It is an unfortunate reality but generalizations and misconceptions can
accompany and shade many of our own perceptions of people and/or places.
Alberta and Albertans are no exception and overtime many
misconceptions about the province and its inhabitants have
emerged, and continue to resonate. For example . . .
The province of Alberta has, at times, gained the reputation
for being a squeaky wheel—opinionated, outspoken, more
"American" and even selfish.
While Albertans strongly disagree with this generalization, most also continue to differentiate themselves
from other Canadians. In fact, the perception of Albertans by other Canadians
has to some degree developed as a result of Albertans voicing sentiments of
Western Alienation. Additionally,
in federal elections Albertans generally do not vote in favour
of the party that becomes the government. Regardless of the
reputation, it is likely that Albertans will continue to
loudly voice their
opinions as the province finds its place in the "New West" of Canada.
of the Canadian "Wild West." Facets of American history and mythology are frequently mistaken as symbols of the
Canadian experience. Although there were similarities in the development of the Canadian and
there were also significant differences. Cowboys toting six-shooters, robbing
trains and going to war with the
"Indians" almost never happened in western Canada. By the time large numbers of
settlers began to arrive in
Alberta, most First Nations had signed
treaties and were living on reserves, and the Northwest
Mounted Police was solidly in place to deal with would-be lawbreakers.
Despite population growth and urbanization, Albertans still have to contend with
stereotypes leftover from
the frontier and settlement eras. The notion of Alberta as singularly
rough and rural is no longer relevant considering the fact that over
80 percent of Albertans now live and work
in the province's increasingly multicultural towns and cities.
This digital collection was
produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital
Collections initiative, Industry Canada.