Five workshops dealing with themes that strongly affect parents in B.C. were on the agenda for the 2021 Conference. Here is an overview of each workshop.
Taking Our Place: The Importance of Mobilizing Around Our Francophone Education System in British Columbia
Led by Rémi Léger, professor at Simon Fraser University, this workshop brought together all the delegates of member associations as well as partners of the Fédération des parents present at the conference.
By reviewing our history, the School Act, and other structures governing Francophone education in our province, and recalling the challenges and victories of the Francophone parents’ movement in British Columbia, the workshop highlighted the importance of the collaboration of this movement and the community with the Conseil scolaire francophone de la C.-B. in the implementation of section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The goal was to highlight the extent to which the involvement of Francophones, and particularly parent volunteers in our network, is varied, supportive, and, above all, essential to the proper functioning of our Francophone education system.
Including an interactive online quiz and input from participants, the workshop presented, among other things, the various ways in which members of the Francophone community (and particularly parents) can find it beneficial to be involved in contributing to our children’s development in French.
Me, Elected to My Parents’ Association? Mission Possible
This workshop-discussion featured the participation of a panel made up of former parents’ association presidents: Christine McLeod (APÉ Les Aiglons, Squamish), Heather Kerr (APÉ Sophie-Morigeau, Fernie), and Roch Massicotte (APÉ Au-cœur-de-l'île, Comox).
For a parent volunteer elected to serve in their parents’ association, representing Francophone parents in a community involves a certain amount of knowledge and requires people skills. During this “question and answer” panel, participants were able to focus on the fundamental skills to acquire, in addition to sharing successful practices for them to fully exercise their leadership.
Through informative dialogue, this workshop led the delegates of the parents’ associations to reflect on the implementation of their role as representatives and partners, with the aim of better mobilizing the talents of parents in their community in the service of common objectives.
Initiating and Planning Projects within a Parents’ Association
For this workshop, the Fédération des parents called on the expertise of Marie-France Lefort, coach and senior consultant in governance in the non-profit sector.
Planning is that crucial time when a parents’ association sets goals to carry out its mandate for the coming year. What do we want to accomplish together? What are the needs of the community? What can the board of directors do at its level to help respond? It’s on the basis of these questions that Ms. Lefort provoked reflection as well as discussion among participants.
The workshop allowed representatives of parents’ associations to get a better idea of the latitude they have to accomplish projects, while providing them with several avenues on how to successfully turn an idea into action.
Note: This workshop has been recorded and will be made available (in French only) in 2022, in the section « Nos vidéos » on the Fédération des parents website.
Encouraging Francophone Belonging among our Children and Youth
The objective of this workshop was to equip participants with ways to encourage the construction of Francophone identity in their child or youth.
Through an interactive presentation, it allowed the parents present to familiarize themselves with the key factors related to the development of Francophone identity and their child’s sense of belonging to a French-speaking community in a minority setting.
The 2021 conference was the opportunity for the Fédération des parents team to offer, for the first time, this brand-new workshop developed especially for parents in minority contexts. Our goal is to make it available to all Francophone parents in B.C. in 2022.
Supporting Linguistic Security for Youth
The team of Suzanne Robillard, PhD in sociolinguistics at the University of Ottawa, Geneviève Poitras, a founding member of the Comité sécurité linguistique de la C.-B., and Clémentine Creach, from the Conseil jeunesse francophone de la C.-B., facilitated this workshop.
The workshop aimed to give participants the chance to learn more about what linguistic insecurity is and how it affects young Francophones in minority situations – but also to take a new look at French.
The presenters discussed the importance for parents to be aware of the stakes and the impact that this phenomenon can have on the development of their youth’s identity, and lead the participants to reflect on ways to overcome this problem.
Note: Those who would like to learn more about linguistic (in)security, and discover resources on this subject, are invited to visit the web page of the Comité sécurité linguistique de la C.-B.
Photo Credits © Gaetan Nerincx