The genesis of the Nous sommes le Canada - We are Canada project
Jean-François Bergeron / Enviro Foto
Beginning in 1992, my life partner Hélène Savard and I travelled the cities, rural and wilderness areas of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories. We had the honour of meeting thousands of Canadians of all cultures and faiths who expressed themselves in French, English or Indigenous languages. This rewarding period of our lives enriched our reflections on the complex question of Canadian identity. Our venture was about understanding and illustrating who we are as a nation and what sets us apart, and above all what unites us.
In 2018, we started producing photo stories focusing on leaders of all ages associated with visible minorities and out of Québec francophones. Thirty-one people were interviewed. Of course the project continues in 2019; we have had the privilege of sharing the challenges and dreams of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters in their living environments.
The life paths of the interviewees and their achievements lead to a reflection on a variety of concerns, such as civil rights, values, Canadian identity, language, culture, the growth of cultural communities, the environment, sustainable development, education and public services. This introduction would not be complete without mentioning the interviewees’ drive and determination to make Canada a great nation. They are doing this through a number of engagements: fighting racism and discrimination, uniting people, supporting others and listening, adapting, taking action, being open-minded and tolerant, promoting freedom of expression and social justice, creating dialogue, tackling challenges and highlighting our cultural wealth.