Saskatchewan is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in western Canada.
It is bordered 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 US states of Montana and North Dakota.
As of April 2019, the population of Saskatchewan was estimated to be about 1.2 million people. It is the 6th most populous province in Canada.
Saskatchewan is the 7th largest province in Canada in terms of total area with 651,900 square kilometers (251,700 square miles).
Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan. The city is the second-largest in the province, after Saskatoon, and a cultural and commercial center for southern Saskatchewan.
The landlocked province of Saskatchewan is covered by the the grasslands of the Great Plains and the forested Canadian Shield in the far-north.
The Great Plains slope east from the Canadian Rockies and extend to the edge of the Canadian Shield. The land is generally flat with large treeless areas and shallow river valleys.
The Canadian Shield itself is an ancient bedrock base of gneiss and granite covered by a shallow layer of soil. Large areas of coniferous forests and dozens of rivers and lakes spread across this mostly flat region.
Nearly 10 percent of Saskatchewan area is fresh water, composed mostly of rivers, reservoirs, and the province’s 100,000 lakes.
The province’s highest point, at 1,392 meters (4,567 feet) above sea level, is located in the Cypress Hills less than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the provincial boundary with Alberta. The lowest point is the shore of Lake Athabasca, at 213 meters (699 feet) above sea level.
Saskatchewan has 2 national parks and about 40 provincial parks.
Prince Albert National Park encompasses 3,874 square kilometers (1,496 square miles) in central Saskatchewan. Though declared a national park March 24, 1927, it had its official opening ceremonies on August 10, 1928 performed by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. Until the establishment of Grasslands National Park in the 1980s, this was the province’s only national park. The park is open all year but the most visited period is from May to September.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a non-profit cultural and historical centre of the First Nations. The site is a National Historic Site of Canada due to the importance of its archaeological resources representing nearly 6000 years of the history of the Northern Plains peoples. In 2016, it was announced that Wanuskewin intends to seek UNESCO World Heritage designation, which would make it the first World Heritage Site in Saskatchewan.
Fort Walsh National Historic Site was established in 1875 under the direction of James Walsh. It was intended to stop the illegal whisky trade and became one of the most important posts in the West. During its life, the fort negotiated with the whisky traders, the native peoples, and the thousands of Sioux warriors who sought refuge in Canada after clashes with the U.S. cavalry.
Wascana Centre is a 930 hectare (2,300 acre) urban park built around Wascana Lake in Regina. The park is designed around the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and Wascana Lake. High-profile features include the University of Regina, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Conexus Arts Centre, Saskatchewan Science Centre, and CBC Regional Broadcast Centre.
The Royal Saskatchewan Museum was established in 1906 as the Provincial Museum to “secure and preserve natural history specimens and objects of historical and ethnological interest.” It was the first museum in Saskatchewan.
The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo began as the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station and operated from 1913 to 1966. Over the span of 50 years the nursery shipped 147 million trees across the northern part of the Prairie Provinces! When the nursery station shut down in 1966, the City of Saskatoon reopened part of it as the Forestry Farm Park. The zoo was added in 1972, and in 1990 it was designated a National Historic Site.
Dinosaur and mammoth finds have been common in Saskatchewan.
The province has been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous peoples of North America, including members of the Sarcee, Niitsitapi, Atsina, Cree, Saulteaux, Assiniboine (Nakoda), Lakota and Sioux.
It was first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774.
Saskatchewan became a province in 1905, carved out from the vast North-West Territories, which had until then included most of the Canadian Prairies.
In the early 20th century the province became known as a stronghold for Canadian social democracy; North America’s first social-democratic government was elected in 1944.
The province’s economy is based on agriculture, mining, and energy.
Saskatchewan’s landscape makes its inhabitants conscious of the sky, and the changing patterns of light and shadow on clouds, which commonly offer magnificent sunrises and sunsets, are as much a part of the scenery as any contour of the earth.
Saskatchewan receives more hours of sunshine than any other Canadian province.