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2017 TM

CultureGrams

Provinces Edition

Alberta

The Princess Province

Established 1905 8th Province

Alberta is nicknamed the Princess Province because it was named after a daughter of Britain's Queen Victoria, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. The world's tallest tepee is located in Medicine Hat. Designed for the Calgary Winter Olympics, it stands over 20 storeys high and weighs 200 tonnes (440,800 pounds)! In 1967, to celebrate Canada's centennial (100th anniversary), the residents of St. Paul built the world's first UFO landing pad. Some of the most intact dinosaur fossils have been found in Drumheller--the dinosaur capital of the world. Banff National Park, located west of Calgary, was Canada's first national park. The city of Lloydminster is the only Canadian city located right on the border between two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a high cliff in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. For thousands of years, natives killed herds of buffalo by driving them off the cliff and then collected their dead bodies below. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Capital city: Edmonton Population: 4,252,879 Total Area: 661,848 square kilometres (225,541 sq miles) Population Density: 5.70 persons per square kilometre (14.70 per sq mile)

Climate

Alberta experiences cold winters, fed by chilling arctic winds from the north. Warmer chinook (western) winds sweep through the province in wintertime, drying things out and raising temperatures. Summers in Alberta are usually warm. The sky is often sunny during both winter and summer. Northern Alberta gets around 18 hours of daylight in the summertime but tends to be cooler than the southern part of the province. In July, the average temperature is 16?C (60?F) in northern Alberta and 21?C (70?F) in southern Alberta. Winter temperatures are much colder in both regions, averaging -27?C (-16?F) in the northern region and -12?C (10?F) in the southern region.

Average Seasonal High and Low Temperatures

Spring: 10/-3?C Summer: 23/9?C Fall: 10/-3?C Winter: -4/-16?C

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Geography

Alberta has an area of 661,848 square kilometres (255,541 square miles), making it Canada's fourth largest province. The westernmost of Canada's three Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta), Alberta is the only one that contains all three of Canada's main geographic regions: the Canadian Shield, the High Plains, and the Rocky Mountains. The Canadian Shield, an ancient ring of rock that covers much of North America, can be seen above ground in the northeastern part of Alberta. The High Plains region, where Calgary, Edmonton, and other large cities are located, covers the south and central portions of the province. This region has good farmland, on which ranchers raise cattle and farmers grow wheat and canola (a type of seed).

Southeastern Alberta is often known as the "badlands," because wind, rain, and the Red Deer River have eroded the rock to form strange formations called hoodoos. Hoodoos are tall pillars of rock shaped like toadstools that grow out of the cliffs and gullies in the area. The badlands are also known for dinosaur fossils, found in layers of rock that have been worn away by wind and rain over the centuries. The Rocky Mountains region runs along Alberta's southwestern border and includes both the highest point in the province, Mount Columbia, at 3,747 metres (12,294 feet), and the highest town in Canada, Lake Louise, at 1,540 metres (5,052 feet).

Wildlife

White Goat, Siffleur, and Ghost River are Alberta's three designated wilderness areas and are strictly protected from development. Hunting, fishing, and horse riding are not permitted, and only foot traffic is allowed. Many caribou, grizzly bears, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep are found in these beautiful wilderness areas.

Flora and Fauna

Common Animals

American pelican Bighorn sheep Canada goose Cormorant Cow moose Elk Mallard duck Mountain goat Prairie dog Snowy owl

Endangered Animals

Banff Springs snail Burrowing owl Eskimo curlew Five-spotted bogus yucca moth Gold-edged gem

Common Plants

Begonia Black bud willow Bracted honeysuckle Canada thistle Common juniper Creeping juniper Dwarf birch Firewood Ponderosa pine Trembling aspen White spruce Wild red raspberry

Endangered Plants

Western blue flag Small-flowered sand verbena Tiny cryptanthe

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Greater sage-grouse Half-moon hairstreak Lake sturgeon Mountain plover Non-pollinating yucca moth Ord's kangaroo rat Peary caribou Piping plover Sage thrasher Swift fox Whooping crane Yucca moth

Environmental Issues

Water Shortage

Water shortages have long been a concern, particularly in southern Alberta, where the rivers have been drying up for the past several decades. On top of this problem, water use has also increased because many people have moved to Alberta in response to better economic opportunities within the province. Researchers are trying to figure out how to bring some of the northern water supply to the southern regions of the province, where most of the people live. The provincial government is also encouraging Albertans to reduce their water usage.

Forest Management

Forest management officials are trying to reach a balance between the concerns of the logging industry and the preservation of water and protection of wildlife. The forest industry brings in billions of dollars each year and provides jobs for tens of thousands of Albertans. At the same time, the process of clear-cutting, or cutting down all the trees in a specific area, creates several environmental problems. One of the biggest problems is the reduction of species of trees in an area. A possible healthier alternative is selection management, in which individual trees are cut and small clearings are left to be naturally reseeded by the surrounding trees.

Resources and Industries

Agriculture

When settlers first came to Alberta, much of the land was very dry and not ideal for farming. However, farmers worked hard to set up effective irrigation (watering) systems, and soon the farming industry took off. Today, Alberta produces the most barley and oats in all of Canada and produces the second most wheat. Close to half of Alberta's total farm revenue (income) comes from cattle ranching. Most of these ranches are located in the southeastern portion of the province. There are also many sheep and dairy farms.

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Manufacturing

Meat-packing plants form the major part of Alberta's manufacturing industry. Most of the major plants are centered in large cities such as Calgary or Edmonton. These cities also have several other food- and beverage-processing plants, including flour mills, dairies, and sugar refineries. The 1970s and '80s saw an oil boom in Alberta, which caused the construction industry to grow. However, this industry slows when oil prices are high. Tourism has become a productive industry in the province, as Alberta has more national and provincial parks than any other province. Banff and Jasper national parks are the two most popular tourist destinations, followed by the badlands area, in southern Alberta, and the Peace River Valley, in northern Alberta.

Mining

Mineral resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal are plentiful in Alberta, making up more than half of Canada's total mineral resources. This means that the nation as a whole relies heavily on Alberta's ability to mine and process these materials. Coal mines, which were originally found only in cities like Lethbridge and Drumheller, now exist throughout the province. Alberta produces millions of tonnes of coal each year, the majority of which is used to create heat and electricity. The oil and natural gas industries also provide jobs to thousands of Albertans. Alberta exports (sells to other countries) much of its oil and gas. Some of it goes to neighbouring provinces and the United States.

Time Line

3500 BC 3500 BC

Bands (tribes) of buffalo hunters roam what is now Alberta thousands of years before Europeans arrive

AD 1700 1754

1788 1800 1840 1870

Hudson's Bay Company explorer Anthony Henday reaches Alberta seeking trade with the Blackfoot people Fort Chipewyan is built on the banks of Lake Athabasca

Reverend Robert Rundle is the first missionary to arrive in Alberta Canada buys Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company

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1874

The North West Mounted Police build Fort Macleod and Fort Calgary

Alberta

1876 1877 1880

The Cree and Assiniboine sign Treaty Number 6, giving their lands in central Alberta to the federal government

The Blood, Peigan, Blackfoot, Sarcee, Tsuu, and Stoney bands sign Treaty Number 7, giving up their lands in southern Alberta to the federal government

The first newspaper in Alberta, the Edmonton Bulletin, begins publication

1882 1883

1898

As part of the Northwest Territories, Alberta is divided into two districts: Athabasca in the north and Alberta in the south The Canadian Pacific Railway reaches Calgary

The Klondike gold rush brings thousands of gold prospectors (people exploring for minerals) to Edmonton on their way to the Yukon

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1899

The Cree, Beaver, Slavey, and Chipewyan bands sign Treaty Number 8, surrendering their lands in northern Alberta to the federal government

Alberta

1900 1905

Alberta becomes an official province, with Edmonton as its capital city

1908 1915 1916 1918

1924 1929 1939 1947

The University of Alberta is established

Prohibition (ban on alcohol) begins in Alberta

Women gain the right to vote in provincial elections

The Spanish Influenza strikes Alberta; so many become ill that all schools, churches, and theatres close and one in every ten people who get the disease die from it

Prohibition ends and alcohol sales start again

In the famous Persons Case, five Alberta women get the government to declare that women are officially persons in the sight of the law

The M?tis Betterment Act creates seven M?tis settlements and begins a series of reforms (changes) for the M?tis people

Oil is discovered in Leduc

1967

Native peoples gain the right to vote in Alberta

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