History

The province of Alberta celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005 – but our history is much older.

Thousands of years ago, Alberta was inhabited by dozens of Aboriginal tribes. In the early 1700s, the first European fur traders arrived in the area, setting up various trading posts. Over the next 100 years, traders kept arriving. Tensions were high between rival trading companies, and churches attempting to convert Aboriginal Peoples to their respective religions.

In 1870, the Dominion of Canada acquired the land that 35 years later would become Alberta. Negotiations began to create treaties with Alberta's First Nations, offering government support and reserve lands in exchange for government ownership of the rest of the land.

On September 1, 1905, Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier granted official provincial status to Alberta and the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan. Since this time, Alberta has grown from a population of 78,000 to more than three million residents today. Infrastructure such as schools and medical facilities began to expand rapidly, leading to further population growth.

Agriculture has historically been a core industry in Alberta. The mid-1900s saw the discovery of large deposits of oil and natural gas in the province, and these natural resources remain Alberta's main economic drivers.