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Ford Edmonton, Alberta, A remainder of Alberta History

Alberta History; Looking for fur? We have OILY SANDS!

Alberta history is not eventful like Ontario or Quebec, no Louis Riel and his execution like in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, no flashy moments like the discovery of gold …. But well, Alberta has oil, so what else does it need? 

In this article, we take a deeper look into Alberta history. We have provided you with a table to show you the defining moments with a short description so that you can learn about them easier. Who knows? Maybe one day Alberta becomes your favorable destination of immigration!!

Looking into Alberta history, what has happened there centuries ago?

Being in the middle of Canada, Between Saskatchewan and British Columbia, Alberta is one of the provinces that got settlements and population relatively later. It was part of Rupert’s Land, which had been granted to Hudson’s Bay Company. In the first decades of the 17th century, explorers reported that something like gum or pitch was found in Alberta, and that’s the first mention of oil in Alberta history.

Through the following years, Hudson’s Bay Company people made posts in the area to trade fur as indigenous people did there thousands of years ago in Alberta history. In 1795 Fort Edmonton was established, which was the basis of what we know today as Edmonton, the capital of Alberta.

Looking at the table below, you can read about the important points and turns of Alberta history:

Important events and dates in Alberta history
Before the 17th centuryIndigenous people occupied the land.
1670Charles II, King of Britain, gave the monopoly of the fur trade to the Hudson’s Bay Company over the basin of Hudson Bay (Rupert’s Land). Alberta is a part of that area.
1715Captain Swan reported, “gum or pitch” found in what we know today as Athabasca Oil Land. It’s the first report known on oil sands in the area and in Alberta history.
1754First European to explore the lands, Anthony Henday, A Hudson’s Bay Company man, entered today’s Alberta.
1778The first trading post was established by Peter Pond.
1795Fort Edmonton was established as a trading post by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
1821Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company were merged.
1870Rupert’s land was acquired by the Dominion of Canada and combined with North-Western Territory to form the North-West Territories.
1876-99Treaties ceded the lands of Alberta to the Crown.
1882Southern Regions of the North-West Territories were divided into four parts by the federal government: Alberta, Assiniboia, Athabasca, and Saskatchewan.
1885The North-west was surged and suppressed.
1905Alberta joined the Confederation as a province.
1916Women gain their right to vote in Alberta.
1947Discovery of oil at Leduc.

If you compare Alberta history to other provinces, especially with Atlantic ones, you, of course, notice that everything in Alberta is younger, and has happened after those provinces as mentioned above, for example, the right for women to vote (Well, let’s not think about Quebec here!).

Historical Sites of Alberta

To sum up this article, we have some of the finest historical sites of Alberta for you explained, so you can feast your eyes on what Alberta history would look if you look at it firsthand.

Heritage Park Historical Village

Established in 1964, Heritage Park Historical Village is the second-largest living history museum in Canada, reflecting Alberta history and the whole of Canadian history. It’s divided into four parts, representing different eras of Canada history, and most of the buildings are historical ones, transported into the site.

Fort Edmonton Park

The largest living museum in Canada, Fort Edmonton Park, is established on remains of Fort Edmonton, built in 1830. Fort Edmonton was annihilated in 1915, albeit in 1912 Women’s Canadian Club had proposed keeping and preserving it. In 1969 the construction of the park began. Today it represents four different eras of Alberta history and Canadian history. This is the 5th time Fort Edmonton has been reconstructed; four times had been done before, through its time.


One of the unique sites in Alberta history, Canadian history, and human history; positioned about 100 km southeast of Lethbridge, Alberta lies a UNESCO world heritage and national historic site; Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a site important for both natural and cultural features. On this site, there are several rock carvings and paintings made by indigenous people during the time. It is said that indigenous people have occupied this area for over 9000 thousand years, the longest occupants in the Alberta history.

Final words on Alberta history

Alberta history is not about wars and bloodshed; it is more about trading, discovery, and trying to live in harmony. So it is no wonder that nowadays in Alberta people live from many origins and several different ethnics. 

Here we finish our article on Alberta history, but if you are interested in other provinces’ history, check our other articles about them and leave your feedback. We would be glad to know your opinion, anytime.

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