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Alberta has always been a place of diverse language and culture. From the earliest times, different First Nations peoples met and worked together in what became Alberta. Fur traders of French and English descent arrived and developed long term relationships with those who were already here. The children of the newcomers and the First Nations people were called the Métis, who developed their own culture and language. They played an ongoing important role in the fur trade as they acted as guides, workers, paddlers, and translators.

Successive waves of international immigration have added to the distinct cultural practices and languages of Alberta's Aboriginal Peoples. The individual experiences of both native-born Albertans and immigrants to the province each have their own unique story. Many Eastern Europeans came to escape political and religious discrimination in their homelands, others, like the Chinese and Japanese, came to find work. Still others, like the Dutch and Germans, arrived in search of available farmland.

Often, people of similar ethnic backgrounds have been drawn together forming new communities or specific neighbourhoods. In other cases, people of various ethnic backgrounds have intermingled more with one another.

As the years have passed and immigration to Alberta has continued to the present day, there are groups of people from nearly every country in the world living in Alberta. Alberta's economy, society and culture have greatly benefited from the diverse peoples that populate the province. 


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