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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
When Coal Was King
Industry, People and Challenges
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People/Miner Profiles

By 1900, Italian miners were a significant presence in the Crow’s Nest Pass. Any visitor entering a coal mining town in Western Canada would find that the community was an assemblage of different ethnocultural groups mostly from Europe. The work force of the mines was made up of the following ancestries in decreasing order of numbers:

  • British (English, Scottish and Wales)
  • Slovakian
  • Italian
  • French
  • Belgian
  • Russian
  • Other European and
  • American

The workforce in the mines and their surrounding community was stratified. Mine owners and mine managers tended to be of British origin while the miners themselves were of the other groups noted above. Regardless of their background, coal miners were a hard-working group who continually faced physical challenges.

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