Located in Western Canada, its landscape encompasses
mountains, prairies, desert badlands and vast coniferous forests.
It has more than 600 lakes and rich mineral deposits .
In the west, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks have glaciers
in the Columbia Icefields.
The Western Glacier International Peace Park
is a 'biosphere reserve' that straddles the southern border with U.S.A.
Geography: Alberta is one of three prairie provinces...and is the fourth largest province.
Saskatchewan is east of Alberta...British Columiba is west...the Northwest Territories are north and the state of Montana is its southern border.
Alberta was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.
Edmonton (capital city) and Calgary are the largest cities.
Alberta's motto is 'strong and free' and is known as Canada's 'energy province'.
The People: Alberta is home to over 3.7 million people (July, 2010).
Two-thirds of Albertans live in Edmonton (capital city) and Calgary.
Immigrants came from Britain, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the East and Southeast Asia.
Ethnic origins: British (44 %), German, Ukrainian, French, Aboriginal, Scandinavian, Dutch, Polish, Chinese...and many other countries.
About one-half of the Aboriginal population resides in urban areas.
They also live in over 100 First Nation communities and 8 Metis settlements.
History: The first people settled in the area about 8,000 years ago.
In the woodland areas, the Woodland Cree and Chipewyan tribes hunted moose, caribou and deer, fished and gathered berries.
They used bark canoes to travel up and down the streams and rivers.
On the plains, the Blackfoot, Blood and Peigan tribes 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 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.
Land and Water: The main rivers are the Peace River, North and South Saskatchewan Rivers and the Athabasca River.
There are icefields in Banff and Jasper National Parks...which help to fill the rivers.
There are five national parks...Banff, Jasper, Elk Island, Waterton Lakes, Wood Buffalo.
Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada.
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 forests (more than half the province) and muskeg.
The rest of the province is on a great plain or prairie.
Forests cover more than half of the province.
The highest point is Mt. Columbia (3,747 metres).
Climate: The 'foothills' receive the most rainfall.
Warm, dry 'chinook winds' are produced when air funnels through theRockies.
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.
The province produces 70 percent of Canada's coal reserves.
Coal was first mined near Lethbridge in 1872...today there are 9 major coal mines.
Alberta has the world's second largest oil reserves...most found in the province's oil sands.
The province is the world's third largest producer of natural gas.
Alberta sells the oil, natural gas and coal to other provinces and other countries.
There are four petrochemical plants...products made include hard hats, computer keys, detergents.
Other resources include sulphur, silica sand, potash, quartz, thick salt deposits, clay and limestone.
Alberta is the second largest agricultural producer in Canada...growing crops like oats, canola, barley.
The top five agri-food exports (2008) were wheat, canola seed, beef, live cattle and pork.
Alberta is the only province to produce sugar from sugar beets.
There are many farms, cattle and horse ranches...also poultry, hog and sheep farms.
Beef cattle are raised on ranches in the southern foothills.
Alberta is the largest cattle producing province in Canada.
People and Places: The mountain scenery of Banff and Jasper National Parks attract thousands of tourists who fly, go by train or drive to these supurb Rocky Mountain vistas!
Calgary Stampede has bull-riding, calf-roping and chuck-wagon racing.
Wood Buffalo Park (the world's second largest national park) is home to the world's largest free-roaming-herd of wood bison. It is also the last natural nesting habitat of the rare whooping crane.
Dinosaur Provincial Park in in the badlands near Drumheller.
“Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump” is the largest, oldest and best preserved buffalo jump in the world.
Other historical sites: Rocky Mountain House (fur trade) and the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.
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.
Jann Arden and K.D. Lang are renowned singer-songwriters.
Alberta's Emblems: Floral...Wild Rose (the red berries that it produces are food for winter birds).
Tree...Lodgepole Pine; Bird...Great Horned Owl. Mammal...Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
The Provincial Flag displays the Shield on a royal blue background (representing prairie skies). The red 'Cross of St. George' is at the top...below it are the snow-capped mountains, green hills, prairie and wheat fields. It became the official flag in 1968.
Alberta became a Province in 1905.
Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...June 27, 2016