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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Pre-World War I
Esther Little Axe
The strides of non-British settlers and First Nations peoples prior to World War I  played a tremendous role in shaping the present-day makeup of Alberta. However, prior to World War I the dominant culture in Alberta was one cultivated from British origins. Minorities existed and in many cases flourished, but with the changing of immigration and cultural policies in Canada after World War II,  these new immigrant groups were put in a greater position to help fashion mainstream Albertan society.

In this section we outline the situation of First Nations and Métis peoples just prior to and during the first waves of significant immigration to Alberta starting in the late 1800s. We also discuss how settlers from Ontario garnered such a strong foothold in present-day Alberta and the effect it had on the settlement experience of other pioneers.

For a more in-depth look at the early settlement period in Alberta please visit Alberta: Home, Home on the Plains, which is another in a series of web sites developed by the Heritage Community Foundation and Canada's Digital Collections, an initiative of Industry Canada. Alberta: Home, Home on the Plains focuses on the settlement experience and contributions of all the various peoples who reached Alberta prior to World War I. 

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