Leonie T.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Red River Heritage Fair

Canada, A Land of Orphans?

This project focuses on the journey of the filles du roi to New France and their life in Canada. As well as exploring the voyage of these inspirational women, this project looks at the role of the filles du roi in creating the French settlement of the New World, and equalizing the uneven ratio of men to women in New France.


What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing I learned from my topic was about the incentives given to the filles du roi in order to encourage these women to immigrate to Canada. Incentives included things such as a dowry, the freedom of choice in marriage, and that their voyage to the New World would be financed by the French government. Even though these women had a choice as to whether or not they wanted to immigrate to the New World, these incentives greatly encouraged women to become filles du roi.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Some important lessons that I want to share with other Canadians include the vital role of women in Canadian history, as well as the primary steps of immigration to Canada. Women played a pivotal role in Canadian history, especially in the early colonization and expansion of French Canadian society. It is also important for Canadians to understand the roots of immigration that increased drastically throughout the early 1600s. Both of these things would increase Canadian’s appreciation for women and immigration in the Canada we know today.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Women’s rights in particular have drastically changed since the time of the filles du roi. For example, women in contemporary Canadian society are seen as the equals of men. Unlike the filles du roi who lived in the early 1600s, women today are able to lead independent lives, have successful careers, and influence all aspects of Canadian society.