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Their dress and cohesive communities, as well as an at times controversial history, are part of the cultural identity of the Hutterites in Alberta. The history of the Hutterites goes as far back as the 1600s although the Hutterite settlers first began arriving in Alberta from the Dakotas in 1918. 

From this beginning in Alberta, Hutterite settlement was not Group of Hutterites without hardship. The establishment of the early Hutterite colonies meant digging wells, erecting buildings and purchasing livestock and farm equipment. They encountered hostility from veterans groups who objected to the Hutterite philosophy of pacifism as well as to their speaking and Hutterite children teaching of German.

As well, the community's religious understanding meant that the generally accepted teaching of evolutionary theory was not acceptable in their schools. 

The difficulties of the depression led to changes in the way the Hutterites of Alberta were regarded. The difficult economic times showed that the communal and self-sufficient ways of the Hutterites had an important place. Their collective and simple way of living allowed the Hutterites to survive the economic times well. 

With the outbreak of World War II, the Hutterite use of the German language and their philosophy of pacifism resulted in further hostility. Neighbouring farmers saw their own sons off to war, while the Hutterites Duck pond appeared to be only expanding their colony's acreage. The farmers were threatened by these land purchases.  In general, the larger community ignored the contributions the Hutterites made to the province and the country, such as purchasing Victory bonds and making contributions to the Red Cross. After WWII the increase farm mechanization led to further friction between the Hutterites and rural communities. The shift of the rural population to urban centres as the need for farm labour declined reinforced the notion that Hutterite colonies were monopolizing the industry and outnumbering those remaining in rural communities.

Hutterite pottery In 1947, the Hutterites were subject to legislation that restricted the purchasing of land.  The Act limited the size and location of new colonies or expansions. The legislation indicated, for example, that new colonies could only be established 40 miles distant from each other. This legislation later changed the restriction to 25 miles. Nevertheless this legislation changed the development of Hutterite communities. Previously, the colonies were concentrated around Lethbridge in southern Alberta. As a result, colonies have been established throughout the province.

Hutterite writings Due to this dispersal of the colonies, more travel and contact with non-Hutterites is required, opening the community to more outside influence. Along with the progressive nature of the agriculture business has resulted in increased mechanization of farming and domestic work, such as the use of electric sewing machines. In spite of the number of challenges that have faced the Hutterites, there fundamental basis of the movement is key to their established presence in Alberta. |  Top
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