Pure laine

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The French term pure laine literally meaning pure wool (and often interpreted as true blue or dyed-in-the-wool) refers to those whose ancestry is exclusively French-Canadian. Another similar term is de souche (roughly in English, old stock).

While most French-Canadians are able to trace their ancestry back to the original settlers of New France, a number are descended from mixed marriages between the French and Irish settlers.[citation needed] When these shared the same Roman Catholic faith, their unions were approved by the once-powerful Roman Catholic Church in Quebec. Another factor was the settlement of many English people in the region, many of whom were ultimately assimilated into the francophone culture. Recently, Quebec has also experienced the effects of a policy of immigration from French-speaking countries, which has changed Quebec's culture.

The use of pure laine is sometimes deprecated.[1][2] Regardless, English-language commentators Brigitte Pellerin of the Ottawa Citizen[3] and Jan Wong of The Globe and Mail[4] have used the term. The mainstream French-language newspaper La Presse, however, still uses both the terms pure laine and de souche.[5]

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society President Jean Dorion has declared "There is no obsession for racial purity in Quebec, definitely not. [...] The expression 'pure laine' is absolutely obsolete.".[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Charest seeks Globe apology over notion culture a factor in school shootings" by the Canadian Press, The Gazette, September 19, 2006. Retrieved September 20, 2006.
  2. ^ "Les « pures laines » coupables ?" by Antoine Robitaille, La Presse, September 19, 2006.
  3. ^ Ottawa, The (2007-03-20). "''Don't faint, I'm siding with a separatist''". Canada.com. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  4. ^ Post, National (2006-09-23). "''L'affaire Wong' becomes talk of Quebec''". Canada.com. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  5. ^ Katia Gagnon : La commission Bouchard-Taylor... à l'envers | Actualités | Cyberpresse

Further reading[edit]

  • Taras Grescoe. Sacre Blues: An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec. Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2004. ISBN 1-55199-081-4