The Hutterites in Canada: “Communitarians Are We”

The Hutterites in Canada: “Communitarians Are We” ca 1970 These young Hutterite girls' clothing would likely have been sewn by the Saskatchewan colony's seamstress.

The Hutterites have made significant contributions to the history of agriculture and food in Canada. They first came to Canada from Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They wanted the freedom to follow their religious beliefs and to live and work communally. 

There are an estimated 400 Hutterite colonies in Western Canada and the United States, each with about 200 members. Daily life occurs in communal structures.  Meals are prepared and eaten together in a large dining hall. 

It is common for colonies to farm crops and livestock on a large scale. They may also run machine shops for repairing farm equipment.  Unlike some other religious groups, the Hutterites do not shun all technology. In fact, they embrace modern agricultural and office technology such as tractors, computers, and phones. However, only technology that improves efficiency and productivity is allowed. You won’t find television sets and video games in Hutterite homes.

Today, Hutterite colonies continue to drive farming innovation. Some produce and sell the modern equipment and products they have developed for wider markets. Others lease their land for wind farming.

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