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Polish, Settlement

Although Polish people had been living in Western Canada as far back as the early years of the19th century, the first homesteaders arrived in what is now Alberta at the turn of the 20th century. Attracted by the new immigration policy aimed at settling the Canadian prairies with farmers who could survive and work in the wilderness, these first Polish arrivals were similar to other Eastern European immigrants-they were generally from a peasant background, having little formal education and from poor agricultural areas and small villages. They often sold all that they had to leave the only home they had ever known to settle in rural Alberta.
The lives of these early pioneers were difficult. Faced with harsh conditions, strange customs and not being able to speakenglish very well, this first generation of Polish Albertans quickly established a network of mutual aid. They helped each other by sharing their homes, knowledge and farming equipment.

Early Settlers

Early Settlers