“Land of Living Skies” is an apt description of Saskatchewan, as it’s not unusual to be standing in the sunshine while watching several different rainstorms miles away.
When I first travelled across the prairies I thought there couldn’t be anywhere more boring; until I had the opportunity to spend a few days on a farm. Now I realize that beauty is everywhere as long as we take the time to see it. The prairies are just as incredible as every other geographical area of Canada and after days horse riding through Saskatchewan farmland, I developed a true appreciation.
If you think this province is just flat land and farms, think again. Farmland only covers about one third of Saskatchewan, forest covers half, while one third is under water. The northern portion is bordered by the Northwest Territories and is covered by the Canadian Shield (oldest known rock on earth).
Athabasca Provincial Park is home to the most northerly sand dunes in the world. The south shore of Lake Athabasca also offers approximately 100 plant species not found anywhere else.
Estevan which is situated in the southeast corner of the province receives the most sunshine-filled days in Canada.
Manitoba borders the east, Alberta the west. The southern border bumps up against North Dakota and Montana.
It’s name is derived from the Cree word “kisiskatchewanisipi,” or “swift-flowing river.” A testament to the four major rivers: the Assiniboine, the North Saskatchewan, the South Saskatchewan and the Churchill.
As with the other Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan’s growth began through the fur industry. An agent with Hudson’s Bay Company, Henry Kelsey, was the first non-aboriginal to follow the Saskatchewan River into the plains of the province (around 1690). Trading posts and settlements followed.
Settlements grew after the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 and the building of the railroad.
Saskatchewan separated from the Northwest Territories and became a province in Canada in 1905.
This is the only province in Canada where the majority of population is neither British or French. Instead it is a mix of a variety of ethnic heritages including German, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, British and French.