-speaking Canada.

The people of Quebec City, known as Quebecers, mostly speak French. The maximum percentage of these descendants are among the 8500 French settlers from the 16th and 17th centuries. They are still maintaining their culture, identity, and language. In 2006, the House of Commons had recognized them as forming a nation for themselves within the boundaries of united Canada.