Canadian Studies – The Manitoba Schools Question

Topic: How did the Manitoba Provincial Government and Federal Government’s decision making during the period between 1890 and 1916 affect the French language and culture in Manitoba? Western Canada?
Purpose: To investigate the cause and effects of the public policy changes in the Province of Manitoba surrounding The Manitoba Schools Questions and how those policies shaped the Province and if those decisions were the catalyst to the end of French language in Western Canada.
Description: Several studies have investigated the decisions made by elected officials in regard to The Manitoba Schools Questions and implementation of the Manitoba School Act of 1890 which allowed the abolishment of the French language in Manitoba public schools. However, the affects of this policy were felt not just only in Manitoba but across the Prairie Provinces as the came into creation as this controversy created a clear line of sight to a publicly funded education system which did not included the French language as equal to the English language. This topic is worth researching because it can clearly define a shift from the acceptance of bi-lingual education in publicly funded schools to non-denominational school system in English only and the possible loss of opportunity for the French language to spread in much greater numbers in the Western Provinces. I’m interested in focusing less on the religious implications of these policies and more on the affects of the spread or lack of French language education in Western Canada due to the decisions made in Manitoba during the 1890s. Reviewing the policies of both Alberta and Saskatchewan from 1905 when both provinces joined the Confederation will provide a comparison on whether The Manitoba Schools Question shaped the education system to reduce the French language to a secondary subject and thus lessen the movement of the French language across the West.
Preliminary Thesis Statement: The Manitoba Schools Question created a defined policy which stopped the French language as equal to the English language. This event created the foundation for newly formed Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan to marginalize the French language in their education policies and this was the beginning of the decline of the French language in Western Canada.








Annotated Bibliography
Kirbyson, R.C.; Bain, C.M.; Dreyer, P.; McCreath, P.L.; McCutcheon, K.; Skeoch, A.; Discovering Canada (Book 2). Scarborough; Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1983.
The series of books discuss numerous events throughout Canadian History that shaped Canada into the country in is today. The series of books features a number of authors, each contributing their research in order to bring forth historical data which demonstrates the timeline of Canada’s changing identity.
Cook, Ramsey; Saywell, John; Ricker, John, Canada A Modern Study. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin and Company Limited, 1963.
A history of Canada from 1763 to the present which is balanced and lack bias. In it racial and religious controversies are dealt with in a forthright manner and quotations are used strategically to point out the issues under consideration.
Clark, Lovell, Issues in Canadian History, The Manitoba School Question: Majority Rule or Minority Rights?. Toronto: The Copp Clark Publishing Company, 1968.
This source presents data that suggests multiple facets in Manitoba understand the long term ramifications of the Manitoba School Act and the changes it could make on the Canadian language and cultural landscape for the future.
Brophy and Others V. The Attorney General of Manitoba (Canada). January 29, 1895 (
This case demonstrates how the Canadian identity would be affected by the Manitoba School Act of 1890, as education was exclusively provincial jurisdiction under the Constitution of Canada unless any act of decision of any Provincials Authority affecting any Right of the Queen’s Subjects in relation to Education.

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