Homogénéité ou diversité? L'histoire de la population du Québec revue à travers ses gènes


  • Gérard Bouchard
  • Marc De Braekeleer


The present study uses the most recent results from research in molecular genetics to put into new perspectives some interpretations of the history of the francophone population of Quebec since the 17th century. It is now well known that since its origins, this population, as a whole, was characterized by a significant degree of cultural homogeneity (language, religion, etc.). Progressively, the common wisdom came to presume that this population was also biologically homogeneous, this view allegedly being supported by the high incidence of a few hereditary disorders, some of them quite specific to the French-Canadian population. However, such hypothesis is not corroborated by the results of the molecular studies conducted so far. On the contrary, it appears that this population is genetically diversified. These results call for a re-examination ofthe historiographical models accounting for the origins and the evolution ofthe French-speaking population of Quebec.