Michigan Needs French

In April of 2006, Michigan took the bold step of making foreign-language study a general requirement for graduation from high school.  The state that led this country to a technological revolution in the beginning of the last century prepares now to lead it through a true internationalization of its work force in this one. As Michigan take its first proud steps with this new curriculum, those of us who teach French would like to make available connections with people and organizations who believe in the value of learning French and studying the many cultures in the many countries where it is spoken. We also want to suggest some reasons for learning this language, which are firmly grounded in Michigan's history and economic realities.


Belgian Consular Representatives in Michigan
Mr. David CORNILLIE, Honorary Consul
30 Edgemere Rd.
Grosse Pointe Farms
MI 48236
Phone: 313 530-4436
Fax: 313 885-0355
Email: Detroit@diplobel.org

Regional Canadian Consulate General
Consulate General of Canada - Detroit
600 Renaissance Center, Suite 1100
Detroit, MI 482-43-1798
General enquiries:
    Tel: (313) 567-2340,
    Fax: (313) 567-2164
e-mail: dtrot@international.gc.ca

Regional Quebec Government Reprasentative
Mr. David CORNILLIE, Honorary Consul
30 Edgemere Rd.
Grosse Pointe Farms
MI 48236
Phone: 313 530-4436
Fax: 313 885-0355
Email: Detroit@diplobel.org

Consul Général de France - Chicago
Consulate General of France in Chicago
205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: 312/327-5200
Fax: 312/327-5201
E-mail : contact@consulfrance-chicago.org


Union des Français de l'Etranger de Détroit
39105 Grennada
Livonia MI 48154
Tél: 313-493-8432
Fax: 313-493-8667

French Society of Michigan
1261 Harding
Cooklin MI 49403
Tél: 616-942-7577

Club Français de Détroit
17598 Parkside
Detroit MI 48221
Tél: 313-862-6568

Alliance Française in Michigan

Alliance Française de Detroit
30316 Stellamar
c/o Edward Chalom
Tel. 248-644-2692
E-mail: edwchalom@aol.com

Alliance Française de Grand Rapids
P.O. Box 2223
Grand Rapids MI 49501
Tél: 616-776-5862
Présidence :Mme Linda FITZGERALD
2519 Alger St., NE
Tél. 616-827-7214

Alliance Française de Grosse-Pointe
32 Lakeshore Road
Grosse Pointe Farms MI 48236
Tél: 313-821-5929
Fax: 313-886-0269

Alliance Française de Kalamazoo
Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Tél. 269-387-3021

French Institute of Michigan
Direction : Mme Lucie CHVATAL
7100 Lindenmere Circle
Tél. 248-538-5440
Fax. 248-538-5433
Email: info@frenchinstitute.org

Some Canadian Connections

French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan
P. O. Box 1900
Royal Oak, MI 48068-190

French-Canadian Genealogical Research in Houghton County, Michigan

Franco-Canadian Detroit writer (Suzanne Boivin Sommerville)

The AATF in Michigan

Detroit Chapter

Casimer Gorkiewicz, President
E-mail: gorkiec@mail.resa.net

William Leone, Secretary-Treasurer
E-mail: vandbonnie@msn.com

Michigan Chapter - American Association of Teachers of French

J. Sanford Dugan, President
219 Alexander Building
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
E-mail: js.dugan@emich.edu

Michigan Web site
Keith Palka, Secretary-Treasurer
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
E-mail: palka1ka@cmich.edu

James E. Murphy –
Instructor of French
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Ecole Française de Détroit
Meadow Lake Center
7100 Lindenmere Drive
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
Tél: 248-203-5704 - Fax: 248-203-5705

Burton International School (K-8)
 3420 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Wayne County
Phone: (313) 494-2394

Michigan Immersion Schools (Frenchculture.org)

International Baccalaureate Programs in Michigan

Detroit Country Day School
22305 West 13 Mile Road,
Beverly Hills, Michigan  48025

International Academy
1020 East Square Lake Road,
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan  48304

Portage Central High School
8135 South Westnedge Avenue,
Portage, Michigan  49002

 Portage Northern High School
1000 Idaho Avenue,
Portage, Michigan 49024

National Council of State Supervisors of Foreign Languages
    No current representative from Michigan

Center for Language Education and Research

A 712 Wells Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 432-2286
Fax: (517) 432-0473

Michigan Teacher Network - Foreign Languages and ESL Education

Michigan World Language Association

Francophone Media in Michigan

(broadcast media with significant French programming)

Radio & Television

Ann Arbor, MI  WCBN / 88.3 FM

In northern and central Michigan, Montreal CBC O&O station CBMT can be seen on Charter cable systems in cities like Alpena, Bay City, Midland, Mount Pleasant and Marquette.

Francophone Demography in Michigan

Nearly 40,000 Michigan residents are native speakers of French, French Creole, Cajun French or French Patois

489,240 Michigan residents claim French ancestry, while 191,699 claim French-Canadian ancestry.

French-Canadian Genealogical Research in Houghton County, Michigan

DuLong, John P.  French Canadians in Michigan. Discovering the Peoples of Michigan.  East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2001.

Brandon, Edgar Z. "A French Colony in Michigan," Modern Language Notes 13 (1898): 242...

French-Canadian Genealogical Research in Houghton County, Michigan


During the Civil War, the Canadian dollar was still on a gold basis. While the American Federal Government printed millions in greenbacks, the U.S. dollar depreciated in value and Canadians could buy farms in Michigan at bargain prices.

1615 - Champlain, in company with the Franciscan friar, Joseph le Caron, and other Frenchmen, discovered the Georgian bay of Lake Huron

1615 Champlain accompanied by an interpreter, Etienne Brulé, one other Frenchman, and ten Indians, made an expedition to the Huron region of Lake Manatouline

1618    - French explorer Étienne Brulé landed at the narrows of Sault Ste. Marie

1621 - Etienne Brulé traveled as far west as the Keweenaw Peninsula.

1634 - Jean Nicolet, French explorer, traveled across Lake Huron to the straits of Michilimackinac, into Lake Michigan.

1654 - Médard Chouart Des Groseilliers crossed from east to west over the bottom part of what is now Michigan, also down most of the length of the Saint Joseph River.

1660 - French Missionaries arrived and established a mission at Keweenaw Way

1666 -  Claude Allouez, a Jesuit missionary, arrived in the Green Bay area

1668 - Father Jacques Marquette established the first permanent settlement of Michigan at Sault Sainte Marie.

1669 - French explorer Adrien Joliet was guided down the St. Clair-Detroit waterway by an Iroquois Indian.

1670 - Father Claude Dablon journeyed from his Ojibway mission at Sault Ste. Marie to study the possibility of establishing a mission on Mackinac Island.

1671 - French fur trappers visit Ile Royal.

1672 - Rene-Robert Cavalier De La Salle traveled down the Saint Joseph River, trying to find the easiest route between Quebec and the Mississippi's mouth.

1673 - Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette, fur trader Louis Jolliet and five voyageurs leave the recently established Indian mission at St. Ignace (May 17).

1680s - The French built a fort at St, Ignace.

1683 - The French published maps outlining the Great Lakes.

1679 - Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle had the "Griffen" built to sail the Great Lakes.  He described the scene at the mouth of the Detroit River.

1691 - French built and occupied Fort Saint Joseph on the west bank of the Saint Joseph River near present day Niles, Michigan

French withdrew the garrison from the fort at near the turn of the 18th century.
1701 -  The Fox and Sauk tribes started to make raids upon the fur stores of the Potowatomi and the French traders.

1701 - Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded French fort Pontchartrain, later Detroit (July 17).

1702 - Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse, soon moves to Detroit, becoming one of the first white women to settle in the Michigan.

1714-1715, French soldiers built Fort Michilimackinac.

1749/52 - Chaussegros de Lery's map shows a grant R. du Grand Marais-Conner Creek, near Gorsse Pointe.

1754–63 French & Indian Wars

1758 - the site of the Grosse Pointe Club (Little Club) was being farmed by Nicholas Patemaud.

By the mid-eighteenth century, the French will also occupy forts at present-day Niles and Sault Ste. Marie.

1800 - French trappers were using Presque ile harbor as shelter from storms on Lake Huron

1863 - Franco-American agent of the Association, Euchariste Brûlé, arrived in the Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula with 250 workers he had recruited in French Canada.

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac

Historical figures (mostly French in Michigan history, by Ingham ISD students)

History Detroit Timeline from 1701 to 1760

French historical map of Detroit from Bellin, Petit Atlas Maritime (1764)

L'Anse Creuse Register Father G.J. Boheme


Sault Sainte Marie, Detroit, Presque Isle, Charlevoix County, Grand Traverse County, Gratiot County,  Lapeer County, Marquette County, Montcalm County, Presque Isle County, St. Joseph County, Benzie County, Huron County, Ampere, Antoine, Arlene, Au Train, Bai de Wasai, Barbau, Bellair, Belle River, Belleville, Bellevue, Belmont, Bernard, Bois Blanc, Bois Blanc Island, Brest, Brouard, Cadiz, Calumet, Campau, Charlevoix, Cheviers, Devereaux, Eau Claire, Ecorse, Eloise, French Landing, Grand Blanc, Grand Marais, Gratiot, Fort Gratiot, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Ile, La Barge, La Branche, Lachine, Lac La Belle, Lafayette, La Grange, Lamont, LaMotte, Lapeer, La Phamville, Laporte, Laramie, La Rocque, La Salle, Legrand, Leroy, Les Cheneaux Club, Little Manistee, Little Point Sable, Little Traverse, Lyons, Manistee, Marquette, Marquette Island, Menominee, Michigamme, Millecoquins, Napier, Napoleon, Allouet, Orleans, Osier, Ozark, Paris, Parisville, Parmelee, Perrin, Platte, Pingree, Point au Gres, Point au Sable, Point aux Barques, Point aux Chenes, Point au Frenfe,Point aux Peaux, Point aux Pins, Point aux Tremble, Point Etoufette, Point Fuyards, Point La Barbe, Point St. Ignace, Ruse, Sans Souci, Soule, South Lyon, Nadeau, Vermillion, De Tour Village, Epoulette, Lake Au Sable, Cadillac, Lake Petit

A Brief History of the Native American and European Names
of the Saint Joseph-River

Michigan's Role in International Business

Michigan: Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment

Michigan District Export Council


Greater Detroit Foreign Trade Zone

MSU Global Michigan

Global Edge (CIBER at MSU)

International Business Network of the Detroit Regional Chamber


Michigan Economic Development Corp.
300 North Washington Square
Lansing, MI   48913
(517) 373-9808, FAX: None
Website: http://www.medc.michigan.org
International Investment: http://www.medc.michigan.org/common/book/main.asp?BookId=1&BookName=Databook&ChapName=International+Investment&ChapId=35

Export Advice and Assistance (Dept. of Agriculture - Micgigan)

Michigan & U.S. Agricultural Exports

Michigan exported $32.9 billion in goods to 185 foreign markets in 2003. 13,216 Michigan companies exported goods in 2001

Value of Michigan exports in 2004 in millions of dollars

Total:                         35,625.0
Canada:                       21.485.8
France:                         615.5
Belgium:                        429.1

total for Francophone countries        $22,530.4

Over 63.2% of Michigan's export dollars come from trade with Francophone countries.

Value of Michigan exports in 2006 in millions of dollars

Total:                           40,405
Canada:                       23,794
France:                            577
Belgium:                          434

total  for Francophone countries        $24,805

Over 61.4% of Michigan's export dollars come from trade with Francophone countries.

Canada is Michigan's largest export market. 221,500 Michigan jobs are supported by Canada–U.S. trade.

Export-supported jobs linked to manufacturing account for an estimated 5.6 percent of Michigan's total private-sector employment. A total of 10,134 companies exported goods from Michigan locations in 2005. Of those, 9,066 (89 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises, with fewer than 500 employees.

French embrace MSU-based biotech know-how rooted in northwest Michigan company

Transborder Surface Freight Data for trade between Michigan and Canada between October 2004 and October 2005

    All Canadian Provinces to Michigan        $52,873,485,540
    Michigan to All Canadian Provinces        $23,555,125,12    

Michigan is Canada’s leading partner in trade, and vice versa. Michigan's exports to Canada increased 8.5% in 2004.  The two-way trade that crosses the Ambassador Bridge between Michigan and Ontario equals all U.S. exports to Japan.

Michigan Fact Sheet (Canadian trade)

Canadian Embassy State Trade Fact Sheets - Michigan

Foreign Direct Investment

Michigan: Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment (November 2005)

Foreign Investment/Trade in Oakland County

In Michigan, 5.4 % of the workforce is employed by foreign-based companies.  Because of this, Michigan is ranked 14th in the nation by 2002 figures. Michigan is also ranked number 14 in the nation because of the employment derived form French nonbank U.S. Affiliates in State: 14,100 (2001)

Considering all foreign-direct investment, there are 3,760 divisions, affiliates and subsidiaries in the state representing over 40 countries and encompassing all industry and service sectors. They employ over 204,100 Michigan workers, and 47% of these are manufacturing jobs.

In 1995, 444,239 acres of Michigan farmland were owned by foreign investors.

French-American Chamber of Commerce (Michigan)
c/o Clayton & McKervey, P.C.
Jean-Pierre Kemper, Directeur
27777 Franklin Road, Suite 1200
Southfield, MI 48034-2390
Tel. (248)358-1861,
Fax (248)358-4766
E-mail: faccmi@claytonmckervey.com

LATEST DEVELOPMENT - French Firm Opens Plant in Detroit Region

Incentives Help Michigan Land French Firm's First North American Plant

    51010 Celeste Drive
    Shelby Township, MI 48315
    Phone: 586-532-9500
    Fax: 586-532-9501

Here is a list of 71 Michigan-based companies with important subsidiaries and offices in France:

 Acheson Industries Inc  - Port Huron, MI

 Advanced Accessory Systems, Llc. - Sterling Heights, MI

 Altair Engineering Inc. - Troy, MI

 American Communications Network (Acn) - Farmington Hills, MI

 Amway Corp. - Ada, MI

 Arbortext, Inc. - Ann Arbor, MI

 Arvinmeritor, Inc. - Troy, MI

 Autocam Corporation - Kentwood, MI

 Axletech International - Troy, MI

 Blackmer (Dover Corp ) - Grand Rapids, MI

 Cignet Llc. (Combined Industrial Group Network ) - Grosse Pointe, MI

 Cimdata Inc. - Ann Arbor, MI

 Cincinnati Lamb (Unova, Inc.) - Warren, MI

 Collins & Aikman Corporation - Troy, MI

 Compuware Corporation - Detroit, MI

 Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. - Novi, MI

 Csm Worldwide - Farmington Hills, MI

 Cypress Corporation - Rochester Hills, MI

 De-Sta-Co Industries (Dover) - Madison Heights, MI

 Delphi Corporation - Troy, MI

 Dme Company (Milacron) - Madison Heights, MI

 Domino's, Inc. - Ann Arbor, MI

 Dow Automotive - Auburn Hills, MI

 Dow Chemical Company - Midland, MI

 Dow Corning Corporation - Midland, MI

 Dura Automotive Systems - Rochester Hills, MI

 Dynalog Inc. - Bloomfield Hills, MI

 Edward C. Levy Co. - Detroit, MI

 Elysium, Inc. - Southfield, MI

 Federal-Mogul Corporation - Southfield, MI

 Ford Motor Company - Dearborn, MI

 Gdx Automotive (Gencorp. Company) - Farmington Hills, MI

 General Motors Corporation - Detroit, MI

 Gentex Corporation - Zeeland, MI

 Gmac (General Motors Acceptance Corporation) - Detroit, MI

 Guardian Industries Corp. - Auburn Hills, MI

 Haden International Group - Auburn Hills, MI

 Haworth, Inc. - Holland, MI

 Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. - Northville, MI

 Herman Miller Inc - Zeeland, MI

 Kellogg's - Battle Creek, MI

 Kelly Services - Troy, MI

 Key Plastics L.L.C. - Novi, MI

 Key Safety Systems, Inc. - Sterling Heights, MI

 L & L Products, Inc / Dow Automotive - Romeo, MI

 L & L Products Inc - Romeo, MI

 Lear Corporation - Southfield, MI

 Magnum Corporation - Birmingham, MI

 Metaldyne Corporation - Plymouth, MI

 Msx International, Inc. - Auburn Hills, MI

 Ogura Corporation  - Madison Heights, MI

 Omega Productive Services, Inc. - Rochester Hills, MI

 Oxford Automotive, Inc. - Troy, MI

 Perceptron - Plymouth, MI

 Pontlevoy Equity Corporation - Bloomfield Hills, MI

 Questor Partners Funds - Southfield, MI

 R. L. Polk & Co - Southfield, MI

 Smw Automotive Corp. - Birmingham, MI

 Steelcase Corp. - Grand Rapids, MI

 Stryker Corp. - Kalamazoo, MI

 Tecumseh Products Co - Tecumseh, MI

 Terre Clinical Research Services, Inc. - Ann Arbor, MI

 The Magni Group Inc. - Birmingham, MI

 Tower Automotive, Inc. - Grand Rapids, MI

 Trw Automotive, Inc. - Livonia, MI

 Valassis Communications, Inc. - Livonia, MI

 Venture Industries Corporation - Fraser, MI

 Visteon Corporation - Dearborn, MI

 Wall Colmonoy Corporation - Madison Heights, MI

 Whirlpool Corporation - Benton Harbor, MI

 X-Rite, Incorporated - Grandville, MI

Direct Political Advocacy in Michigan

Michigan members of the US Congress

Directory of Michigan State House Members

Directory of Michigan State Senate Members