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Paul Pettypiece


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heritage festival at Bower PondsCultural Diversity

I value the differences between people whether it be through culture, value systems, education, gender, political or religious persuasion, or experience.
The mosaic of our diversity gives our society and region a richness that deserves encouragement and celebration. To a major extent, this is already being done with the recognition of cultural heritage sites, festivals and organizations dedicated to welcoming and assisting people from many parts of the world. There are programs to educate and eliminate prejudice but much more can be done, especially as it relates to appreciating the differences among people including those of First Nations decent.
Fort Normandeau re-enactmentThrough mutual respect and consultation, a oneness of purpose develops that creates an environment where the overall result is greater than the sum of its parts. In spite of our differences, people are much more alike than they are different.
Maintaining respect for others reduces some of the conflict that occurs when different interests collide. As the city and towns of the region expand, it is important to co-operate while at the same time preserve the values and quality of life that many cherish.

Danish Canadian Museum DicksonCultural heritage sites and festivals go a long way to promote a sense of unity of purpose while celebrating our diversity. The proposed Scandinavian Trail linking existing historic sites that include the Danish Canadian National Museum at Dickson with the Icelandic-based Stephansson House at Markerville promotes that appreciation as does the repatriation of the former Tail Creek Metis settlement on the Red Deer River near Delburne. Ways need to be found to recognize the contributions of non-European ethnic groups in more recent times.

Another form of cultural appreciation is the celebration of the rural way of life, both past and present. To some extent, this has been accomplished with the many local museums and historical villages in the region including the Sunnybrook Farm museum in Red Deer.

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