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About the project

The main goal of the Local Culture and Diversity on the Prairies project was to document the everyday lives of ordinary French, German, English and Ukrainian Canadians living on the Prairies prior to 1939. It took three years of intense fieldwork research and resulted in approximately 800 hours of audio interviews, 20 videos, and 850 photos, a rich data corpus that can be mined for a multitude of themes. Aside from French, German, English, and Ukrainian ancestry, interviewees identified their ethnic background as Austrian, Croatian, Czechoslovakian, Danish, Dutch, First Nations, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish, Jewish, Lebanese, Metis, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Scottish, Slovak, Swedish, Welsh, as well as coming from the Mennonite and Mormon faith groups.

The eldest interviewee, Mr. Logan Ayre, was born in 1902. 60% of interviewees were female, while 40% were male. The interviews were conducted in approximately 450 different locations on the Prairies and across Canada. The accumulated research data was deposited into the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives at the Kule Folklore Centre. Each story is unique and together they provide invaluable information that allows researchers, students and general public to study and have better understanding of what personal experiences and community life were before 1939. The Local Culture Project data corpus is an important resource on Canadian community and identity.

In 2019-2020, the Kule Folklore Center started the process of making the interviews of the Local Culture Project accessible online. This website contains interviews from different ethnic groups. The interviews have been indexed and indices containing brief summaries of the topics discussed within the interviews are available. This site is a work-in-progress and new content is continually being added. For more information on how to search the site, please see the Search tips page. If you are interested in receiving further information about any of the interviews you can contact the Kule Folklore Center at ukrfolk@ualberta.ca

To learn more about the project, its methodology, and participants check out the project site.