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Immigration

Promoting settlement in the west became an integral part of the Dominion’s "National Policy".

Development of the Northwest Territories was integral to the success of the "National Policy," as in this western region lay rich agricultural land and abundant natural resources. It was hoped that the raw materials of the west would fuel the development of eastern Canadian industry and, in turn, become a consumer of eastern manufactured goods.

The achievement of this vision required an aggressive immigration policy. In order to prepare the Northwest for settlement, the government sent surveying teams out west in 1871 to divide the land into townships and sections for farming.

Although there had been slow immigration into the area after 1872, the early settlers were predominantly British and concerned more with ranching, not exactly the occupation the federal government had in mind. However, between 1896 and 1914 more than 1 million people came to the west - a region that promised them cheap land and a better life.

Fertile Canada

Fertile Canada

Scandinavian settlers, Dickson, Alberta.

Scandinavian settlers, Dickson, Alberta.