What A Francophone Minority and Anglophone Minority Experience?
Francophone Minority Rachel St. Laurent
Rachel St. Laurent is a Grade 10 student attending École Héritage High School in Falher, Alberta. This is a Francophone school that was established in 1988 because of section 23 rights in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Rachel lives in a francophone community called Saint-Isidore just near the Peace River. "I have attended a Francophone school ever since i was in kindergarden. My whole family is Francophone" she says. "I want to keep my French language my whole life, and pass it on to my kids. I think its important, both myself and for my community, to keep my French and to show it off. French is the first language for just about everybody in Saint-Isidore. I sometimes worry about losing my French. It takes effort to speak French in everyday life, because in Alberta almost everyone speaks English."
Anglophone Minority Devin Mens
Devin Mens is an English-speaking student who attends Québec High School. Québec High School is one of many schools in the province that provides education for Anglophones. Like Francophone schools in Alberta, Devin's school comes from the right of Anglophones in Québec as an official-language minority. "I'm bilingual, but English is my first language. I am a lot more comfortable in English because my family speaks English at home" he says. "I feel like I should be educated in my first language English. Also, English is the language that has the most possibilities in the field I want to go into later on in life. I think my life is similar to students who live in places where English is the majority language. Outside of school and home, I have to speak French most of the time. I don't worry about losing my identity, living in Québec. If anything, living here makes my Anglophone identity stronger. You're more aware of the fact that you're an English-speaking person when you're in a French-speaking society."