For thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans to Alberta , several distinct indigenous peoples had lived off the land’s abundant natural resources. With the coming of the Europeans, however, the native groups were overrun and reduced in numbers, today constituting only approximately 2.5 percent of Alberta’s population. The Europeans came in droves—first drawn by game and arable land, and later by the oil and gas boom. People of many diverse cultures moved west, forming a melting pot of traditions. A census as early as 1921 noted 30 different languages in the province, in addition to the many distinct languages of the natives. Today, Alberta’s population of three million is the fourth largest among the Canadian provinces and approximately 10 percent of the country’s total. Alberta is Canada’s fastest-growing province, with an annual population growth of 2 percent—double the national average.