I value the differences between people whether it be through culture,
value systems, education, gender, political or religious persuasion, or
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
Through 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.
Cultural 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.