Between 1895 and 1914, much of the prairie land was turned into farm land. The Saskatchewan population grew with more settlers seeking agricultural prosperity, and provincehood came about on September 1, 1905. Despite the harsh frontier life, distance from towns, and arduous labor, Saskatchewan developed a thriving farming based society in the early 1900s.
Fortunes changed in the 1930s when severe drought wrought disaster on agriculture. Farming came to a standstill and the population fell by 26,000 from 1931 to 1941.
This western province has since recovered and now boasts a diversified economy of finance, insurance, mining, and petroleum. Agriculture continues to play a major role in the province's economy, responsible for 45% of Canada's grain.
The province is named for the Saskatchewan River, from the Cree language meaning "swift flowing river." Over the centuries the river has been the lifeblood for the people of this land. It provided food and transportation for the original indigenous peoples and later drove the thriving fur trade and supplied irrigation to support Saskatchewan's agriculture. The river is still important today as a major supplier of hydroelectricity and tourism revenue.
Though Saskatchewan farmlands are well known as Canada's breadbasket, it actually has a very diverse landscape catering to all types of outdoors enthusiasts. From the wildly scenic badlands in the south to the thick boreal forests and lake regions of the north, Saskatchewan offers excellent hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and mountain biking for a western Canada vacation.
The province's capital of Regina and largest city Saskatoon are bustling four seasons destinations that offer a wide variety of activities. The Regina Symphony Orchestra is Canada's oldest. Saskatoon experiences more hours of sunshine annually than any other major Canadian city.
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