Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Hutterites & History

The diversity of nationalities in Lethbridge and area is comprised of immigrants from all corners of the world. Hutterites are part of the rich tapestry of cultures in Lethbridge.

Anabaptist movement began in Switzerland during the Reformation when the Lutheran religion also began (early 1500s).  The Amish and the Mennonites developed in the Anabaptist movement at this same time.  The name Anabaptist comes from fact that people were baptized again as an adult in their new faith. 

After a series of leaders, Jacob Hutter became the chief elder in the 1530s, thus giving his name to the group.  They have retained the dress, the customs, the language and the simple lifestyle of their ancestors. They found this lifestyle was best preserved in a rural setting, and hence the agricultural based colonies. 

Today, an estimated 45 000 Hutterites live scattered throughout North America on Bruderhöfe (colonies).  The colonies‘ producitivty contributes substantially to the economy of western Canada.

Colonies provide their own school buildings but public school board teachers, within the restrictions of Hutterite beliefs, teach to the provincial curriculum.  They also have German and religion lessons.  Children attend school from age six to fifteen but in many of the progressive colonies schooling is allowed to the completion of high school and some go on to University or trade schools. Assisting neighbours in need through physical help or grain contributions through organizations such as Canadian Foodgrains Bank is their way of contributing to their community beyond the gates of the colony.

Don’t miss your chance to learn more about Hutterites & History. Register for The Galt Museum & Archives presents the Get Outta Town Bus Tour presented with Red Arrow. On Saturday August 12. The half-day starts at the museum with a fascinating talk on the culture and history of Hutterites in southern Alberta. Next, you’ll travel to Wilson Hutterite Colony for a guided tour and delicious lunch!  $50 (+GST) Call 403.320-3954 to register by AUG 05.

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