The Devil's Violin by Émilie Boisvert,
The Devil’s Violin by Émilie Boisvert, Used with permission.

Storytelling has kept cultures throughout the world from fading into history. Traditional storytellers, entertainers, folklorists, and most importantly, everyday people, have long kept stories from their communities, their families, and their cultures alive by telling, retelling and telling them yet again!

French Canadian culture is no different in this respect, and today we are the recipients of many folk stories and songs that have been passed down to us through many generations.

We are also a people with a love for family stories. I believe that family lore is at the center of French Canadian culture. Perhaps that is one of the reasons so many people are drawn to study their genealogy.

Yet as with many traditions, fewer and fewer people practice the fine art of passing on such stories and songs by word of mouth, even in their families. What have we lost already, from our family stories and from the story of our wider culture?

In an effort to keep our stories – and storytelling – alive in our communities, a new online story project was launched as part of French Canadian Heritage Day 2013:



To take part in the The Storykeepers project, we are inviting people to submit short contributions (1000 words or less) on their connection to French Canadian culture, heritage, identity, or genealogy especially from those with roots in the Great Lakes region.

We are seeking ‘personal reflections’ in the form of short stories or essays that will be lightly edited and published on this blog, then kept as an archive.

Ideas to start your contribution include:

“I call myself French Canadian because….”
“I remember when….”
“My family always remembered our French Canadian roots, especially when it came to….”
“As an adult I discovered that my family history is deeper in Michigan than I knew….”
“My mother’s cooking always included meat pie or glissants and….”
“I remember hearing my grandfather speak French with my Mother….”

Contributions from French Canadians from throughout the area will be greatly valued as part of an ongoing effort to promote French Canadian culture in Michigan and the entire Great Lakes area.

For more information and to contribute your story contact James LaForest via the comments section on this blog and at .

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