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(In Detail) (In Detail)
Motto: Multis E Gentibus Vires (From many peoples, strength)
Largest city

 - Total
 - % fresh water
7th largest
(5th lgst prov.)

651 036 km²
 - Total (2001)
 - Density
Ranked 6th
1 015 800
Admittance into Confederation
 - Date
 - Order
Split off
from NWT

1 September 1905
Time zone UTC -6 (no daylight saving)
Postal information
Postal abbreviation
Postal code prefix
ISO 3166-2CA-SK

 House seats
 Senate seats

PremierLorne Calvert (NDP)
Lieutenant-GovernorLynda M. Haverstock
Government of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is one of Canada's prairie provinces. It has an area of 651,900 km² (251,700 mi²) and a population of 1,013,035 (Saskatchewanians) (January 1, 2002). Most of its population lives in the southern part of the province. The largest city is Saskatoon with a population of 225,927, followed by the province's capital, Regina (population: 187,500). Other major cities include Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Yorkton and Swift Current. See also a List of communities in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan is (approximately) a quadrilateral bounded on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the American states of Montana and North Dakota.

The province's name comes from the Saskatchewan River, whose name is Cree for "swift flowing river" (kisiskatchewan).


Saskatchewan's economy is mostly dominated by agriculture. Wheat is the most familiar crop, and perhaps the one stereotypically associated with the province, but other grains like canola, flax, rye, oats and barley are also produced. Mining is also a major industry in the province, with Saskatchewan being the world leader in potash exports. In the northern part of the province, forestry is significant.

Saskatchewan is also the world's most important supplier of uranium, and supplies much of the western world's supplies. The uranium industry is closely regulated by the provincial government which allows the government of Saskatchewan great latitude in setting world uranium prices.


Prior to European settlement, Saskatchewan was settled by Athabaskan, Algonquian, and Sioux tribes. The first European to enter Saskatchewan was Henry Kelsey in 1690, who travelled up the Saskatchewan River in hopes of trading fur with the province's indigenous peoples. The first permanent European settlement was a Hudson's Bay Company post at Cumberland House founded by Samuel Hearne in 1774.

In the 1870s settlement of the province started to take off as the Canadian Pacific Railway was built, and the Canadian government divided up the land by the Dominion Land Survey and gave free land to any willing settlers. The North West Mounted Police set up several forts across Saskatchewan.

The indigenous peoples were forced onto their own reservations, and the Métis people who had settled there, led by Louis Riel, attempted the North-West Rebellion to form their own government independent from Canada. Riel surrendered after two months and was convicted of treason.

As more settlers came to Saskatchewan on the railway, its population grew and it became a full province in 1905.


Saskatchewan has the same form of government as the other Canadian provinces with a premier, legislature, and lieutenant-governor.

For many years Saskatchewan has been one of the most leftist provinces. In 1944 they elected Tommy Douglas premier, the first socialist elected to major office in North America. Under his government Saskatchewan became the first province to have socialized healthcare. This trend has continued. Tommy Douglas went on to become the first leader of the federal New Democratic Party.

During the post-war period the Saskatchewan New Democrats have dominated provincial politics. With first the liberal party becoming all but insignificant and the conservative party imploding and having to be disbanded after the scandal ridden government of Grant Devine. Today the official opposition in the province is the Saskatchewan Party, a new right-wing party built out of the remains of the Tories. The current premier of Saskatchewan is the New Democrat Lorne Calvert.

The Saskatchewan general election, 2003, returned the Saskatchewan NDP to power with a majority government.

See also