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Saskatchewan, Canada

SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA, a province of Western Canada, lying between the two provinces of Alberta and Manitoba. Area, 250,650 sq. m. The south-eastern portion is chiefly prairie, being the continuation of the second prairie steppe found in xxiv. 8 Manitoba. About 104 W. the Missouri Coteau, an elevation of several hundred feet, probably an old glacial moraine, crosses the southern boundary and runs north-westward, being the eastern escarpment of the third prairie steppe which runs to the Rocky Mountains. Several elevations of note are found in the southern half of the province. On the central part of the southern boundary is Wood Mountain, a succession of clay hills. On the lower level is Moose Mountain, and north of it Beaver Hills and Touchwood Hills. These are elevations of morainal or glacial deposits. The river Saskatchewan (?..) gives its name to the province. In central Saskatchewan near the south send of the South Saskatchewan begins the river Qu'Appelle [" Who Calls? "), which runs eastward, and crossing the western Doundary of Manitoba falls into the Assiniboine river. Farther :o the south rises the Souris river, which flows parallel to the Missouri Coteau, passes southward into N. Dakota, and again mtering the province of Manitoba finds its way at length into the Assiniboine river. North of the Saskatchewan river the surface of the province becomes heavily wooded, and this great forest continues through the broken Laurentian and Cambrian region, becoming dwarfed as it goes north. In this portion of the province are found Reindeer Take, and north-west of this the easterly portion of Lake Athabasca, which is on the provincial boundary line of Alberta.

Climate. Extending as the province does from north to south for more than 750 m., it may be readily seen that, as in the case of Alberta, there will be a great range of climate and temperature. The south-western part of the province is influenced much by the chinook winds which from the Rocky Mountain valleys come through Alberta. The climate here is dry, and portions of the country need irrigation. In south-eastern Saskatchewan the prairie lies on a lower level, there is more moisture, and the climate m winter is more steady. The whole province of Saskatchewan, except the south-western part, is well watered. As in the case of Alberta, the southern third of Saskatchewan has a moderate and changeable climate; in the central third ranging from Regina to Prince Albert it is steady, while in the northern third, through the Laurentian region to 60 N., it is severe. Compare the following table :

Maple Creek . Swift Current Regina . Prince Albert Battleford .


Mean Temperature.

Average Precipitation.



2495 ft2423 .. 1885 1402 1615 62 60 50 54-6 61-4 o 4 7-i" lo-iS in. 17-04 .. 9-03 .. 14-45 .. 13-62 The animal life of Saskatchewan resembles that of Alberta (g.t>.), excepting the mountain lion, mountain sheep and mountain goat, which belong to the Rocky Mountains. The plant life of Saskatchewan is much like that of eastern Alberta. The Douglas fir and several varieties of pine found in the Rocky Mountains do not occur.

Population. By the census of 1906 the population of Saskatchewan was found to be 257,763. It had grown from 91,279 in 1901 (the area of the province being in 1906 somewhat greater than in 1901). The population is to a large extent Canadian, and the immigration has been largely from (i) the British Isles; (2) the United States; (3) the continent of Europe. Several large bodies of foreigners are found. There is a community of upwards of 8000 Doukhobors a sect of Russian Quakers. Their tenets are peculiar, involving opposition to form in religion, to marriage and to submission to governmental requirements. They desire to hold their land in common. The Russian writer Tolstoy was a promoter of this immigration. Considerable bodies of Galicians are also found in the province. On the Indian population there were 9049 in 1901; and of Indian half-breeds 7949 in the same year. The Indians of Saskatchewan are chiefly Plain or Wood Crees, with a 'mixture among them of Saulteaux. Toward the south small bands of Assiniboines are found, and here and there small companies of refugee Sioux from the United States. All the Indians are on government reserves. In these reserves along the Qu'Appelle river are presented many examples of the successful management of the Indians by the Dominion government. These reserves are largely self-supporting; the Indians have comfortable houses, grow considerable crops of grain, make large quantities of hay and possess herds of cattle. At Regina, Qu'Appelle, Crooked Lakes and other industrial schools, young Indians both male and female receive a practical education. Many of these are making excellent farmers.

Government, etc. Throughout the province the municipal system of self-government, especially in the cities, towns and villages, is being introduced. There are two cities in the province, (l) Regina (pop. 9804 in 1907), the_ capital; (2) Moose Jaw (pop. 6249). The latter is a divisional point on the Canadian Pacific railway, and owes its importance chiefly to its railway connexions. In the northern portion of the province are two considerable towns (l) Prince Albert (pop. 3005), on the banks of the North Saskatchewan river, giving promise of becoming a manufacturing centre, having as it has the great forest on the north side of the Saskatchewan river, adjoining it. (2) Saskatoon (pop. 3011), on the South Saskatchewan river. This, though a new town, bids fair to become a great railway centre. Here the Canadian Pacific, the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific railways all cross the great river of the province, and tributary to this town is a large area of arable and prairie land.

The Saskatchewan is to some extent navigated, but a serious obstacle, the Grand Rapids, near the mouth of the river, requires a canal to allow the entrance of steamers into Lake Winnipeg. The southern part of the province is being covered by railways, the Canadian Pacific railway having its main line generally parallel to the international boundary line, at a distance of one hundred to one hundred and fifty miles. This railway has south of its main line two important branches: (i) The " Soo " line from Moose Jaw to Estevan, and connecting with the United States' system of railways. (2) The Arcola branch from the south-eastern corner of the province running to Regina. Another branch leaves the main line for the north at Kirkella, and this will make a direct communication with Edmonton, while another branch line enters the province at Harrowby and runs westward to join the Kirkella branch on its way to Saskatoon and Edmonton. The Canadian Northern railway has a line which enters the province at Togo and following the Saskatchewan leaves the province at Lloydminster and pushes on to Edmonton. The Grand Trunk Pacific railway follows a direct line from Winnipeg to Edmonton, entering the province at 51 25' N. and leaving it at 52 35' N. for the west.

The chief industries of Saskatchewan are cattle-rearing in the northern part and grain growing in the south of the province. Coal is found on the Saskatchewan, and a light variety of lignite on the Souris river near the international boundary. The province follows in general the plan of government found in the other provinces of the Dominion. The capital of the province is Regina (q.v.). A provincial governor "lives at Regina and he has a cabinet of four ministers. The legislature consists of twenty-five members. The province has adopted a public schools act, which has a proviso for the establishment of separate schools, but this is so surrounded by restrictions as to be almost non-effective, every such school being required in all particulars to follow the public school model. The system covers both secondary and primary public schools. A normal school is in operation at Regina.

The religions of the people are similar to those in the other western provinces of Canada. The principal denominations were in 1901 as follows :

Presbyterians . . 17,151 Roman Catholics . 17,116 Church of England . 16,418 Methodists . . . 11,528 Lutherans . . . 12,098 Baptists . . 2618 Doukhobors . 8700 Greek Church . 2579 Mennonites . 3683 History. The history of Saskatchewan gathers round the Hudson's Bay Company. The open plains of the south were the home of the buffalo and few posts were established here, but the Saskatchewan river was the great line of communication for the fur-traders. It was first reached by the Montreal fur-traders in 1766, and by the Hudson's Bay Company from Hudson Bay in 1772. By this route the traders reached the great fur country of Mackenzie river, and the forts on the Saskatchewan river were notable. These were Fort Cumberland, Fort Carlton and Edmonton House. Alexander Mackenzie in 1789 left Edmonton and Fort Chipewyan (on Lake Athabasca) and going northward discovered Mackenzie river and reached the Arctic Sea. On his second voyage, leaving Fort Chipewyan, he gained the Peace river, and by means of this crossed the Rocky Mountains and reached the Pacific coast (July 2 2nd, 1793), being first of white men, north of Mexico, to cross the continent. The Saskatchewan and Mackenzie river basins were the real fur country of the traders. The northern portion of the province of Saskatchewan is still the home of the fur-trader.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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