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Chabot, Irène (1930–)

Irène Chabot, August 1978.
Roy Antal (Regina Leader-Post)

As a result of her leadership role in local, provincial, and national Francophone organizations, Irène Chabot (née Fournier) has contributed to the advancement of French-speaking women in Saskatchewan. Born on August 25, 1930, in Montreal, Quebec, she was the eldest child of a Ferland-based business couple. In 1950 she married Alfred Chabot, a Ferland grain buyer and farmer; the couple raised five children. Irène Chabot served on the Directorate of CFRG, southern Saskatchewan’s French radio station, from 1958 to 1970. She co-operated with her mother, Pearl Fournier, in the expansion throughout western Canada of a national women’s organization, the Fédération des Femmes Canadiennes-Françaises, serving as national vice-president in the late 1970s. She was the first woman president of the Association culturelle franco-canadienne de la Saskatchewan, serving three consecutive terms from 1977 to 1983, and was a member of the board and the executive of the Fédération des Francophones Hors-Québec, a lobby group for francophones outside Québec. She also served as member of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women. As well, Chabot was president of the Board of Gravelbourg’s Collège Mathieu from 1983 to 1996. Widely respected for her lifelong commitment to the preservation of francophone culture in Saskatchewan, she has received numerous honours from provincial, national and international bodies. In 2004 she became a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2005 a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Richard Lapointe

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