June 6, 2013 by LeVoyageur
The petition campaign for a French Canadian Heritage Day reached an important symbolic benchmark this week with 500 signatures. While we will continue to collect signatures indefinitely, at this point we will move ahead with submitting the proposal to Governor Rick Snyder using the petition with all its wonderful comments, and the letters of support we have received as clear evidence of public support to make our case. The Ad Hoc Committee has coalesced around Friday, October 4, 2013 as the first heritage day.
Initially three dates were suggested, all during the Summertime. While these dates had the appeal of being already important in French Canadian culture (namely June 24 which is Quebec’s National Day/the Feast of St. Jean Baptiste and July 26 which is the Feast of Ste. Anne), one of our objectives was clearly focused on the heritage day raising awareness and providing an opportunity for education as well as celebration. Our concern that a day proclaimed and set during the Summer vacation period would get lost in the season.
October 4 is at the beginning of a period in which schools are in session and when traditional activities, such as homecomings, the hunting season, and harvest holidays are already on the calendar. Our hope is to take our place among these heritage celebrations, allowing time for schools to make use of this day in their curricula and for other organizations to make use of the day for programming.
In any case, Fall is a beautiful time of the year to celebrate our connection to our families, our communities, and our roots.