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"One West:" Regionalism
Alberta - Saskatchewan
Long before modern political boundaries divided North America, the prairie region of modern Canada served as a borderless homeland and trade region for First Nations peoples. With the purchase of Rupert's Land by the Government of Canada in 1869 the Canadian prairies as a whole, except for what was then Manitoba, became a political unit called the North-West Territories. Within these new political boundaries the prairies functioned fairly naturally as a region. There continued to be a shared sense of history and economic integration.

wheat field and an oil pumpWhen the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were carved out of the North-West Territories in 1905, they did not immediately lose all that had previously tied them together. Despite the growth of provincial distinctions, the economies of the four western provinces to this day are still based primarily on the exporting of primary resources such as foodstuffs, forest products, and oil and gas. Because of these shared experiences the people of the Canadian west largely continue to have a common outlook globally and within Canada.

For more information on this topic see:
Gerald Friesen. The West: Regional Ambitions, National Debates, Global Age. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1999.
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