« Francophones of the Northwest: history and heritage » and
« Pride in the Northwest: 400 years of French presence in Ontario »


Created in 2013 and 2014 by AFNOO and Club Canadien Français de Thunder Bay, along with the financial participation of Heritage Canada, the exhibit presents 20 bilingual banners displaying the French culture and heritage.

The first French settlers arrived in Canada in the 16th century. Starting in 1667, with the creation of Nouvelle France, missionaries, explorers, and trappers set out to conquer the west. They were adventurers, curious and eager to discover new horizons. They marked their passage by building forts around Lake Superior and by establishing the first schools. These French ancestors are our roots and our heritage. 

“Knowing the past to understand the present and building the future.”   Alain Nabarra, Lakehead University professor.


The explorers, voyageurs and trappers who ventured out across lakes wrote Canada's history. In Northwestern Ontario, the French language lives on through names of places as they were the first European Canadians to settle in. Thanks to them and to the men and women who have made their mark in the 20th and the 21st centuries by their entrepreneurial spirit, their artistic passion, their desire to unveil history and their willingness to get involved in their community. These Francophones set the way. They invite future generations to keep the language alive, to immerse themselves in the culture, to live in French.

« Almost every Northwestern community has its own history book.  But up until now, the French heritage was never underlined. When you think about it, the French are the ones who discovered the west part of Canada » says Cédric Jeanpierre President of CCF.  «The Club is the oldest French organization in the region, we want to share our past, our roots with this exhibit ».

 « With its regional mission, AFNOO will be the distributor for the Northwest. It is our way to contribute to the French identity ».  - Chantal Brochu, AFNOO President.