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Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia


The Athabasca River from Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Park. Place Names of Alberta: The Land, the People and Their Stories is a state-of-the-art multimedia website that explores the history of naming in Alberta as well as providing a range of information about names of communities, geographical features and special areas. The study of place names is called toponymy; thus, the Place Names of Alberta Website is a toponymic resource that helps to preserve Alberta's cultural heritage.

The website allows users to discover the origins and meanings behind place names by situating them in their political, social, economic and cultural contexts. This information is provided through a range of articles that reveal historical influences affecting place naming in the province including, for the first time, resources relating to Aboriginal place names. A wealth of information is provided through the following sections:

  • Naming Places - This describes the evolution of Place Naming in Canada and Alberta from the legislative perspective; introduces the central themes for discovering the origin of Alberta's place names and the work of the Alberta Geographical Names Program; and summarizes the process of Place Naming in the United States and Around the world.

  • Naming Alberta Regions - This features essays from the 4-volume Place Names of Alberta publication (Central Alberta; Mountains, Mountain Parks, and Foothills; Northern Alberta; and Southern Alberta).

  • Friends of Geographical Names of Alberta Society Programs - This introduces users to a range of educational initiatives undertaken by the Friends of Geographical Names of Alberta (e.g., (Namedropper Program, Alberta Challenge Program and Native Mapping Project).

  • Alberta Geographical Place Names Database - The Alberta Geographical Names Program publications (Concise Place Names of Alberta and Place Names of Alberta 4-volume series) have been made fully keyword searchable through a dynamic database.

  • Regional Maps - The maps sections contains a variety of images from the Place Names of Alberta series.

  • Multimedia - This features a range of learning aids including a glossary index and relevant mini-radio documentaries - the Heritage Trails Series - developed by the CKUA Radio Network Inc. and producer Cheryl Croucher with funding support from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

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††††††††††† For more on place names of Alberta, visit Peelís Prairie Provinces.

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