French-Canadian Peopling of North America (1760-1914) is a research project involving a partnership between academic, museum and heritage communities. Funded by the SSHRC (Partnership Development Grants), it aims to study, from a continental perspective, the patterns of the French-Canadian settlement of North America. This research will shed new light on the genesis and evolution of Francophone communities in America, exploring how the characteristics of French-Canadian migrants have influenced processes of community establishment, social development and collective identity.
At the heart of the research program is an examination of the relationships linking Quebec with three geographical areas which serve as a sample of the main sites of French-Canadian settlement. The research focus is on Manitoba, representing Canada west of Quebec, Minnesota and North Dakota for the American Midwest, and New Hampshire for the Northeastern United States.
Funded by the SSHRC, the research is based on collaborative work by a team of over fifteen researchers assembled from Canadian and American universities, a museum, and heritage and genealogical organisations. The pooling of several major databases and many different archival resources, and their coordinated exploitation, make this a large scale project; linking the contributions of institutional and community partners give the findings national and international reach and relevance, as well as having a mobilising impact on North American Francophone communities themselves.