La Francophonie -- Canada and the Canadian Francophonie
There are two official languages in Canada -- French and English -- with French being the mother tongue of 6.7 million Canadians (2006 census). This large Francophone community is an integral part of Canada's identity and contributes to its unique character.
The majority of Francophones live in Quebec, but almost one million are found in Canada's other provinces and territories.
Since the second half of the 19th century, minority-community Francophones have come together within organizations, federations and associations that ensure the development of their communities. Over the years, the Francophone communities of Canada have adopted flags and emblems as symbols of their pride and vitality.
The flag of the Fransaskois uses the colours of Saskatchewan. Yellow symbolizes the wheat fields, green the pine forests, and red -- the colour of the heart -- represents the province's Francophones. The cross is a solemn testimony to the missionaries who founded most of the Francophone settlements in Saskatchewan, while the fleur-de-lis is a symbol of the worldwide Francophone community.
in Yukon (1985)
Francophone community in
Newfoundland and Labrador
Francophone community in
the Northwest Territories
Association des francophones
du Nunavut (1981)
In the Franco-Nunavut flag, the blue represents the Arctic sky, and the white represents snow. The central shape evokes an igloo and contains an inuksuk (a stone structure),symbolizing the human footprint in this vast territory. At the base of the inuksuk is a dandelion, which reflects Canada's and Nunavut's Francophone community: tenacious and enduring, it stands strong and adapts to its environment, embellishing it with colour.
Canada and the international Francophonie
The term Francophonie was first used as the end of the 19th century to refer to countries under France's influence. Today, it refers to the community of peoples around the world who speak or use French to varying degrees in their own countries or internationally.
La Francophonie also describes an international network of more than 60 states and governments that share the use of the French language. Recognizing the importance of the French language and culture at home and abroad, the Governement of Canada has associated itself with La Francophonie from its beginning in 1970. Through this multilateral forum of cooperation and dialogue, Canada extends its considerable influence to promote the values that matter most to Canadians, namely peace, the development of democracy and a constitutional state, respect for human rights, sustainable development, cultural and linguistic diversity, and sound governance.
Canada has the status of member in La Francophonie, while the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick are recognized as participating governments.
The flags of Canada, Quebec and New Brunswick officially represent the Canadian Francophonie.
The circular form of the flag of La Francophonie conveys the idea of coming together. The five interconnected segments represent the idea of cooperation across the five continents where the members of La Francophonie are located. The five colours represent the various colours found on the flags of the participating countries and governments.
The Flag of La Francophonie
Members of La Francophonie
- Belgium, French Community
- Canada-New Brunswick
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Congo, Republic of
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- FormerYugoslav Republic of Macedonia, The
- Saint Lucia
- São Tomé and Principe
(As of date of publication-March 2008)
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