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The Landscape - Introduction
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"New settlers arriving at Auvergne, near Ponteix in southwest Saskatchewan."

Saskatchewan is often perceived as a totally flat treeless land where once the buffalo roamed and now isolated farms dot the landscape. While this perception is true for some areas of the province there is actually a wide diversity of landscapes and environments within several distinct eco regions. Some regions are in the category of ‘badlands’, but other areas consist of mixed forest, parklands, and large numbers of lakes and rivers. Much of the rich agricultural land and many of the unique physical features of the land have been caused by erosion and glaciation. Fur traders and early settlers made use of these features as they followed and settled along the river valleys. The open plains to the south supported a rich and varied ecosystem, but access was difficult. Once the railways arrived, the open prairie allowed for easy construction and by the late 1800s the new transportation routes were bringing settlers to the grasslands. The type of soils and moisture levels would have a tremendous impact on the agriculture and settlement patterns that developed in Saskatchewan. Quite often a prospective homesteader’s knowledge of the Saskatchewan landscape was limited, as some of the documents illustrate. Many were looking to settle in an environment that was familiar to them. While some homesteaders searched diligently for good farm land (refer to audio tape #1278) others just hoped that the prairie landscape provided them with the support they needed to make a successful homestead.

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French in Saskatchewan; Auvergne; Immigration

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Image Preview R-A19713-1 Photograph 1 - "New settlers arriving at Auvergne, near Ponteix in southwest Saskatchewan."
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