Waves of Change
What characteristics define that nebulous character – the English-speaking-Quebecer?
Is it determined by history – the number of years/generations that your clan has lived in this territory? Is it about language? Are your Anglo-Québécois credentials strengthened by adding French-language skills, or diminished? Who decides that you belong in Québec? Do you have to wait to be accepted, or can you make your own decision and stake your claim anytime you’re ready?
ELAN’s Waves of Change project takes a deep dive into the thorny question of identity and belonging in Quebec.
We interviewed more than 50 people, grouped by waves of immigration.
The oldest wave goes back to the days of the Napoleonic Wars. Their families arrived when Montreal was 50% English-speaking and they have lived through FLQ bombings, Bill 101, two referendums, an exodus of 300,000 Quebecers and a drastically renegotiated social contract.
The most recent wave, arrived since 2010, is still trying to make sense of Quebec’s history and the unwritten codes that define who belongs and who remains the ‘other.’