About Alberta Estonian Heritage Society (AEHS)
Alberta Estonian Heritage Society, AEHS Alberta Estonian Heritage Society (AEHS) We are * Descendants of up to six generations of Estonians who homesteaded in Alberta. * Estonian born Canadians who arrived here with our parents.* Estonians who for economic or political reasons have elected to call Canada home. * Assimilated individuals who appreciate the circumstances and efforts made by those who came before us. The Alberta Estonian Heritage Society (AEHS) was established in April 2005 to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Alberta's Estonian community and to increase awareness of developments in Estonia. Not unlike other ethnic groups who sought land in the new world, the first Estonian pioneers organized societies in the early 1900's to assist one another with the challenges of establishing a new life in the harsh, remote and undeveloped farmland in the Canadian Prairies. The European conflicts that occurred later in the 1900's encouraged those fleeing persecution and loss of property to seek opportunities in the New World. Many Estonians came to Canada, and among those a number who settled in the province of Alberta. These new settlers found refuge in the societies originated by the early pioneers and in turn contributed to the continuation of those societies. The assimilation of Estonian born descendants into the general population eventually eroded the membership of these Estonian organizations to the point that only the Edmonton organization remained in operation. It was at this stage that the Edmonton Estonian Society and ex members of the other Alberta organizations came together to establish the AEHS. The unique aspect of the AEHS is the switch in emphasis from an Estonian society serving the needs of newer arrivals from Estonia, to an organization composed of descendants of Estonians united for the purpose of celebrating the commonality of their rich cultural heritage. Up to six generations of Albertans can look back to their Estonian pioneer roots.
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