Giving as a Means to Continuity and Community (This is not what you think!)

Tile from St. Roch, New Orleans. With Thanksgiving around the corner, and the New Year in sight, I want to offer up a few thoughts about our progress as an organization and what we hope to do in the future.

This year we made great strides as a community in Michigan and the entire Great Lakes region.  People became more connected to and aware of their heritage through French Canadian Heritage Day. Old neighborhoods seem almost reconstituted on Facebook. And for some people, a previously unrooted or unknown set of traditions was finally identified as French Canadian or Metis. For others, it has been an opportunity to proudly state their heritage – honoring it in themselves, for their children, and for their ancestors.

As an organization, the French Canadian Cultural Alliance of the Great Lakes has a lot to be thankful for. We feel honored to be part of a process of awakening, rediscovery, and continuity that will unfold over time.

After six months, as we hopefully grow from the ‘ad-hoc committee’ that organized our Heritage Day into a formal organization, we are not yet in a position to offer membership or to ask for donations to help our cause. In fact, I wouldn’t even feel comfortable doing that yet. We have 400 years of history behind us. We can, and should, make the next steps the right ones.

It is important to those of us involved to build in a way that is respectful of the means, desires, and values of our community. And a significant aspect of those values is saying Thank You:  Thank you to those individuals and organizations who shared their resources and time to help in the effort to highlight French Canadian culture in the Great Lakes region.

To that end, as we approach the season of thanksgiving, and as people give thought to donations and charitable causes, we would like to give a ‘shout-out’ to a few special supporters who joined our work to make October 4th 2013 a reality through excellent public programming, support, and advice. Please consider them in your giving this year, as they are truly invested in helping to maintain the French Canadian and French Metis culture and heritage of the Great Lakes:

Beaumier Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University
Centre de la Francophonie des Ameriques
Communities of the Voyageur Metis
Genealogical Society of Monroe County
Initiatives in French Midwest
Monroe County Historical Museums
Peter White Public Library, Marquette
St. Ignace Heritage Center and Fort de Buade

In addition, the following individuals and offices, through letters of support, public programming, and sponsorship of Michigan house Resolution (0173) 2013, made all the difference to our cause.

State Representative Bill LaVoy (D)
State Representative Andrea LaFontaine (R)
Quebec Government Office of Chicago
Archbishop Alan Vigneron of Detroit

Please support the organizations that support our culture and traditions. And thank you all for supporting the French Canadian Cultural Alliance of the Great Lakes.

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