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The CANADIAN PRAIRIES is a region in western Canada
Canada
, which may correspond to several different definitions, natural or political. Notably, the PRAIRIE PROVINCES or simply THE PRAIRIES comprise the provinces of Alberta
Alberta
, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
, and Manitoba
Manitoba
, as they are partially covered by prairie (grasslands), mostly in the southern regions of each province. In a more restricted sense, the term may also refer only to the areas of those provinces covered by prairie; their portions of the physiographic region known as the INTERIOR PLAINS. Prairie also covers portions of northeastern British Columbia , though that province is typically not included in the region in a political sense.

CONTENTS

* 1 Definitions * 2 Main climates

* 3 Physical geography

* 3.1 Prairies

* 4 Demographics

* 4.1 Growth

* 5 Economy * 6 Culture and politics * 7 See also * 8 References

* 9 Further reading

* 9.1 Historiography

* 10 External links

DEFINITIONS

The prairies in Canada
Canada
refers to temperate grasslands and shrublands biome, within the prairie ecoregion of Canada
Canada
and consists of Northern mixed grasslands in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba. Northern short grasslands in southeastern Alberta
Alberta
and southwestern Saskatchewan. Northern tall grasslands
Northern tall grasslands
in southern Manitoba, and Aspen parkland , which covers central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba. The Prairie starts from north of Edmonton, it covers the three provinces in a southward-slanting line east to the Manitoba-Minnesota border. Alberta
Alberta
has the most land classified as Prairie, while Manitoba
Manitoba
has the least, as the Boreal Forest begins at a lower latitude in Manitoba
Manitoba
than in Alberta.

MAIN CLIMATES

Köppen climate types of the Prairie Provinces Native grasslands in southern Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan

According to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
the Canadian prairies generally experience dry semi-arid climates (Köppen Bsk) in the brown soil regions, and somewhat dry Humid Continental climates (Köppen Dfb) in the outer dark brown and black soil areas. The Canadian prairies typically experience about 12 to 15 in (300 to 380 mm) of annual precipitation in the semi-arid areas while they experience 16 to 20 in (410 to 510 mm) in the continental regions. Manitoba
Manitoba
is generally the coldest and most humid of the three prairie provinces. The area is also prone to thunderstorms in the spring and summer. Some of these storms, especially further south, are strong enough for tornadoes.

AVERAGE CLIMATES FOR SELECTED CITIES IN THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES CITY PROVINCE JULY JANUARY ANNUAL PRECIPITATION PLANT HARDINESS ZONE Growing season (in days)

Lethbridge
Lethbridge
AB 26 °C/10 °C (79 °F/50 °F) 0 °C/-12 °C (32 °F/10 °F) 380 mm (14.9 in) 4B 119

Calgary
Calgary
AB 23 °C/9 °C (73 °F/48 °F) -1 °C/-13 °C (30 °F/9 °F) 419 mm (16.4 in) 4A 117

Medicine Hat AB 28 °C/12 °C (82 °F/54 °F) -5 °C/-16 °C (23 °F/3 °F) 323 mm (12.7 in) 4B 134

Edmonton
Edmonton
AB 23 °C/12 °C (73 °F/54 °F) -6 °C/-15 °C (21 °F/5 °F) 456 mm (17.9 in) 4A 135

Grande Prairie AB 23 °C/10 °C (73 °F/50 °F) -8 °C/-19 °C (18 °F/-2 °F) 445 mm (17.5 in) 3B 117

Regina SK 26 °C/12 °C (79 °F/54 °F) -9 °C/-20 °C (16 °F/-4 °F) 390 mm (15.3 in) 3B 119

Saskatoon
Saskatoon
SK 25 °C/12 °C (77 °F/54 °F) -10 °C/-21 °C (14 °F/-9 °F) 354 mm (13.8 in) 3B 117

Prince Albert SK 24 °C/12 °C (75 °F/54 °F) -11 °C/-23 °C (12 °F/-9 °F) 428 mm (16.8 in) 3A 108

Brandon MB 25 °C/11 °C (77 °F/54 °F) -11 °C/-22 °C (12 °F/-11 °F) 474 mm (18.6 in) 3B 119

Winnipeg
Winnipeg
MB 25 °C/12 °C (77 °F/55 °F) -11 °C/-21 °C (12 °F/-6 °F) 521 mm (20.5 in) 4A 121

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

See also: Geography of Canada
Canada

Although the Prairie Provinces region is named for the prairies located within Alberta, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and Manitoba, the physical geography of the three provinces is quite diverse, consisting of portions of the Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
, the Western Cordillera and the Canadian Interior Plains . The plains comprise both prairies and forests while, with the exception of Arctic
Arctic
tundra along the Hudson Bay , the shield is predominantly forested. Gimli, Manitoba
Manitoba
is located on Lake Winnipeg
Winnipeg
, a very large fresh water lake in the eastern prairies.

PRAIRIES

The northern short grasslands (WWF terminology) shown here on a map of North America
North America
in green, is a type of true prairie (grassland) which occurs in the southern parts of the Prairie Provinces. Main article: Prairies (ecozone)

Three main grassland types occur in the Canadian prairies: tallgrass prairie , mixed grass prairie , and fescue prairie (or using the WWF terminology, northern tall grasslands , northern mixed grasslands , and northern short grasslands ). Each has a unique geographic distribution and characteristic mix of plant species. All but a fraction of one percent of the tallgrass prairie has been converted to cropland. What remains occurs on the 6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi) plain centred in the Red River Valley in Manitoba. Mixed prairie is more common and is part of the dry interior plains that extend from Canada south to the U.S. state
U.S. state
of Texas
Texas
. More than half of the remaining native grassland in the Canadian prairies is mixed. Though widespread in southern Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and southeastern Alberta, because of extensive cattle grazing, it is estimated that only 24% of the original mixed prairie grassland remains. Fescue prairie occurs in the moister regions, occupying the northern extent of the prairies in central and southwestern Alberta
Alberta
and west-central Saskatchewan. Palliser\'s Triangle , delineating prairie soil types in the Prairie provinces

The southwestern Canadian prairies, supporting brown and black soil types, are semi-arid and highly prone to frequent and severe droughts. The zones around the cities of Regina and immediately east of Calgary are also very dry. Most heavy precipitation quickly dissipates by the time it passes Cheadle on its way heading east. In an average year, southern Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
receives between 30–51 cm (12–20 in) of precipitation, with the majority falling between April and June. Frost from October to April (and sometimes even early May) limits the growing season for certain crops.

The eastern section of the Canadian prairies in Manitoba
Manitoba
is well watered with several large lakes such as Lake Winnipeg
Winnipeg
and several large rivers. The area also gets reasonable amounts of precipitation. The middle sections of Alberta
Alberta
and Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
are also wetter than the south and have better farmland, despite having a shorter frost-free season. The areas around Edmonton
Edmonton
and Saskatoon
Saskatoon
are especially notable as good farmland. Both lie in the northern area of the Palliser's Triangle, and are within aspen parkland a transitional prairie ecozone.

Further north, the area becomes too cold for most agriculture besides wild rice operations and sheep raising, and it is dominated by boreal forest . The Peace Region in northwestern Alberta
Alberta
is an exception, however. It lies north of the 55th Parallel and is warm and dry enough to support extensive farming. Aspen parkland covers the area; The long daylight hours in this region during the summer are an asset despite having an even shorter growing season than central Alberta. In fact, agriculture plays a major economic role in the Peace Region.

DEMOGRAPHICS

CENSUS METROPOLITAN AREAS IN THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES

RANK CENSUS METROPOLITAN AREA POPULATION (2011) POPULATION (2006) PROVINCE

1 CALGARY 1,214,839 1,079,310 Alberta
Alberta

2 EDMONTON 1,159,869 1,034,945 Alberta

3 WINNIPEG 730,018 694,668 Manitoba
Manitoba

4 SASKATOON 260,600 233,923 Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan

5 REGINA 210,556 194,971 Saskatchewan

In the Canada
Canada
2011 Census , the Canadian prairie provinces had a population of 5,886,906, consisting of 3,645,257 in Alberta, 1,208,268 in Manitoba, and 1,033,381 in Saskatchewan, up 8.9% from 5,406,908 in 2006. The three provinces have a combined area of 1,780,650.6 km2 (687,513.0 sq mi), consisting of 640,081.87 km2 (247,136.99 sq mi) in Alberta, 552,329.52 km2 (213,255.62 sq mi) in Manitoba, and 588,239.21 km2 (227,120.43 sq mi) in Saskatchewan. Location of communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and Manitoba
Manitoba
which comprise Canada's Prairie Provinces.

GROWTH

Some of the prairie region of Canada
Canada
has seen rapid growth from a boom in oil production since the mid-20th century. According to StatsCanada, the prairie provinces had a population of 5,886,906 in 2011. In 2016, the population had grown by 14.6% to 6,748,280.

ECONOMY

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A canola field in the Qu'Appelle Valley in Southern Saskatchewan.

Primary industries include agriculture (wheat , barley , canola , brassica , oats ), and cattle and sheep ranching. Also, natural resources such as oil sands ( Fort McMurray , Alberta) and other forms of oil production can be found on the plains. Secondary industries consist of the refinement of oils and agriculture processing.

CULTURE AND POLITICS

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The Alberta
Alberta
badlands .

The Prairies are distinguished from the rest of Canada
Canada
by cultural and political traits. The oldest influence on Prairie culture are the First Nations , who have lived in the area for millennia. The first Europeans to see the Prairies were fur traders and explorers from eastern Canada
Canada
(mainly present-day Quebec
Quebec
) and Great Britain
Great Britain
via Hudson Bay . They gave rise to the Métis , working class "children of the fur trade." Not until the Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
was built did widespread agricultural settlement occur. During their settlement, the prairies were settled in distinct ethnic block settlements giving certain areas distinctively Ukrainian , German , French , or Scandinavian Canadian cultures.

Some areas also developed cultures around their main economic activity. For example, southern Alberta
Alberta
is renowned for its cowboy culture, which developed when real open range ranching was practised in the 1880s. Canada's first rodeo, the Raymond Stampede , was established in 1902. These influences are also evident in the music of Canada\'s Prairie Provinces . This can be attributed partially to the massive influx of American settlers who began to migrate to Alberta (and to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan) in the late 1880s because of the lack of available land in the United States.

The Prairie Provinces have given rise to the "prairie protest" movements, such as the Winnipeg
Winnipeg
General Strike of 1919 , the first general strike in Canadian history. These political movements (both of the left and right) tend to feed off of well established feelings of Western alienation , and each one represents a distinct challenge to the perceived Central Canadian elite.

The Prairies continue to have a wide range of political representation. While the Conservative Party of Canada
Canada
has widespread support throughout the region, the New Democratic Party holds seats at the provincial level in all three provinces, forming the government in one, as well as holding seats at the federal level in all three provinces. The Liberal Party of Canada
Canada
presently holds federal seats in urban areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and Manitoba, while the Alberta
Alberta
Liberal Party holds a provincial seat in Alberta
Alberta
and the Manitoba
Manitoba
Liberal Party holds a seat in Manitoba.

SEE ALSO

* Geography of Canada
Canada
portal

* List of regions of Canada
Canada
* Dominion Land Survey * Natural Resources Acts * Terrestrial ecozone * Great Plains * High Plains (United States) * Llano Estacado * Shortgrass prairie
Shortgrass prairie
* Corner Gas – TV show featuring the sparseness of the plains as a major theme

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-03-17. * ^ http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=510005 * ^ A B "Prairies Ecozone". Ecological Framework of Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 23 May 2016. * ^ A B "Wide open spaces, but for how long?". The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Retrieved 23 May 2016. * ^ "Canada\'s Plant Hardiness". Canada's Plant Hardiness. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 5 January 2016. * ^ " Lethbridge
Lethbridge
A, Alberta". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2014. * ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1981-2010 Station Data Calgary International Airport". Environment Canada
Canada
. Retrieved 15 July 2015. * ^ " Medicine Hat A, Alberta". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 Medicine Hat. Environment Canada. Retrieved 14 May 2014. * ^ " Edmonton
Edmonton
City Centre Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981−2010. Environment Canada. August 19, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2013. * ^ "Grande Prairie A". Canadian Climate Normals 1981−2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved May 14, 2014. * ^ "Regina International Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada
Canada
. Retrieved 12 May 2014. * ^ " Saskatoon
Saskatoon
Diefenbaker International Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada
Canada
. Retrieved May 12, 2014. * ^ "Prince Albert A". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada
Canada
. Retrieved May 14, 2014. * ^ "Brandon CDA, Manitoba". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada
Canada
. Retrieved 7 May 2014. * ^ " Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Richardson International Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada
Canada
. Retrieved May 7, 2014. * ^ " Prairie Grasslands and Parkland". Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. * ^ "Atlantic unemployment tonic: oil sands". Archived from the original on 2008-10-20. * ^ http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=510005

FURTHER READING

See also: Bibliography of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
history , Bibliography of Alberta
Alberta
history , and History of Manitoba
Manitoba

* Alberta
Alberta
Encyclopedia Online (2005) * Archer, John H. Saskatchewan: A History (1980) * Barnhart, Gordon L., ed. Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Premiers of the Twentieth Century. (2004). 418 pp. * Bennett, John W. and Seena B. Kohl. Settling the Canadian-American West, 1890-1915: Pioneer Adaptation and Community Building. An Anthropological History. (1995). 311 pp. online edition * Danysk, Cecilia. Hired Hands: Labour and the Development of Prairie Agriculture, 1880–1930. (1995). 231 pp. * Emery, George. The Methodist Church on the Prairies, 1896–1914. McGill-Queen's U. Press, 2001. 259 pp. * The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan: A Living Legacy. U. of Regina Canadian Plains Research Center, 2005. online 1071pp in print edition * Fairbanks, C. and S.B. Sundberg. Farm Women on the Prairie Frontier. (1983) * Friesen, Gerald (1987), The Canadian prairies: a history, University of Toronto Press, ISBN 0-8020-6648-8 * Hodgson, Heather, ed. Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Writers: Lives Past and Present. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 2004. 247 pp. * Jones, David C. Empire of Dust: Settling and Abandoning the Prairie Dry Belt. (1987) 316 pp. * Keahey, Deborah. Making It Home: Place in Canadian Prairie Literature. (1998). 178 pp. * Langford, N. "Childbirth on the Canadian Prairies
Canadian Prairies
1880-1930." Journal of Historical Sociology, 1995. Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 278–302. * Langford, Nanci Louise. "First Generation and Lasting Impressions: The Gendered Identities of Prairie Homestead Women." PhD dissertation U. of Alberta
Alberta
1994. 229 pp. DAI 1995 56(4): 1544-A. DANN95214 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations statistical models * Palmer, Howard. The Settlement of the West (1977) online edition * Pitsula, James M. "Disparate Duo" Beaver 2005 85(4): 14–24, a comparison of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
and Alberta, Fulltext in EBSCO * Rollings-Magnusson, Sandra. "Canada's Most Wanted: Pioneer Women on the Western Prairies". Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 2000 37(2): 223–238. ISSN 0008-4948 Fulltext: Ebsco * Swyripa, Frances. Storied Landscapes: Ethno-Religious Identity and the Canadian Prairies
Canadian Prairies
(University of Manitoba
Manitoba
Press, 2010) 296 pp. ISBN 978-0-88755-720-0 . * Thompson, John Herd. Forging the Prairie West (1998). * Wardhaugh, Robert A. Mackenzie King and the Prairie West (2000). 328 pp. * Waiser, Bill, and John Perret. Saskatchewan: A New History (2005).

HISTORIOGRAPHY

* Francis, R. Douglas. "In search of a prairie myth: A survey of the intellectual and cultural historiography of prairie Canada." Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d'Études Canadiennes 24#3 (1989): 44+ online * Ingles, Ernie B (2009), Peel\'s Bibliography of the Canadian Prairies to 1953, University of Toronto Press, ISBN 0-8020-4825-0 * Wardhaugh, Robert A., ed. Toward Defining the Prairies: Region, Culture, and History. (2001). 234 pp. * Wardhaugh, Robert; Calder, Alison (2005), History, literature, and the writing of the Canadian Prairies, University of Manitoba
Manitoba
Press, ISBN 0-88755-682-5 310 pp.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Media related to Canadian Prairies
Canadian Prairies
at Wikimedia Commons

* v * t * e

Canada
Canada

.