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Perspectives

Alberta and Canada flagsThe "Continuity & Change" and "People of Alberta" sections of this web site deal with the general history and cultural life of the various ethno-cultural groups that make Alberta their home. In many cases, the ongoing immigration process has not been easy for both native-born Albertans and new immigrants alike. Although some of these issues are mentioned briefly elsewhere in the site, this section will discuss some of the common challenges facing Albertans.

Although Alberta is a truly multicultural society, the various cultural groups do not live in isolation from one another. Obviously, there is interaction amongst people of various cultural origins. The sharing of lifestyle traditions is at the heart of multiculturalism. However, when differences such as language barriers and religious customs seem too large, misunderstanding and intolerance can occur.

For better or for worse, to a certain degree all the cultures of Canada begin to blend together and for immigrants a process of "Canadianization" occurs. Today, this is usually a fairly smooth process since people are able to make this adjustment in their own due time. However, in the past, as is the case with Alberta's aboriginal population and early settlers, forced assimilation did not often achieve mutually desirable results.

Given the varying background of Albertans and how they have adapted to life here, issues regarding identity also arise. For aboriginal Albertans they must reconcile their long history in this land with what it means to be modern Albertans and Canadians. For the generations of Albertans whose ancestry lies somewhere else, they must walk the line between their ancestral identity and modern identities of being Albertan and Canadian.

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