Our research project—Three Centuries of Francophone Migration in North America, (1640–1940)—contributes to a better understanding of issues related to immigration, cultural diversity, and coexistence by exploring the emergence and development of French-speaking populations.

Project Objectives

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), this partnership project aims to highlight the central role that Francophone migration has played in the emergence and development of North American populations across three centuries. Our team is composed of community and academic partners, scholars and students. Together, we seek to explore the collective and individual experiences of Francophones in North America over the course of 300 years.

Team members adopt innovative perspectives as they coordinate their research on Francophone migrations. These efforts involve combining heritage and academic expertise in an interdisciplinary approach; considering a diversity of spatial, social, and temporal scales; and pursuing diverse interactions between  macro- and micro-level studies.


Three Research Axis

Migration Flows and Processes

We define migration patterns in terms of the territorial mobility of individuals. As for migration processes, they correspond to the factors that shape and structure mobility.

Cultural and Linguistic Flows

Linguistic practices and ideologies are defined by migration patterns and interactions between various groups serve to reveal cultural and linguistic flows. Such flows carry ideas, material culture, traditions, practices, and consumption patterns.

Migration Narratives

Migration narratives provide insight into how migrants experienced mobility and settlement in new places.

Four Populations


Established on the Atlantic coast by the early seventeenth century, their North American journey, which includes a presence in both Canada and the United States, was profoundly disrupted by the Great Upheaval of 1750–1800

French Canadians

From their initial seventeenth-century settlements in the St. Lawrence Valley, they have progressively established communities throughout North America


The result of early encounters between First Nations peoples and European settlers, they occupied large tracts of central and western North America starting in the late eighteenth century

Franco-European and Lebanese/Syrian migrants

Arriving from France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Syria (including present-day Lebanon), they settled in various parts of North America, starting in the mid-nineteenth century