The province of Saskatchewan is named after the Cree name for “swift flowing river”. Settled by Europeans at the close of the 18th Century (the first pioneering settlements trace back to 1771), Saskatchewan didn’t see a real influx of settlers until the late 19th Century and the building of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
Saskatchewan was accepted into Confederation as a province in 1905; until then, however, it had been policed heavily by both the military and the RCMP following the Northwest Rebellion and Louis Riel. The federal government in Ottawa had remained distrustful of Saskatchewan for some time following this event, and not until 300,000 white European settlers, many of them Ukrainian, had moved into the area did the government give Saskatchewan province-hood.
Saskatchewan today boasts a population of just over a million people. For most of the 20th Century it was one of the breadbaskets of the world, producing nearly 8% of the world’s total grains and cereals. While farming remains an important part of Saskatchewan’s economy, recent oil finds in the north of the province has started an economic boom. Saskatchewan, in the early part of the 21st Century, has been successfully attracting modern settlers from both Canada and from abroad to move here.
Saskatchewan’s winters are harsh, and the summers are short, but the heart of the prairies remains a beautiful, quiet and, recently, successful part of Canada.