Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2004


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 14, No. 2, 2004. Copyright © 2004 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


From the very beginning of this project we have focused on taking a balanced approach to identifying the strengths and challenges of new immigrants in the Great Plains. Discussions of change in our world invariably focus on problems, and only occasionally on the strengths. We set out to look at new immigrants from a different perspective, in our view, a more realistic perspective: seeing the inherent strengths they possess as newcomers to our region and the gifts they bring, and examining the cultural assets the newcomers and the longer-term residents all can rely upon in working together to meet the inevitable challenges that an influx of new people brings to our world.
What, then, have we learned about the new immigrants and the new immigrant families to the Heartland? What challenges do they face in their journey to create a safe, prosperous, and harmonious new home for themselves and their loved ones and friends? What strengths do they possess to accomplish these goals? What gifts do they bring to our region? Let's go back to the original questions posed by the authors, and discuss what we have learned.