Saskatchewan

From many peoples, strength

Where is it?

Flag

    

Geography

    

Location:
Midwest Canada.
Area:
total: 651,900 sq km (251,700 sq mi)
land: 591,670 sq km (228,450 sq mi)
water: 59,366 sq km (22,921 sq mi)
coastline: 0 miles
Bordering Provinces:
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan
Elevation extremes:
highest point: Cypress Hills 1,392m (5,417 ft)
As Saskatchewan's borders largely follow the geographic coordinates of longitude and latitude, the province is roughly a quadrilateral, or a shape with four sides. However the 49th parallel boundary and the 60th northern border appear curved on globes and many maps. Additionally, the eastern boundary of the province is partially crooked rather than following a line of longitude, as correction lines were devised by surveyors prior to the homestead program (1880–1928). Saskatchewan is part of the Western Provinces and is bounded on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the north-east by Nunavut, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the American states of Montana and North Dakota. Saskatchewan has the distinction of being the only Canadian province for which no borders correspond to physical geographic features (i.e. they are all parallels and meridians). Along with Alberta, Saskatchewan is one of only two provinces that are land-locked.

    

Population

    

Population:
1,033,381 (2011)
Largest City:
Saskatoon: 222,189 (2011)

    

History

    

Saskatchewan has been populated by various indigenous peoples of North America, including members of the Sarcee, Niitsitapi, Atsina, Cree, Saulteaux, Assiniboine (Nakoda), Lakota and Sioux. The first known European to enter Saskatchewan was Henry Kelsey in 1690, who travelled up the Saskatchewan River in hopes of trading fur with the province's indigenous peoples. The first permanent European settlement was a Hudson's Bay Company post at Cumberland House, founded in 1774 by Samuel Hearne. In 1762 the south of the province was part of the Spanish Louisiana until 1802. Part of Alberta and Saskatchewan were traded from the United States, which in return received part of Rupert's Land, today part of North Dakota and Minnesota. In 1803 the Louisiana Purchase transferred from France to the United States part of what is now Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1818 it was ceded to the United Kingdom. Most of what is now Saskatchewan, though, was part of Rupert's Land and controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company, which claimed rights to all watersheds flowing into Hudson Bay, including the Saskatchewan River, Churchill, Assiniboine, Souris, and Qu'Appelle River systems.

    

Government

    

Capital:
Regina
Confederation:
September 1, 1905
Provincial Tree:
Paper birch
Provincial Bird:
Sharp-tailed grouse
Provincial Flower:
Western red lily
Saskatchewan has the same form of government as the other Canadian provinces with a lieutenant-governor (who is the representative of the Crown in Right of Saskatchewan), premier, and a unicameral legislature. For many years, Saskatchewan was one of Canada's more progressive provinces, reflecting many of its citizens' feelings of alienation from the interests of large capital. In 1944 Tommy Douglas became premier of the first avowedly socialist regional government in North America. Most of his Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) represented rural and small-town ridings. Under his Cooperative Commonwealth Federation government, Saskatchewan became the first province to have Medicare. In 1961, Douglas left provincial politics to become the first leader of the federal New Democratic Party. Provincial politics in Saskatchewan is dominated by the social-democratic New Democrats and the centre-right Saskatchewan Party, with the latter holding the majority in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan as of 2012. Numerous smaller political parties also run candidates in provincial elections, including the Green Party, Liberal Party, and the Progressive Conservative Party, but none is currently represented in the Legislative Assembly (Liberals and Conservatives generally caucus under the Saskatchewan Party banner in provincial affairs). After 16 years of New Democratic governments under premiers Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert, the 2007 provincial election was won by the Saskatchewan Party under Brad Wall. In the 2011 election, Premier Wall and the Saskatchewan Party were returned with an increased majority.

    

Economy

    

Historically, Saskatchewan's economy was primarily associated with agriculture. However, increasing diversification has resulted in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting only making up 6.8% of the province's GDP. Saskatchewan grows a large portion of Canada's grain. Wheat is the most familiar crop and the one most often associated with the province (there are sheafs of wheat depicted on the coat of arms of Saskatchewan), but other grains like canola, flax, rye, oats, peas, lentils, canary seed, and barley are also produced. Beef cattle production in the province is only exceeded by Alberta. In the northern part of the province, forestry is also a significant industry. Mining is a major industry in the province, with Saskatchewan being the world's largest exporter of potash and uranium

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