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Long before Canada was founded, European explorers began mapping our vast land and charting the coarse / course of our country’s waterways. History lessons have taught / taut us about the pivotal rolls / roles played by French explorers Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain in mapping Canada’s northeast. But it is a little-known / little known fact that French explorers were among the first to reach the west coast; and Francophones gradually put down routes / roots in western Canada, forming French-speaking communities that still exist today! In fact, that’s how Maillardville, British Columbia, was borne / born. In 1909 and 1910, a Fraser River sawmill hired hundreds of French Canadians skilled in the lumber industry; and around the mill site / sight, the village of Maillardville grew up. In this community, although it’s / its changed over the decades, the French presents / presence is still strong, just as it is in other western communities settled by Francophones in foregoing / forgoing centuries.