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Yukon Francophonie Day
Yukon Francophonie Day
The Government of Yukon declared May 15 "Journée de la francophonie yukonnaise" in 2007 for the first time.
This official day is a reminder that:
• French-speaking people have been exploring Yukon, settling in the territory and contributing to its development for almost 200 years; and
• French-speaking people enrich Yukon culturally, economically and socially; and
• French is one of Canada's two official languages and is an integral part of the historical, cultural and linguistic fabric of the country.
Yukon Francophonie Day allows all Yukoners to better know, appreciate and celebrate the French language and francophone culture which are deeply rooted in the territory.
2018 Celebrations
It is with pleasure that AFY and its partners invite you to a complimentary reception to mark the 12th anniversary of this special day.
The Arrival of Francophones in Yukon
In Yukon, as elsewhere in Canada, French-Canadian and Métis voyageurs were key players in the fur trade and the development of the country. It was in the early 1800s that the first francophones set foot in Yukon. At the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, a fair number of French Canadians had already settled the region.
Francophones played a major role as the founding fathers and builders of communities in Yukon, particularly in Dawson and Mayo, and were actively involved in the social and political life of the territory where a new society grew out of the gold rush. Lac Laberge, Mont Coudert, Ruisseau Lépine and Colline Girouard are but a few examples of places named after Francophones who left their mark in the Yukon.
Nevertheless, the exodus from the territory when the gold rush ended in the last century, the geographic isolation, and the absence of adequate infrastructures paved the way for English to become the primary language, despite the continued presence of francophones.
In the early 1980s, Yukon's Francophones began organizing themselves to defend their language rights and establish services and institutions vital to ensuring that their language and culture flourished. What began as an initiative by a few dedicated individuals suddenly found a groundswell of support and collective action. In 1979, the Francophones banded together to form the Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY), officially incorporated in 1982. AFY acts both as the official voice and the leader of the development of the Yukon Francophone community.
A Growing Community
The Yukon's Francophone community is known for its dynamism and vitality. It is an integral part of the community as a whole and is growing significantly.
Approximately 5,000 Yukoners speak French, accounting for 13,8% of Yukon's population, compared to 13.1% five years ago.
Of that number, 1,570 Francophones have French as their mother tongue, representing 4.4% of the Yukon population.
In Canada, Yukon Territory ranks third for its rate of bilingualism, after Quebec and New Brunswick.
Source: Statistics Canada's 2016 census
Renseignements :
Francis Lefebvre
Communications and Community Relations Director
(867) 668-2663, ext 332
flefebvre@afy.yk.ca
Merci au ministère du Tourisme et de la Culture du Yukon, à l’Aurore boréale et aux autres organismes et individus qui nous ont permis d’utiliser leurs photos.
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