Who Is a Quebecois?


104 pages
ISBN 0-919662-97-8





Edited by R. Vachon and J. Langlais
Translated by Frances E. Morgan
Reviewed by James Pritchard

James Pritchard is a history professor at Queen’s University and
author of Louis XV’s Navy, 1748-1762: A Study of Organization and


In the late spring of 1977, in the wake of the Parti Quebécois’s electoral victory and in response to the new provincial government’s desire to develop a policy of minorities in Quebec, the Monchanin Intercultural Center of Montreal brought together 23 Québécois from various minority groups to initiate a limited intercultural exchange on the question, who is a Québécois? The group did not intend to formulate resolutions or pass on recommendations to the government, and readers will be thankful that it did not. About half this slim volume is taken up with expressions of intercultural points of view by Haitian, Jewish, Pakistani, English, and French participants, and the remainder by longer essays written by Amerindians, African, and Jewish contributors that appear to have been prepared later. Questions concerning national, ethnic, and cultural identity and the possibility of full and total integration into Quebec society are bedevilled by lack of definition of terms, inadequate historical understanding and less than rigorous thought. This volume does little to correct such weakness. But the increasingly pluralistic society of Quebec and the desire of the Quebec government to integrate the province’s minorities are two dominant facts that will not go away with time. The failure to present resolutions or recommendations is more than overcome by the albeit brief introduction to the fears and aspirations of Quebec’s minorities and especially the participants’ visions of the socio-economic and politico-cultural reality they have found in Quebec. It is these that some readers may find worth thinking about.


“Who Is a Quebecois?,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37799.