The Recruitment and Economic, Social and Community Integration of French-speaking Newcomers to Prince Edward Island

Research team: Carlo Lavoie, University of Prince Edward Island; Planned student participants and institutional partners

The research project will clarify the manner in which French-speaking newcomers integrate into the Francophone minority community in P.E.I.

The following questions will be examined:

  • Who are the new French-speaking arrivals to P.E.I.?
  • Where and how are P.E.I.’s recruitment and promotional activities carried out?
  • To what extent do French-speaking newcomers identify with locally-spoken French and what role do their backgrounds and dialects play in this process?
  • Should local integration be measured by the extent of newcomer engagement in community organizations and local activities? By their use of French at home?
  • How can communities counter the assimilative effects of English?
  • How can communities address inadequacies in the social, religious, sport and civic French institutions to welcome newcomer?

The study will adopt a three-pronged approach. First it will undertake a document review to depict newcomer characteristics, settlement services, and relevant government policies; second, an online questionnaire will explore the involvement of regional schools and community centers in welcoming newcomers, providing services and encouraging participation; and, third, interviews will be conducted with Francophone newcomers to understand their settlement patterns and other actions revealed by the on-line survey and document review.