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TRIVIA

  • Alberta is one of the three prairie provinces.
  • It is the fourth largest province.
  • Saskatchewan is east of Alberta; British Columbia is west.
  • The Northwest Territories are north of Alberta.
  • The state of Montana is south.
  • Alberta was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.
  • Edmonton (capital city) and Calgary are the largest cities.
  • Alberta’s flower – Wild Rose, tree – Lodgepole Pine, bird – Great Horned Owl, mammal – Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
  • Alberta’s motto – “strong and free”.
  • It is known as Canada’s “energy province”.

THE PEOPLE

  • Alberta is home to over 3.5 million people.(April, 2007)
  • The largest cities are Edmonton (capital) and Calgary.
  • More than half of the people live in these two cities.
  • Immigrants came from Britain, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the East and Southeast Asia.
  • Ethnic backgrounds
    • British (44 percent)
    • German
    • Ukrainian
    • French
    • Scandinavian
    • Dutch
    • and many other countries

HISTORY

  • The first people settled in the area about 8000 years ago.
  • In the woodland areas the Woodland Cree and Chipewyan tribes hunted moose, caribou and deer, fished and gathered plants and berries.
  • They used bark canoes to travel up and down the streams.
  • On the plains the Blackfoot, Blood, and Peigan hunted the bison and lived in tipis.
  • Anthony Henday ( European explorer and fur trader ) came to Alberta in 1754.
  • Fur traders built trading posts on the Athabasca River and North Saskatchewan River.
  • Forts were built to keep law and order.
  • The First Nations traded furs and received guns, blankets and metal goods.
  • In 1874 The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) established their first post in Alberta at Fort Macleod.
  • Alberta grew when the railroad was built in 1883.
  • Early settlers were ranchers from England and the United States.
  • Immigrants came from Ukraine, Germany, Romania and many parts of Europe to farm.
  • Alberta became a province on September 1, 1905.

LAND AND WATER

  • The main rivers are the Peace River, North and South Saskatchewan River, and Athabasca River.
  • There are icefields in Banff and Jasper National Parks.
  • The icefields help to fill the rivers.
  • There are five national parks.
  • Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada.
  • Wood Buffalo National Park is the home to about 2200 wood buffalo (endangered).
  • A large mountain range ( Rocky Mountains ) is along the western border.
  • The badlands ( dry, sandy, rocky area) are in southeastern Alberta.
  • Northern Alberta is covered with forest and muskeg.
  • The rest of the province is on a great plain or prairie.

CLIMATE

  • The foothills receive the most rainfall.
  • Warm, dry “chinook” winds are produced when air funnels through the Rockies.
  • Chinook winds sweep down on southern Alberta and raise temperatures in the winter.
  • Cold arctic air masses bring cool weather in the winter.

RESOURCES

  • Alberta has oil, natural gas, and coal.
  • Oil was discovered at Leduc (near Edmonton) in 1947.
  • It is the main producer of coal in Canada.
  • Coal was first mined near Lethbridge in 1872.
  • The province is also the main producer of oil and natural gas in Canada.
  • Alberta sells the oil, natural gas and coal to other provinces and other countries.
  • There is also sulfur, silica sand, potash, quartz, thick salt deposits, clay and limestone.
  • Forests cover over half of Alberta.
  • There is good soil for growing crops like oats, canola and barley.
  • The main crop is wheat. Alberta is the second largest producer of wheat in Canada.
  • Alberta is the only province to produce sugar from sugar beets.
  • There are many dairy farms and cattle ranches.
  • There are also poultry, hog and sheep farms.
  • Most of the beef cattle in Canada are raised on ranches in the southern foothills.

PEOPLE AND PLACES

  • The mountain scenery of Banff and Jasper national parks attracts thousands of tourists.
  • Calgary stampede has bull riding, calf roping and wagon racing.
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park is in the badlands.
  • Historical sites include Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Rocky Mountain House (fur trade) and the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.
  • A 9 m. high Ukranian Easter egg is displayed at Vegreville, east of Edmonton.
  • Figure skater Kurt Browning (born in Caroline, Alberta) won four World Championships.
  • Tantoo Cardinal (born in Fort McMurray) is a Canadian film and television actress.
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