The Melissa MacDonald Award: Celebrating the Contribution of Parents from Mixed Families

Article from Parenthèse published on 19 October 2023, in the News, Transmission of French Language category.

As a member of the Commission nationale des parents francophones (CNPF), the Fédération des parents is invited to nominate a candidate for the Prix Melissa MacDonald.

This newly created award recognizes the exceptional contribution of a Francophone or Anglophone parent from a mixed (or exogamous) family who has made a significant contribution to his or her community. It will be awarded by the CNPF in December 2023 in Ottawa, as part of a national meeting in which the President of the Fédération des parents will participate.

It’s in this context that the Fédération des parents is calling on all of its members to submit the names of parents who have been exceptionally committed to supporting French language and culture within their community.

In British Columbia, where the rate of mixing (exogamy) among Francophone families is the highest in Canada at about 87%, celebrating the invaluable contribution of parents in mixed (or exogamous) couples makes perfect sense. These parents play a crucial role in the development of a thriving and successful Francophone community through their involvement in their family, the educational environment (school/child care centre), and the broader community. Their role as the primary educator of their children, from an early age, places them in a unique and central position to influence their children’s future in terms of language and identity. As Glen Taylor, a parent in an exogamous couple and an author, put it at a workshop organized by the Fédération des parents, “Children's language, culture, and identity depend on the choices of parents. And their choices have a direct impact on the child, and also an indirect impact on the Francophonie in British Columbia and across the country.”

The selection criteria for candidates are:

  • Be from an exogamous family (where one parent is Francophone and the other is non-Francophone) living in Canada;
  • Have worked to advance the cause of Francophone parents at the regional, provincial/territorial, or national level, and;
  • Have shown leadership in promoting a welcoming and supportiveness for Francophone and Anglophone parents from exogamous families.

Do you know a parent from an exogamous family who has distinguished themselves in your community?

  • Send the person’s name and a short description of their accomplishments, by October 31, 2023, to:
  • Please include “Melissa MacDonald Award” in the subject line of the email.