Geography: This Canadian province is located in the central prairie region between Manitoba to the east and Alberta to the west. To the south, it borders on Montana and Dakota of the United States and to the north, are the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Grassland covers its southern plains and to the north are the rugged rocks of the Canadian Shield...as well as coniferous forests, rivers and lakes.
Regina, its capital city, is home to The Royal Saskatchewan Museum...with exhibits on natural history and the people of Canada's First Nations. The city is also home of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mountain Police) Training Academy.
“Saskatchewan” comes from a Cree word “Kisiskatchewani Sipi” meaning “swift flowing river”, which referred to the Saskatchewan River.
Its motto... “From many peoples strength”.
Provincial Emblems: flower...Western Red Lily; tree...White Paper birch...bird Sharp-tailed Grouse.
Land and Water: One half is forest...one third is farmland.
Over 100,000 lakes, rivers, streams.
Northern Saskatchewan features forests, marshes, lakes and rivers.
Southern region is mainly flat prairie with some rolling hills and valleys.
Sand dunes, 30 meters high at Athabaska Provincial Park in northwest Saskatchewan.
“Great Sand Hills” in southwest Saskatchewan.
Main rivers: Assiniboine, North and South Saskatchewan and the Churchill.
The People: First People: Chipewyan (north); Assiniboine (east); Blackfoot (west); and Cree-Metis (of mixed European and Aboriginal descent) were among the first settlers. The majority of Saskatchewans are of British origin, followed by Germans and Austrians, native people, Ukranians, Scandinavians and French. On October 1, 2011, the province's population was just over a million. The largest cities are Regina and Saskatoon (193,100 and 222,189 respectively) as of October 2011.
History: The earliest explorer was Henry Kelsey (1690).
Samuel Hearne built trading posts for the Hudson's Bay Company.
English and French trappers and fur traders arrived.
Forts were built to maintain law and order.
In 1874, North West Mountain Police arrived to establish law and order.
Settlers were encouraged to come and 'homestead'.
The railroad was built across the southern part of the province in 1882-1883.
Settlers came from Eastern Canada, British Isles, the U.S. and continental Europe.
Immigrants arrived in large groups and settled in different regions.
Settlers included Barr colonists from England...Doukhobors from Russia...Hutterites, Mennonites, Hungarians, Ukranians, French, Germans and Scandinavians.
Saskatchewan became a province in 1905 with Regina as the capital city.
Climate: Long cold winters and hot dry summers.
Polar air masses bring winter storms with nasty wind chills and blowing snow.
Windy both winter and summer.
Economy: Saskatchewan grows over 54 percent of Canada's wheat crop.
Crops include canola, rye, oats, barley, flaxseeds, wheat, lentils.
Raising hogs, cattle and poultry on farms.
Forestry in northern Saskatchewan.
Rich in minerals (potash, uranium, coal, oil and natural gas).
World leader in the production of uranium.
Leading exporter of potash (fertilizer).
Canada's second largest producer of oil (after Alberta).
Third largest producer of natural gas in Canada.
Significant People and Places:
W. O. Mitchell (born in Weyburn) wrote about prairie life in his book, “Who Has Seen the Wind?”
Jean Sauve (born in Prud'homme) was the first woman to become Governor General of Canada!
Gordie Howe, one of the greatest hockey players of the NHL, born in Floral, Saskatchewan.
Allan Sapp, a world-renowned Plains-Cree artist was born on the Red Pheasant Reserve.
Brent Butt (born in Tisdale) created and starred in “Corner Gas Station”, a TV comedy series.
Buffy Sainte Marie, a well-known singer/songwriter, was born on the Piapot Reserve in the Qu'Appelle Valley.
Tunnels of Moose Jaw: underground passageways used by the Chinese, gangsters and bootleggers.
Bid Muddy Badlands: unusual land formations and petroglyphs.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park: archaeological digs provide info about the Indians of the Northern Plains.
RCMP Heritage Centre and Training Academy: in Regina.
Grasslands National Park: original shortgrass prairie, herds of pronghorn, rattlesnakes, endangered black-tailed prairie dogs, burrowing owls and peregrine falcons.
Prince Albert National Park: the only protected white pelican nesting colony in Canada; cabin of “Grey Owl”; herd of plains bison.
Saskatchewan Flag is divided into 2 equal parts: the green represents the province's northern forests and the gold section is for the golden fields of grain.
The Provincial Shield is in the top left corner and the Western Red Lily is on the right side of the flag.
It became the province's official flag in 1969,
Western Red Lily is the floral emblem of Saskatchewan...growing in wet places (meadows, ditches and wooded areas). The flower, blooming from late June to mid-July is beautiful with reddish-orange blossoms. When the pioneers first came to the prairies, there were thousands of lilies blooming.
The flower is now protected.
This means, that you should not pick the lily. It grows from a bulb, so once the bulb is pulled out, the flower will no longer grow. The lily was put on the flag to remind people of wild flowers.
Coat of Arms: The Shield has a red lion on gold background (representing England); below it are three wheat sheaves on green (symbolizing the province's agriculture and resources). Above the shield is a beaver holding a Western Red Lily. At the very top is a crown. A lion and a white-tailed deer stand either side of the shield....the lion wears a badge with a maple leaf...the deer wears a badge with the lily on it. Both the lion and the deer are wearing collars of beadwork, symbolic of the Aboriginal people.
Western Red Lilies form the base.
Information compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...June 26, 2016