Canadian History for Kids!

Canadian History for Kids: Alberta and Saskatchewan

1905, July 4 – House of Commons passes bills establishing Alberta as a province.

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive looks at the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Alberta and Saskatchewan, two of Canada’s great western provinces officially became provinces on July 4th, 1905. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada, looks at these two provinces that helped shape our great nation!

Until 1905 all the area west and north of Manitoba was called the Northwest Territories. It was a vast area that, for many years was home mostly to native peoples, Métis and fur traders from the Hudson’s Bay Company. A few settlers were trickling in and a limited form of government was established in 1875. Since the turn of the century the Canadian government had been actively trying to encourage settlement in the territories particularly from new immigrants to Canada.

This Canadian History for Kids article continues with how many campaigns were used to attract people from Europe and the United States to come and enjoy the opportunities offered by “the last best West.” With the promise of 64 hectares of good farm land, the immigrants flowed in – Ukrainians, Mennonites, Hutterites, Doukhobors and Jewish farmers escaping Russia.

Saskatchewan has a total area of 651,900 square kilometres. Saskatchewan was first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774, having also been inhabited for thousands of years by various native groups. Its major economic activities are agriculture, mining, and energy. The province’s name is derived from the Saskatchewan River. Meaning “swift flowing river” in the Cree language.

Canadian History for Kids notes how Alberta is the most populous of Canada’s three prairie provinces. Alberta was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria. Thousands of years ago, Alberta was inhabited by dozens of Aboriginal tribes. In the early 1700s, the first European fur traders arrived in the area, setting up various trading posts. Over the next 100 years, traders kept arriving.

This Canadian History for Kids article continues in 1870, the Dominion of Canada acquired the land that 35 years later would become Alberta. By 1905, Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier granted official provincial status to Alberta and the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan. Since this time, Alberta has grown from a population of 78,000 to more than three million residents today. Agriculture has historically been a core industry in Alberta. The mid-1900s saw the discovery of large deposits of oil and natural gas in the province, and these natural resources remain Alberta’s main economic drivers.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!

Other Canadian History for Kids Sketches of Canada