Pupils of l’École Allain St-Cyr

The number of pupils in l’École Allain St-Cyr

In 1989, l’École Allain St-Cyr started its Francophone program with 9 students. There were 75 at the opening of the new building in 1999, and 107 in 2001. In 2003, the number had diminished to 90 despite the increasing population of Yellowknife who was having a flourishing economic development with the diamonds and the gas pipeline. The number of students would have increased had the right conditions been in place.

Dyane Adam, Canadian Official Languages Commissioner from 1999-2006

Dyane Adam, Canadian Official Languages Commissioner from 1999-2006

The 2001 data of Statistic Canada on the NT population indicate that there were 150 young people, from 0 to 19 years of age, who had French as a first language, and 40 from exogamous families, who had both French and English as first languages, for a total of 190. Apart these numbers, Statistic Canada gives no indication as to how many ayants droit (parents having that right) are dispersed throughout the NT, and who are English-speaking for the most part, or have learned French in French immersion classes.

In 2001, the Martel study Droits, Écoles et Communautés en milieu minoritaire: 1986-2002 (Rights, Schools and Communities in a Minority Environment: 1986-2002) ordered by theCommissariat aux langues officielles du Canada (Commission for the Official Languages of Canada), revealed that there was a possible target of 615 students within the thousand French-speaking children in the NT.

In order to recuperate students, the Commission scolaire (School Board) adopted in 2001 a policy giving the status of ayants droit (those having that right) to three generations back. Such policies are common in the Francophone school boards of Canada because they favour the continuous increase of pupils. L’École Allain St-Cyr will therefore continue to extend, and offer more and more services to its students.

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