Many Albertans see their history as that of a group of self-reliant people, with strong opinions and contrarian in nature. Willing to work hard and do it themselves, they have made a home and a province. As you will discover in other parts of this website, there are economic, historical and political factors that shape this perception. But in general, Alberta's history-including the history of the many cultural communities that have come to the province--is not well understood by Albertans. There are many paradoxes and misconceptions around Alberta, mostly held by Albertans.
Many people who came to Alberta looked at it as a "last frontier." The seeming absence of great heroes, grand stories, great buildings, monuments and timeless works of art, presumed there was little history worth knowing. The harshness of the climate and abundant natural resources were-and are-- the most striking features. Until recently, many scholars had not considered Alberta a worthwhile subject of study.
"Albertans.. who do they think they are?" is a question without answer. It is posed here to encourage discussion and reflection. In this section, we look at some of the factors influencing the way Albertans (as well as most other people) come to a sense of their identity, as individuals, community members and citizens. Self, memory, experience and tradition are looked at as 'layers of identity.'
This digital collection was
produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital
Collections initiative, Industry Canada.