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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Profiles Profile provided courtesy of the 1984 Alberta People Kit

  The people of Alberta have always been diverse in their languages and cultures. Even before the establishment of the Province of Alberta in 1905, Canada's Native Indian tribes spoke in ten distinct linguistic forms. This linguistic pluralism established a social base of diversity that was further enhanced as various European and Asian language groups came to pioneer settlement before and after the turn of the century. By 1921, the Census of Canada reported that over 30 non-Native languages were spoken in Alberta. It is fitting, therefore, that a binder of Profiles be developed to enable Albertans to better appreciate both their historical ethno-cultural roots and the richness of human resources available in Alberta today.

The enclosed Profiles, covering over fifty Alberta ethno-cultural groups, are designed to be a source of easily accessible information. Each Profile has been allotted one page on a white background suitable for photocopying, is printed on durable paper and included in a binder chosen for its convenience to readers. The short list of Resources at the end of each Profile will serve as a "starter" bibliography for those readers wishing to pursue a subject more fully. These Profiles are being made available to the public and to various government offices, businesses and libraries throughout the province; the Cultural Heritage branch hopes that all users find this concise information package a useful reference source.

The production of Profiles on ethno-cultural categories in Alberta required a great deal of research and verification. Fortunately, the Cultural Heritage branch had the cooperation of the Alberta Cultural Heritage Council in this endeavor. Initiated in 1972 by the Government of Alberta, the Council is comprised of province-wide representatives selected by ethno-cultural communities and appointed by Alberta's Minister of Culture. On each Profile readers will note the name(s) of the Council member(s) who volunteered their time to review draft manuscripts. The Cultural Heritage branch expresses its gratitude to the Alberta Cultural Heritage Council for its assistance with this project.

Although each of Alberta's cultures is different, there are similarities common to all. A theme of mutual integration, which respects both our similarities and differences, is reflected in the choice of design selected for the Profiles. Each is headed by the common word "People" of Alberta, yet is done in the language(s) of the ethno-cultural category. As a totality, therefore, the package both reflects the multilingual character of our population and recognizes the unity of all Albertans. Cultural Heritage is pleased to provide these profiles to facilitate cross-cultural understanding and enhance public appreciation of Alberta's cultural diversity.

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