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Our DVD - Alberta's Estonians.


They crossed an ocean... and most of a continent... in search of a better life.

The history of Estonians in Alberta dates back to 1899 and the arrival of two brothers looking for freedom, fertile land, and a place to catch fish. It's the story of pioneers and refugees, adventurers and scholars; a story of courage, renewal, and assimilation; a story of success.

In the early 1900's, shortly after the arrival of the Kingsep brothers, several hundred more Estonians made the trek to the Canadian prairies, enduring savage winters and dustbowl summers as they established three vibrant agricultural communities - Medicine Valley, Stettler and Barons - something no other Estonian settlers have achieved in North America.

The descendants of those first pioneers, now into a sixth generation, no longer depend on "the old country," yet subsequent waves of immigration have helped fuel the energy required to retain and celebrate their Estonian heritage.

This film reflects the spirit of Alberta's Estonian community, visiting its three cornerstone regions, and capturing the voices of its most passionate members. It also follows a direct descendant of the Kingsep clan as he journeys to Estonia and brings a family story full-circle.

These are Canadians with a strong sense of heritage, men and women who fully appreciate what their ancestors - be they sod hut settlers or those fleeing political oppression - have wrought: the ability to emerge in an environment of world class opportunities, where they are encouraged to exercise their own traditions and lifestyle.

Small but strong, Alberta’s Estonians have arrived...


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