Introduction to Saskatchewan

(continuer en français) – Published: September 4, 2021

This tough to remember named province is like a hidden land that Canadians keep to themselves. Few guidebooks describe the many sights to be found at the end of a dirt road or on the shore of a lake.

Vast, sparsely populated, Saskatchewan leaves plenty of room for nature, agriculture in the south and wildlife in the boreal north. Perfect terrain for road trips that stretch over long hours.

The province was formed in 1905 when the huge North West Territory, previously granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company, was dismantled.

Saskatchewan, Canada

Landscapes

Grain elevators are a symbol of the Canadian Prairies, cathedrals or prairie sentinels, depending, they demonstrate the hold of field crops on the landscape and human organization. Canola has become the most profitable crop, generating a quarter of farmers’ income and offering immense beauty to travellers. Even the Badlands are beautiful to see.

Regina

The capital of Saskatchewan, with only 200,000 inhabitants, looks like a small city that can be quickly explored. Yet it has its imposing official buildings, and it is also where the former Mounted Police, now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), trains its cadets for its famous Musical Ride, an impeccable parade on horseback (more).

Saskatoon

Saskatoon is located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. It is the largest city in Saskatchewan with a population of approximately 257,000. In 1882 a group of temperance people from Toronto arrived and settled there on the advice of the local Indian chief. Then the economic crises of the 20th century led to an exodus of ruined farmers from the surrounding area to the city (more).

Prince Albert

Named after Queen Victoria’s husband, the city is the third largest in the province. As the last major urban centre to the north, its commercial influence covers a large area. The figure of John Diefenbaker (1895-1979) has remained attached to the city. He was a Member of Parliament for 40 years and became Prime Minister of Canada in 1957.

Qu’Appelle

Like many communities in northern and western Canada, the town dates back to 1864, when it was a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. The original inhabitants of the area were descended from French-speaking Métis. A Catholic mission was established in Lebret to serve them, while the First Nations had their own hospital.

Cannington Manor

Richly endowed by their families, cadets of the English aristocracy came here to establish a community of gentlemen-farmers at the end of the 19th century. Replicating the English model, they practised sports and organised social activities. They built themselves mansions, but out of wooden planks. The attempt was a failure and the village was gradually abandoned.

Motherwell Homestead

W.R. Motherwell (1860 – 1943) was a pioneer in Saskatchewan who was passionate about modern farming methods, which led him to Parliament and to become Minister of Agriculture in the 1900s. The house and farmhouse have been restored to their 1907 appearance to give the illusion that the Motherwells were just away for the day.

Natural Parks

Several provincial and national parks highlight natural areas throughout the province. These include Prince Albert National Park (more), Danielson and Moose Mountain Provincial Parks, and Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. There is also the desert-like Great Sand Hills. With no sea front, the province makes up for this with its many lakes, some of which are developed with beautiful sandy beaches.

Forts

The history of the province can be experienced first hand by visiting its historic forts. From Mountie posts to Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading posts, the reality of pioneer times is made explicit. From Fort Battleford, the former capital of the Territory, to Forts Walsh (more) and Carlton, the interpretive guides bring the past to life with conviction.

Batoche

Batoche is a symbol for the Métis who fought there in 1885 after rebelling against the federal government which did not respect their ancestral rights. This was the end of a world that had been created by the French presence, and the English language and Anglo-Saxon culture were imposed on them. It was not until 1982 that the Métis were finally officially recognised.

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17 comments

  1. It took me a while, but I finally learned how to spell Saskatchewan properly! Thanks for all the highlights. I am trying to find some good places to go there, and also try some Saskatoon berries! Funnily enough, one of my friends tried to actively discourage me from going to Sasketchewan. He said it was one big yawn. But the more I see photos of it, I don’t think so

    Liked by 1 person

    • I keep checking the spelling, I’ve been wrong so often. When you get the chance go and see for yourself, I’m sure you have the kind of intelligence that will find something interesting.

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      • I found it’s good to practice it so that by the time autocorrect picks up on it, you’ve memorized it by then. One of my language hacks lol. I will definitely be looking for cool stuff there! Thanks 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There are lots of interesting things to see in the province where I was born. They get a bum rap for being flat. Not to say there are not flat portions. Hope your weekend is going well. Allan

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    • Born in Saskatchewan, raised in Manitoba, living in Alberta, you really know the Prairies. So you probably agree with me that there is a lot of interesting things to be found there. I even read people who are becoming experts in the language of ducks 🙂 Weekend in another interesting French city, to be shared soon.

      Liked by 2 people

    • European settlers came to the Prairies to find the agricultural land that was lacking in Europe, so they recreated the same structures as much as possible. Further north, the boreal forest dominates, more typically Canadian.

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  3. Wow, what a wonderful place to explore, connect with nature and yourself. I would love to drive across the province and see seemingly endless fields, flat prairie landscapes and those beautiful farmhouses in person. Despite the cold winter temperatures, it must be an amazing place to visit during the winter months, too. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m less confident about winter wandering, but otherwise it’s always a pleasure to travel through the Canadian provinces, there’s always something good to see. I hope that one day you will have the chance to experience it for yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Informative and educating blog!

    I would very much want to visit with my family Prince Albert National Park and Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. My nephew lives in Regina and is a well known stand up comedian in the city and is also known there for charity work. But my family would rather visit the wilder areas than the cities and towns.

    Regards,

    Liked by 1 person

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