Geography

According to the last census, there were 17,575 people in Saskatchewan with French as their mother tongue in 2006. However, a total of 15,225 people have French as their first spoken official language, meaning that they mostly use French in daily life whether it is their mother tongue or not. The Fransaskois community accounts for a bit less than 2 percent of the total population of Saskatchewan, which numbered 953,850 in 2006. The same census reports that close to 48,000 residents of the province are able to speak both official languages.

Francophone villages are essentially concentrated in three regions of the province. The first one developed at the end of the 19th century along the North and South Saskatchewan rivers and includes the villages of Batoche, Duck Lake, Saint-Isidore-de-Bellevue and Saint-Louis. This zone eventually came to encompass the cities of Saskatoon, North Battleford and Prince Albert. It also includes the villages of Saint-Denis, Vonda, Prud'homme as well as the more distant communities in Zenon Park, Saint-Brieux, Debden and Delmas.

The second Francophone settlement in Saskatchewan is in the southeast of the province, in a series of villages like Bellegarde, Cantal, Alida, Forget and Montmartre, created at the dawn of the 20th century by European immigrants mainly from France and Belgium.

The third settlement is found in the southwest of the province, around the villages of Gravelbourg, Ponteix, Val-Marie, Saint-Victor and Willow Bunch.

The Francophone population of the main urban centres of Saskatchewan – Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw – has grown considerably as a result of Francophones migrating in from the villages. New Francophone immigrants also tend to settle more in the urban areas. These cities have developed community infrastructures which allow the French language to thrive. There are also child care facilities, Fransaskois schools (elementary and secondary), school-community centres, cultural centres and parishes.