I have opted to focus my attentions on Manitoba's French Canadians for the purposes of this assignment. I was able to interview Pete Vandal , a 51 year old father of three, about his thoughts on Franco-Manitoban culture and identity. As this cultural group is one of considerable importance in Manitoba, and as I intend to at least begin my teaching career here, I feel that knowing more about what such a cultural association entails would be beneficial and valuable to me. Also, as I am engaged to be married to a Franco-Manitoban man, it would be personally enjoyable to learn more about his family's cultural background, with which I have either stunted or extremely limited experience thus far.From Kindergarten to graduation, I went to school in the bedroom community of Lorette, in which there is a large French speaking population. I attended a dual stream school alongside French-immersion students, but, oddly enough, I was rarely exposed to French Canadian culture as a result. The dichotomy of the school was encouraged and enforced by the environment. We had recess on opposite sides of the building from the "Frenchies" and sat jealously in class while Immersion students went on field trips to Festival du Voyageur. This was not a positive element in my education.While I'm sure there might have been administrative reasons behind this approach about which I am not aware, my experience of it was alienating. It is a personal goal of mine not to ever take part in creating a culturally divisive environment in my classes and school. To accomplish this, it is important for me to be knowledgeable of the various ethno-cultural groups I am likely to encounter within them.
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