WHEREAS, The largest country in land size in the western hemisphere, Canada stretches 3,426 miles from east to west and extends southward from the North Pole to the United States border. Generally regarded as the founder of Canada based upon the fact that he reached the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier established a strong French presence in the country, especially in what would become the Province of Quebec; and
WHEREAS, Canadian settlement was pioneered by the French who established Quebec City in 1608, Montreal in 1642 and declared New France a colony in 1663; and
WHEREAS, While Britain captured Quebec in 1759, and obtained control of the rest of New France in 1763, the citizens of French descent, through the Quebec Act of 1774, retained the rights to their own language, religion, and civil law. To this day, the brave descendents of Canada's founders continue their efforts to preserve their French language and rich heritage; and
WHEREAS, Throughout the years, many Canadians of French descent have left their homeland to live in the United States, many of them settling in the Ocean State. Like their brothers and sisters to the north, they work very hard to preserve the very best of their cultural legacy while making their special contributions to the rich cultural diversity that makes Rhode Island such a unique and vibrant place to live; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby applauds the continuing efforts of French-Canadian Rhode Islanders to sustain their wonderful heritage and is only too happy to declare the weekend of August 22-25, 1996 as THE JUBILE FRANCO-AMERICAIN 2.