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L' Ami du Peuple

L' Ami du Peuple

French Canadians began settling in Ontario at the beginning of the 18th century with the establishment of an agricultural settlement near Detroit. It was almost a century later that this small colony expanded and further settlements were created to meet the demand for industrial labour as Ontario developed. The majority of Franco-Ontarians settled in the area between Ottawa and the Québec border, and this remains the region with the highest concentration of French-speaking people and those of French origin. As of 1981, Franco-Ontarians made up 7.5% of Ontario’s population, of whom about two-thirds spoke French as their mother tongue. In the 20th century the question of language rights in education was a primary concern of the Franco-Ontarian community. Franco-Ontarians pressed for, and won, the legal right to French-language education, which allowed French-language schools to join the public system.

L’Ami du Peuple was published in Sudbury, where approximately 40% of the population is Franco-Ontarian, three-quarters of whom speak French as their mother tongue. Sudbury’s cultural institutions include French-language theatres and publishers, and bilingual Laurentian University. L’Ami du Peuple was published in French between 1942 and 1968, almost all of which is available here. The newspaper maintained a strong voice of Catholicism, covered local and national news, and discussed union and other labour issues of interest to Sudbury’s large working class.

Contributed by Multicultural History Society of Ontario.