Saskatchewan is a prairie and boreal province in west-central Canada, the only province without natural borders. It has an area of 651,900 square kilometers (251,700 sq mi), nearly 10 percent of which (59,366 square kilometers (22,900 sq mi)) is fresh water, composed mostly of rivers, reservoirs, and the province’s 100,000 lakes.
Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, to the northeast by Nunavut, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota. As of December 2013, Saskatchewan’s population was estimated at 1,114,170. Residents primarily live in the southern prairie half of the province, while the northern boreal half is mostly forested and sparsely populated. Of the total population, roughly half live in the province’s largest city, Saskatoon, or the provincial capital, Regina. Other notable cities include Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Swift Current, North Battleford, and the border city Lloydminster (partially within Alberta).
Saskatchewan is a landlocked province with large distances to moderating bodies of waters. As a result, its climate is extremely continental, rendering severe winters throughout the province. Southern areas have very warm or hot summers. Midale and Yellow Grass near the U.S. border are tied for the highest ever recorded temperatures in Canada with 45 °C (113 °F) observed at both locations in July 1937. In winter, temperatures below −45 °C (−49 °F) are possible even in the south during extreme cold snaps.
Saskatchewan has been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups, and first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774. It became a province in 1905, and in the early 20th century the province became known as a stronghold for Canadian democratic socialism; North America’s first social-democratic government was elected in 1944. The province’s economy is based on agriculture, mining, and energy. Saskatchewan’s current premier is Brad Wall and its lieutenant-governor is Vaughn Solomon Schofield.
In 1992, the federal and provincial governments signed a historic land claim agreement with First Nations in Saskatchewan. The First Nations received compensation and were permitted to buy land on the open market for the tribes; they have acquired about 3,079 square kilometres (761,000 acres; 1,189 sq mi), now reserve lands. Some First Nations have used their settlement to invest in urban areas, including Saskatoon.
Historically, Saskatchewan’s economy was primarily associated with agriculture. However, increasing diversification has resulted in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting only making up 6.8% of the province’s GDP. Saskatchewan grows a large portion of Canada’s grain. Wheat is the most familiar crop and the one most often associated with the province, but other grains like canola, flax, rye, oats, peas, lentils, canary seed, and barley are also produced. Saskatchewan is the world’s largest exporter of mustard seed. Beef cattle production by a Canadian province is only exceeded by Alberta. In the northern part of the province, forestry is also a significant industry.
Mining is a major industry in the province, with Saskatchewan being the world’s largest exporter of potash and uranium.
Oil and natural gas production is also a very important part of Saskatchewan’s economy, although the oil industry is larger. Among Canadian provinces, only Alberta exceeds Saskatchewan in overall oil production. Heavy crude is extracted in the Lloydminster-Kerrobert-Kindersley areas. Light crude is found in the Kindersley-Swift Current areas as well as the Weyburn-Estevan fields. Natural gas is found almost entirely in the western part of Saskatchewan, from the Primrose Lake area through Lloydminster, Unity, Kindersley, Leader, and around Maple Creek areas.
Saskatchewan’s GDP in 2006 was approximately C$45.922 billion.
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program
International Skilled Worker Category
- Employment Offer
- Occupation In-Demand
- Saskatchewan Express Entry
Saskatchewan Experience Category
- Applicants With Existing Work Permit
- Health Professionals
- Hospitality Sector Project
- Long-Haul Truck Driver Project
Entrepreneur and Farm Category
- Farm Owner and Operator