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The Opening of the West

  • How Alberta Got Its Name - Alberta becomes a province in 1905, a governor general's loving tribute to his wife.
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  • Dominion Land Survey - The Dominion Land Survey began in the late 1860s, after Canada bought Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company.
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  • Dominion Land Survey, Part Two: Alberta - In 1880, surveyors began sectioning land for homesteading in Alberta. Listen to learn more about how the land was surveyed.
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  • Dominion Land Survey: Part Three - How did the first surveyors get their jobs? Who were they, and what could they expect for their efforts? Listen, and learn.
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  • Dominion Land Surveys: Part Four - What jobs did the surveying crew do? Listen to learn about the engineer, the chainmen, teamsters, and other members of the surveying team.
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  • US Canada Boundary Survey: Part One - The effort to draw a boundary between Canada and the United States dates back to the early 1800s. But not until 1874 was the land ready to be surveyed.
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  • US Canada Border Survey: Part Two - How did Canada wrest the northwest from the US? Learn of the tactics used by both the Americans and the British to establish the 49th parallel.
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  • Homesteading, Part One: Political Context - Before people could settle in newly-bought Rupert's Land, the Canadian government put policies in place that would secure it for various purposes, including homesteading.
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  • Homesteading, Part Two: Advertising For Settlers - How did the government of Canada attract settlers to Alberta? Listen to learn more.
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  • Homesteading, Part Three: Getting Here - Alberta's first settlers had to endure many hardships before they even arrived in the province. Learn how immigrants dealt with the arduous journey into Alberta.
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  • Homesteading: Part Four - Who was allowed to come to Alberta? What were the provisions of settlement, and what could settlers bring with them? Listen to find out.
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  • Homesteading: Getting Started on the Land - What were the immediate prospects for the new settlers? You'll discover this was no time to relax!
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The Great Migration

  • Ivan Pylypow and Wasyl Eleniak Come to Alberta - Who were the first Ukrainian settlers, and why did they head for Alberta? Hear the story, now!
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  • Ukrainian Settlement, Part Two - Hear the story of Ivan Pylypow, one of the first Ukrainian settlers in Alberta.
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  • Ukrainian Settlement, Part Three: Joseph Oleskiw - Joseph Oleskiw helped his fellow immigrants come to Alberta. Hear how he did it!
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  • Ethnic Settlement: Hutterites, Part One - Listen to learn about the history of the Hutterites: the events that led to their eventual emigration to America.
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  • Ethnic Settlement: Hutterites, Part Two - The over 25,000 Hutterites who now live in Alberta have a long history of persecution since the seventeenth century. Hear how they came to the plains of America in the late nineteenth century, and to Alberta in 1917.
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  • Ethnic Settlement: Hutterites, Part Three - The Alberta government passed the Land Sales Prohibition Act in 1942, limiting the spread of Hutterite colonies. Hear how Hutterites have fared in Alberta until the present day.
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  • Stephansson House: Part One - Stephan Guthmundarson Stephansson was a famous Icelandic poet before he came to Markerville, Alberta. Hear about Stephansson and his little farmhouse near Red Deer.
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  • Stephansson House: Part Two - The Stephansson farmhouse, at Markerville, Alberta, grew with the Stephansson family, room by room. Stephansson House is now a historic site.
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  • Stephansson House: Part Three - Listen to the history of Stephansson House's unique architectural details, from its brilliant colours to its eight lightning rods!
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  • Stephansson House: Part Four - Stephan G. Stephansson has been called the Shakespeare of Iceland. Hear some of Stephansson's poems, and learn about the man himself.
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  • German Immigration to Alberta: Part One - German people came to Alberta in the late nineteenth century, attracted to Alberta's reputation for religious tolerance and economic opportunity.
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  • German Immigration to Alberta: Part Two - German peoples continued moving into Alberta throughout the twentieth century, establishing the settlements of Josephburg, Bruderheim, and Stony Plain.
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  • German Immigration to Alberta: Part Three - During the World Wars, German peoples in Alberta kept a low profile, despite being the second-largest ethnic group in the province. Many German place names were changed during this time.
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  • Mennonites: Part One - Mennonites were among the peoples who emigrated to Alberta because of religious persecution. As pacifists, Mennonites fled north to Canada to avoid fighting in the American civil war.
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  • Mennonites: Part Two - More and more liberal congregations of Mennonites settled throughout Alberta after the original 1889 settlement in High River.
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  • Mennonites: Part Three - The Mennonites of the late 1920s returned to the rigid fundamentalism of their forefathers. Listen to the history of the most unique Mennonite colony, established near Fort Vermilion.
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  • Barr Colony at Lloydminster: Part One - Hear how the Canadian government launched an aggressive campaign to populate the prairies with British sympathizers.
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  • Barr Colony at Lloydminster: Part Two - George Lloyd and Isaac Barr actively recruited almost 2000 British people to settle the area near present-day Lloydminster. But Barr didn't make it. Hear why!
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Place Names

  • Scandinavian, Place Names: Armena and Bardo - How did the Alberta towns Armena and Bardo get their names? Hear the story of two of the first Scandinavian settlements in the province.
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  • Scandinavian Names, Part Two: Dalum and Nuorison Creek - Dalum got its name thanks to a group of Danish settlers who settled near present-day Drumheller. Settlers from Finland named Nuorison Creek. Hear more about these first Scandinavian settlers.
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  • Scandinavian Place Names, Part Three: Oyen and Standard - The south-central part of Alberta has been a favourite of Scandinavian settlers since the early part of the twentieth century. Listen, and learn about the Norwegian Andrew family, and the towns of Oyen and Standard.
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  • Scandinavian Place Names: Thorsby and Tindastoll Creek - Settlers from Sweden and Iceland named the towns of Thorsby and Tindastoll in honour of their Scandinavian heritage. Listen to find out more about these towns and their settlers.
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  • Scandinavian Place Names: Valhalla - Valhalla is the mythical home of Viking gods, but it was also the Alberta home of Scandinavian settlers led by Norwegian pastor H.N. Ronning.
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  • Ethnic Place Names: French, Part One: Demicharge and Cassette Rapids on the Slave River - Listen to hear of the voyageurs, French fur traders and some of the first Europeans to enter western Canada. The rapids along the Slave River provided one of the most difficult challenges to these brave men.
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  • Ethnic Place Names Part Two, French: Pierre au Calumet, La Crete, Carcajou - Ever wonder how the French communities of Calumet, La Crete, and Carcajou got their names? Listen, and find out!
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  • French Oblate Names: Part One - The Petitot River was named after the famous Oblate priest, artist, and scholar, Father Petitot, who came to Alberta as a missionary in 1862. Listen to learn more about this amazing man.
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  • French Oblate Names, Part Two: Father Vegreville - Father Vegreville was an Oblate priest and an expert linguist of native languages. The original francophone community to the east of Edmonton named their town in his honour in 1906, and Vegreville later became the center of Ukrainian settlement.
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  • German Place Names: Those that Changed After WWI - Many German towns changed their names to satisfy anti-German sentiment during the first World War. Hear more about the origin of place names in Alberta.
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  • German Place Names, Part Two: Those That Stayed the Same - Listen to learn about the history behind communities like Hussar and Josephburg, which kept their German names despite hostility created by the First World War.
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  • Irish Place Names: Ardenode - Hear about the origin of Ardenode, named by the twin sons of Irish Major George Davis in 1915.
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  • Irish Place Names: Bantry - Bantry, Alberta was named after Bantry Bay in Ireland, but were the two places at all similar? Listen, and find out!
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  • Irish Place Names: Connemara - Connemara is an Irish word meaning "seaside." Discover how Connemara, Alberta got it's name, and what it's called today!
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  • Irish Place Names: St. Brides - A group of Irish immigrants moved near the northern frontier, and called their new settlement St. Brides. Listen to learn about the fascinating heritage of this Irish saint.
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  • Greek and Latin Place Names: Part One - Many Alberta ranges were named by mountaineers with a background in Greek and Roman mythology. Listen to learn how many peaks, like Mt. Andromeda, were named.
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  • Greek and Latin Place Names: Part Two - Greek and Roman names were given not only to mountains, but to other geological features. Listen to learn more about classical naming in Alberta.
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  • Greek and Roman Places Names: Part Three - Some surveyors used the ancient Greek alphabet when naming Alberta lakes. Hear more about how these lakes were named, and about Ricinus, a locality near Rocky Mountain House.
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            For more on the history of settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.