Landlocked in the middle of Canada, Saskatchewan is bordered by Alberta, Manitoba, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. Saskatchewan is the only province without a natural border and has quite a distance to the bodies of water surrounding Canada.
The beautiful prairies provide unending horizons and serenity. There are many areas to explore and history abounding in this less visited province.
A Highlight of History
The history of Saskatchewan began with the indigenous groups. The Dene, Algonquin, and Cree were the first inhabitants of the area that would become Saskatchewan. In 1670, the land was claimed by England as part of the Hudson Bay Company, yet exploration of the area did not occur until the 1690s and the first settlements did not begin until the 1770s.
Population growth occurred with the addition of the Canada Pacific Railway which went through the now capital Regina. The railway brought new settlers from Europe in hopes of purchasing cheap land.
In 1905, Saskatchewan became a province and population grew substantially due to farmers’ immigration into the province. In the 1920s, Saskatchewan was the third most populous province in Canada. It was not until the late 20th century that the population moved from farms to cities.
The Tastes of Saskatchewan
Food is quite diverse in Saskatchewan, from berries to dried meat and everything in between. Here are a few famous foods from the area.
- Saskatoon Berry Pie – Making great use of the Saskatchewan prairie berries, the Saskatoon berry pies are known throughout the region.
- Spudnuts – These fair specialties are baked in large quantities for the fair every year.
- Shishliki – Made with lamb, onions, and salt, these meaty delights are skewered and grilled.
- Bannock – Fried bread made from wheat is served with burgers and soup or as Indian Tacos.
- Pemmican – A dried lean meat mixed with animal fat or berries, this was initially invented as an energy source for fur traders and explorers.
Top Five Experiences to Have in Saskatchewan
The prairie landscape, boreal forest and diverse wildlife of Saskatchewan offers some of the most alluring natural settings in our great land of Canada. These top five picks of places to see are mainly nature-based, but the 100+ year old man-made tunnels in Moose Jaw hold an exciting history that must be experienced.
- Prince Albert National Park – The place where wild bison roam, along with timber wolves, assorted wildlife and over 195 species of birds. This is said to be one of the most popular of Canada’s 48 National Parks which offers interpretive centres, guided hikes, interactive exhibits and 3,875 sq. km. of land to encounter the goodness of nature.
- Tunnels of Moose Jaw – An extensive system of tunnels were dug beneath Moose Jaw around 1908 with the intention of running the city on steam power. These plans were quickly abandoned, and over the years these tunnels were used for a variety of shady and illegal activity. Now the set of historical reenactments and tourist appeal, this is a must-see destination while in the city. Explore the Moose Jaw tunnels that will take you underground through the city, see the famous Mac the Moose statue, and tour the Western Development Museum.
- Athabasca Sand Dunes – These are the largest dunes this far north and the largest in all of Canada, stretching for about 100 kilometres along the south shore of Lake Athabasca in Saskatchewan’s far north.
- Grasslands National Park – Explore the beauty of the Saskatchewan prairie while walking through tipi rings and dinosaur bones. Adventurous trails, challenging geocaches and guided nature hikes make your experience memorable.
- Four Corners Monument – If you are up for an adventure, take some time to explore the deep wilderness and hike many miles to the monument denoting the intersection of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.
The natural beauty of Saskatchewan in the landscapes paired with the city centres make it a great place to visit and explore. But if you can’t visit, there is lots to learn and enjoy about the unique qualities of this province. See all the great resources from The Deliberate Mom for a great unit study on Saskatchewan and more teaching options at Teachers Pay Teachers.
This article has been written by homeschooling staff writers of The Canadian Schoolhouse (TCS). Enjoy more of our content from TCS contributors and staff writers by visiting our Front Door page that has content on our monthly theme and links to all our content sections.