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Selective Immigration



The study found that early immigration to the region was shaped by a combination of poor economic conditions, the effects of the Riel Resistance of 1885 and the choice of many potential settlers to move to the United States from eastern provinces. Importantly, the Saskatchewan Land and Homestead Company had a retarding influence on settlement. The SLHC exerted a profound and lingering regional effect on land prices. As well, it affected the pattern of settlement in the Red Deer-Lacombe corridor, deflecting many potential settlers outside of the immediate region beyond the land holdings of the SLHC. As noted, the early immigrants to the region were Canadian or British, while those arriving in the 1890's and after were mostly American. Many of the Americans arrived poorly capitalized to establish a farm and often failed in this attempt. An attempt to establish a Jewish agricultural colony near Pine Lake failed from destitution that resulted partly by local failure to help the new settlers.

After this early period, a land rush occured in 1900-03 as many Canadians returned from one or two decades in the American midwest. But along with this return, the republican sensibilities that arrived with the Americans concerned some who felt that the ideals of the earlier days in establishing a quasi-religious colony of Methodists and the ties to imperial Britain were diluted.



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