Farmers and Ranchers Outstanding in Their Fields

Farmers and Ranchers Outstanding in Their Fields

The unstoppabie character of our homesteaders, farmers and ranchers helped them survive adversity and adapt to their new surroundings.

Take up the plow, young man!

After the buffalo were mostly gone, the feds urged First Nations to take up farming. (Unfortunately the tools were often primitive and inadequate.) These government incentives were designed to enable and motivate First Nations included in Treaty Six (1876) to take up farming:

To each Indian family starting to farm:

Four hoes and two spades; one scythe and one whetstone; two hay forks and two reaping hooks (whatever they were)

To every three Indian families starting to farm:

One plough and one harrow;

To each Indian band starting to farm:

Two axes, one cross saw, one handsaw, one pitsaw and the files needed to sharpen them.

One grindstone, one auger and one chest of ordinary carpenter tools.

Four oxen, one bull and six cows; one boar and two sows.

Two carts with iron bushings and tires. 

Enough wheat, barley, potatoes and oats to plant land already broken.

One hand mill — when sufficient grain had been raised.

To all Indian bands included in Treaty Six beginning to cultivate: a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars distributed annually — at the discretion of the chief Indian agent— among bands actually cultivating, to assist and encourage them to farm.

[Rollings-Magnusson, The Homesteaders, Ch. 3; other sources]


How many settlers obtained “free” land

The Dominion Lands Act — amended several times between 1872 and 1918 — generally required that those taking up a homestead:

A replica of the Diefembaker family homestead buildings ner Borden. They are now located at the
Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village south of Moose Jaw.
Photo by Patricia Pavey

Be male and at least eighteen years old (except widows with dependent children).

Make official entry on a 160-acre “quarter” section designated for homesteads.

Pay the ten-dollar registration fee.

Build a permanent dwelling on the selected “homestead” quarter.

Occupy that homestead quarter for at least six months in each of three successive years.

Break and crop a set portion (usually thirty to forty acres) of the homestead quarter during that interval.

Apply for patent (title) to the homestead quarter upon fulfilling the above requirements.

They could also buy an adjoining “pre-empted” quarter section for a set price.


A place of their own

Single women farmers battling the elements  

In homesteading days single women (except heads of households with children) couldn’t get free homesteads as men did, so they often bought ready-made farms. Their worst enemies were mortgages – unless they were wealthy. Many did backbreaking work themselves: felling trees, stooking, and digging up stones, plus the usual milking of cows, harnessing horses, gardening, preserving and other endless tasks.

Some, like remittance men, had wealthy parents back in Britain. If they had the money, women could buy ready-made farms from the CPR. For example, Maggie Dunn bought CPR land in the Ellisboro area of Assiniboia in 1908.

They could buy “scrip” allotted to veterans of the South African (Boer) war, although they still had to meet homestead regulations. Sixty-year-old Sarah Birtle bought South African scrip (SAS) and acquired title to a homestead near Colonsay, and one in Alberta.

Metis women could get either 240 acres of land or paper scrip to compensate for confiscated land, and issues leading to the 1885 conflict. Often scammers convinced them paper scrip was worthless, and the Metis sold it to land speculators “for a song.”

Some women financed farms with personal income earned as businesswomen or professionals. They could buy farms from male homesteaders who had thrown in the towel, as journalist Georgina Binnie-Clark did. A proponent of the Homesteads for Women Movement, she was keen to prove single women could farm ably and profitably.

Many bartered cooking or laundering services for help from neighbours in clearing land, seeding and harvesting. Widow Theresia Lutz came from Minnesota to Muenster in 1902 with two teen daughters, an eleven-year-old son, and a married daughter and family. The latter soon left, but Theresia stayed and toughed it out. She left in 1910 when her eyesight failed.

Some had male neighbours nearby who lent a hand. In 1903, Isabella Wilson immigrated to Sonningdale with two brothers who acquired their own homesteads. Being single, she had to buy her land, and neighbours built her little home.

Others were well-heeled entrepreneurs who hired all the necessary labour.  Ruth Hillman of Keeler ran her farm like any other business, with six workmen. Within five years she had a two thousand–acre farm. In the first world war her land was producing forty thousand bushels per year.

[Saskatchewan Archives Board homestead records: Binnie-Clark: Carter, Imperial Plots. Lutz: Lutz, A Mother Braving the Wilderness. Wilson: Sonningdale Memories, 406-8. Hillman: Carter, 221-2, 343]

Coping with nature

How early settlers overcame natural scourges and some pretty lame tools

Sowing seeds by hand.

Farmer illustration
Illustration by Ruth Millar

Planting crops really early. Before the advent of Marquis wheat with its shorter growing season, many crops were zapped by August frosts. One farmer tried it in February, but did not record how he sowed the crop in the snow.

Improvising implements such as a wooden harrow made with planks and railway spikes.

Harvesting with sickles and scythes, then collecting the sheaves and propping them up in stooks to keep the grain dry.

Ploughing fireguards made of earth to stop raging prairie fires.

Killing grasshoppers with poisoned bait.

Spraying coal oil mixed with soapy water around the edges of gardens and crops, to squelch cutworms.

Building smudges with green branches to protect livestock from mosquitoes.

Shooting hawks that swooped down and carried off chickens.

Waging war on gophers by poisoning, trapping, shooting and drowning.

Planting scarecrows in fields to terrorize marauding coyotes, and switching to energetic poultry that could fly to escape predators.

Cajoling or convincing or forcing women and children to do their bit helping out in the fields.

Co-operating with neighbours in “bees” on heavy jobs.

[Rollings-Magnusson, Ch. 3; other sources; collective memory]


Salt of the earth

A few of the notable Saskie farms and farmers, past and present, who influenced prairie farming

The Bell Farm, managed by Major R.W. Bell, was founded near Indian Head by the Qu’Appelle Valley Farming Co. in 1882. It failed to make a profit despite large expenditures on buildings, machinery and livestock on the fifty-thousand-plus acre holding. After a series of poor harvests and marketing difficulties, the farm was dissolved in 1889. The round stone barn on the main farmstead is now a protected heritage building

Lanark Place, near Abernethy, was the homestead of William R. Motherwell, am outspoken advocate of better methods of dryland-farming in the early 1900s. He became provincial minister of agriculture, then federal. His original farmstead, with its two-storey stone house is now a heritage site

Seager Wheeler house.
Seager Wheeler farm, a national heritage site near Rosthern. Photo by Judy Buckle, August 2019.

Seager Wheeler was a science-minded homesteader who began selecting and breeding strains fruits and strains of wheat suited to the prairies in 1904. He was proclaimed World Wheat Champion at a New York exhibition in 1911 and several years thereafter for the grain he had grown at Maple Grove Farm, Rosthern. Wheeler also pioneered dryland techniques such as summer fallowing and planting shelter belts. His farm, restored to the way it was when he retired in 1919, is a designated national heritage site.

Robert Caswell’s Royal Stock Farm at Saskatoon, with its championship Clydesdale horses, Shorthorn cattle and cereal grains was acclaimed as one of the largest and most advanced mixed farming enterprises when he retired in 1923. Most of its land and farmstead are now part of the city.

The Matador Farming Pool near Kyle was the last of the co-op farms established by the Tommy Douglas CCF government after World War II. It was founded in 1946 by seventeen veterans who collectively worked on ten thousand acres, shared land and machinery, and lived communally. Despite restructuring in succeeding decades, it declined from a high point in the 1950s and was dissolved in 2011.

Copeland Seeds Ltd. at Elrose is owned and operated by William J. (Bill) Copeland and his son Bob. Bill was one of the first farmers to practice minimal cultivation and grow pulse crops in the Rosetown-Elrose district. The annual Copeland Prize in crop science at the U of S is named for him, as is CDC Copeland malting barley. 

Quark Farms near Mossbank is owned and operated by Dan Quark, a fourth-generation dryland farmer. He and his family grow a variety of grains, pulses and oilseeds using continuous cropping and minimal cultivation techniques on their sixteen-thousand–acre holding.

Aberhardt Farms near Langenburg is owned and operated by Terry Aberhardt– a third-generation dryland farmer — and his father Harvey. They practice crop rotation, continuous cropping and minimal cultivation, producing cereal grains, pulses and oilseeds on their fifteen thousand acres.

Prince Valley Farms is a midsized dryland farm in the North Battleford district. Experienced owner/operator Martin Prince successfully competes with larger farms using automation, data sensors and other high-tech means to produce and market a variety of grains efficiently. 

The Double Bar D farm at Grenfell is a mixed farm owned and operated by Richard Dimler and family. Starting in 1968 with 640 acres and seven heifers, the Dimlers expanded their farm to thirty thousand acres and one thousand purebred cattle.

[Bell Farm. Archer, Saskatchewan: A History, 72-3,; Lanark Place: .; Maple Grove: Wikipedia; Royal Stock Farm: R.W. Caswell Papers;; Copeland Seeds:;; aberhardtfarms, com; Prince Valley:;]

The dust bowl

Taming blowing soil

Farms in the arid Palliser Triangle of the south were most afflicted by blowing dust in the dirty thirties. Under the guidance of PFRA and their agricultural experts, farmers battled the dust and drought in these ways:

Crews were sent to farms to help dig deep, long dugouts to capture and hold spring runoff water for irrigation, domestic use, and watering livestock.

Communities banded together for “listing bees”, helping farmers dig deep furrows perpendicular to the wind. It helped prevent soil from drifting.

Farm horses were often weak and half-starved, and farm equipment was dilapidated and outdated, so equipment sometimes was supplied by the government.

Dams were built in creeks and streams to retain water for thirsty stock.

Farmers were encouraged to try strip farming, which the Metis had already done in the Batoche area, sort of. It was a system that gave more settlers access to waterways.

“Agricultural improvement stations” were established near experimental farm substations around the province. Led by successful farmers, they battled to prevent further desertification in the Palliser Triangle. 

Farmers used “trash-cover cultivation” (spreading layers of plant material on the dry soil).

They planted “cover crops” when they could. One variety of grass, crested wheatgrass, seemed to take root in the arid conditions. This grass was planted as a soil stabilizer, and on community pastures as livestock forage.

Tree-planting associations were formed to plant shelter-belts to prevent the soil from blowing away.

[Gray, Men Against the Desert, chapter 6, and other sources]

New cultivation techniques and crop varieties

The short growing season here made necessary innovations in techniques and equipment that better suited the prairie climate, boosted yields and reduced catastrophes caused by drought and early frosts.

Angus Mackay, first director of the Dominion Experimental Farm at Indian Head, promoted the practice of summer-fallowing after the Metis resistance in !885. He had observed that cultivated land that settlers, working as freighters for government troops, left unplanted that year produced above average crops in 1886. 

Dr. Charles E. Saunders, cereals scientist with the Experimental Farm Service in Ottawa in 1907, had Marquis wheat—an early maturing variety he had developed—grown for seed at the Indian Head Experimental Farm. By 1920, Marquis accounted for more than 90 percent of wheat grown on the prairies. The son of Dr. William Saunders, director of Experimental Farms, Charles won a prize of $1,000 in gold from the CPR for the “best wheat variety in Canada.”

Belgian immigrants Gaston and Georges Pootmans set up a model farm north of Regina. He experimented with wheat seeds, taught farmers how to use trees effectively, and raised Belgian horses. Gaston became acting Belgian Vice-Consul in 1918.

Dr. W. P. Thompson, a geneticist in the biology department at the U of S in the 1920s, developed some of the first strains of rust resistant wheat. He later served (1946 to 1959) as president of the university.

Dr. Don Rennie, a U of S soil scientist from 1965 to the 1980s, showed that reduced tillage, new seeding techniques, the use of fertilizers, and herbal weed control were better for prairie soils than summer-fallowing.

Dr. Keith Downey, a U of S plant breeder known as the “father of canola”, produced an edible canola in the 1960s — a valuable crop that now gilds prairie fields and hillsides with almost iridescent yellows.

Dr. Al Slinkard, the “lentils prophet”, with the U of S Crop Development Centre (CDC) developed varieties of lentils and other high protein pulse crops in the 1980s as suitable alternatives to cereal grains on the prairies.

Dr. Bryan Harvey and a team of crop scientists at the U of S developed Harrington malting barley in the 1980s, comprising over half of the malting barley grown in western Canada until 2002.

[Harvey: barley varieties. Pootmans: Drake, Regina: The Queen City, 178. Rennie: Saunders, Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. McKay: Thompson, Canadian Encyclopedia. Other sources: Green & White spring 2015; spring 2014; Arts & Science Magazine; Century of Innovations website, U of S]

Holy cow!

New technological wizardry – even drones and robots

Steam-powered tractor at Western Development Museum
Steam-powered tractor at Western Development Museum in Saskatoon

We’ve come a long way since sickles and scythes were used in homesteading days. Titanic steam-driven tractors made their appearance in 1917, followed by gas-guzzling ones, and finally cheaper diesel-powered combines in 1931. Now they are computerized and air-conditioned.

In 1926 there were only only 148 combines in Saskatchewan. These mighty crop-gobbling machines were first introduced to Canadian farming by the Massey-Harris Company. Ever since, they have crawled across prairie fields like fearsome dragons, except now they are computerized too.

Where once human labour produced stooks of hay and straw, now modern balers roll it all up neatly in large cylindrical bales, often left to dry in the autumn sun before they are scooped up for use on the farm.

Nowadays, drones fly over crops and identify stricken areas in fields that need more water or pesticides.

In the dairy industry, automated milking machines lessen the daily toil of dairy workers astronomically. Cows can activate them themselves, we’re told.

“Animal activity trackers” notify farmers when a cow is feeling frisky, so to speak, so they know when is the best time for breeding.

A smart device called the Moocall, from its vantage point attached to a pregnant cow’s tail – when her time comes – measures contractions of her womb and texts a message to the farmer informing him of the imminent blessed event.

Robotic manure scrapers keep the aisles clean behind animal stalls.

There are even artificial teats so calves can nurse from a faux mommy in the fields. Whether they are used in Saskatchewan is another question.

[Combines: Archer, 103; internet sources. Robots and drones: Emma van Steekelenburg, ” “From Drones to Robots …”, The Sheaf, 21 March 2019. Udders:]


Small-scale agriculture

While most agro operations here are vast grain farms and ranches directed at national and international markets, a potpourri of small-scale farms in the province sells directly to local markets:

Worm farms, such as those in Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw that grow “Red Wigglers” for vermi-composting bins.

Mushroom farms, especially the one near Regina that sells oyster mushrooms grown in beds of wheat and barley straw directly to local restaurants and at farmers’ markets.

Urban beekeeping, including hives atop buildings on Broadway Avenue and on the university campus in Saskatoon, supplying honey to local eateries.

Backyard chicken farms, such as those of Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Wishart residents who kept three or four chickens in their yards as pets – until forced to stop by local councils.

Community gardens on vacant lots and public property in the cities, where residents (usually apartment and condo dwellers) grow vegetables for their own use or food banks.

Commercial orchards where mostly apples and several berries grow in more than a dozen orchards throughout the province, and are sold on a U-pick basis, and in bulk on site or at farmers’ markets.

Fish farms, like those at Big River and Lake Diefenbaker that raise trout, steelheads and other fish to sell as hatchlings for “seedling” ponds, dugouts and lakes, as well as fresh adult fish to restaurants and individual consumers.

Rooftop vegetable gardens, which in Saskatoon include one in a private garage and two buildings on campus, are grown for ecological benefits in an urban setting, in addition to the food they produce. They prove that unusual spaces can be used by apartment and condo dwellers.

Hydroponic farms, including those at Regina and Saskatoon (university campus) that grow herbs and vegetables by hanging seedlings in tanks containing whirlpools of nutrient soups.

Commercial greenhouses, mostly near cities where vegetables, fruit and flowers are nurtured in climate-controlled enclosures and sold as fresh produce on site or in stores or nurseries.

Vacation farms such as some as some twenty rural B&Bs and farm animal petting zoos, where city folk wishing to sample farm life boost the economy with their cash.

Marijuana grow-ops, now legal.

Home on the Range

Some fabled early ranches

Many early ranchers based in the U.S. drove cattle across the border to feast on our virgin grasslands. But the killer winter of 1906-7 wiped out vast herds, forcing many American cattlemen to vamoose. Weather didn’t stop our hardy Canadian ranchers though — hundreds of ranches still thrive here.

Exotic-looking Michel Oxarart, “the Basque,” who had worked at the Kohr ranch  in Montana, was said to be the first to homestead in the Maple Creek area in 1883. His ten thousand-acre ranch, “The Pyrenees,” became an epicentre for horse-breeding in the province. A connoisseur of thoroughbred horses, he was also an habituέ of the racing circuit.

After the NWMP post at Fort Walsh was closed in 1883, the force set up its Remount Ranch there, to raise their famous strutting black horses – like those later used in the Musical Ride. It is now a national historic site.

Rancher Jim Smart was one of the first ranchers to set up at Saskatchewan Landing north of the fledgling town of Swift Current; he was renowned for his struggles against invading farmers and their fences. He spotted an ad placed by Sir John Lister-Kaye in a British newspaper in 1885, calling for someone to bring men to Canada. He got the job and helped start the famous 76 ranch.  After that, he got his own ranch near Saskatchewan Landing, married, and their home ranch became an oasis, both socially and geographically, as it was close to the South Saskatchewan River’s fast-flowing water.

The first “76” ranch empire in Canada was founded by wealthy Englishman Sir John Lister Kaye, who organized the Canadian Agricultural, Coal and Colonization Company. In 1888 the company bought ten ten-thousand-acre spreads along the CPR line from the feds, and the Canadian property of the Powder River Cattle Company of Wyoming, which owned the 76 brand. Later D.H. Andrew took over, retaining only the Swift Current, Gull Lake, Crane Lake, and Stair ranches.

In 1910 Gordon, Ironside and Fares assembled parts of three large ranches along the Frenchman / Whitemud River, and called the new operation the 50 Mile Ranch.

A leggy giant at six foot six, John Roscoe (“Legs”) Lair was a Scot hailing from Texas, who stayed on site managing the renowned Matador Ranch, owned by Texans. When they left in 1922, he bought his own ranch. He inspired a folklore of vivid tales about his American version of “riding to hounds”, chasing coyotes on horseback with his pack of dogs and like-minded friends who revelled in the chase.

Another rancher who relied on his clever dogs, W.H. (Bill) Martin, had a fifty-five-section sheep ranch near Maple Creek where his whistle-trained collies herded his sheep. The dogs displayed their skills at agricultural exhibitions in Madison Square Gardens in New York and the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, where they wowed appreciative crowds.  

The famous Matador Ranch started in Texas but, like many other ranching operations, moved north looking for fresh grass for their cattle to munch on and bought a hundred thousand acres north of Swift Current in 1903.

In 1904 Conrad Price of Fort Benton, Montana, set up the Conrad Price Cattle Company ranch on former “76” land near Maple Creek. They imported about two thousand Mexican heifers, and ten thousand longhorn steers from Nevada – but most perished in the winter of 1906-07. The ranch was shut down in 1909.

The Alexander Small family arrived in ranch country by railway in 1882, and first lived in a box car. Later their sons Billy and Johnny stayed in a tent inside an unfinished log cabin. The Small family ranch was later run by Reginald Small, a grandson who raised sheep in the 1930s but reverted to cattle later. 

Early rancher W.T. “Horseshoe” Smith set up his enormous ranch near Leader to escape horse rustlers who had plagued his Montana ranch. At one time he had twenty-two thousand head of cattle, and ten thousand sheep. His well-known Smith Barn, built in 1914 and demolished in 1921, was one of the biggest barns in North America.

The Turkey Track Ranch at Wood Mountain once ran twenty-five thousand cattle, but half perished in the winter of 1906-7. Owner Tony Day, despairing over the losses and the influx of farmers, sold it in 1909 to Gordon, Ironside and Fares, a huge company with vast tentacles across the prairies.

The WP Ranch was launched by the Pollock brothers – William, George, Sol, and Robert – who arrived at Maple Creek from Nevada in 1883 with a herd of horses. One of their ranch hands, William Small, took over the WP around 1900, expanded it and focused on breeding horses.

[Oxarart: Our Pioneers; Maple Creek Museum panel, Donny White, The Advance 30 Aug 2015. The 76: Donny White, email December 2018;, Spencer, Lands, Brands & Hands of the 76 Ranch. Gordon, Ironside & Fares: Spencer, 19. Lair: M.W. Campbell, The Saskatchewan, 267-8. Martin: Campbell, 268-9. Price: Our Pioneers (the Maple Creek community history) viii. Small family: White, “Our People….”, Gull Lake Advance 3 September 2014; Smart: M.W. Campbell, 266. Matador: Graber, The Last Roundup; Turkey Track: Poitier: Wood Mountain Uplands, 98; WP Ranch: White, “Our People….”, Gull Lake Advance 3 September 2014 and other articles ]


Celebrated old-time cowboys and ranchers chronicled in cowboy lore

Trefflέ Bonneau of Willow Bunch canned buffalo meat, ranched near Vancouver, worked in lumber camps, and lost an arm. He returned to Bonneauville, ran a store, wed a mail-order bride and had ten children. They moved to Willow Bunch and built up a vast estate, but in the 1930s his renters couldn’t pay, and his empire crumbled. 

Author Wallace Stegner made the name “Slippers” famous in his book Wolf Willow, although he didn’t reveal the man’s real name. Slippers was a Texas cowhand who settled at Eastend, range riding for the Circle Diamond, T-Down and Turkey-Track Ranches. As the story goes, he earned his nickname because he lost all his money gambling at a brothel, and the madam let him stay the night if he forfeited his boots and hat. He returned home wearing slippers, and the name stuck.

A zany but disgruntled rancher at the Matador ranch, James Barnet Henson, left a will in 1919 demanding that proceeds from the sale of his land be used to exterminate “that class of vermin commonly known as farmers.” He also directed that his goods and chattels be sold to buy insect powder and soap, for another cowboy whose standards of personal hygiene he deplored.  

cowboy author Will James
Cowboy, author and illustrator Will James, who came to Saskatchewan from Montreal early in the 20th century, and learned to be a cowboy. – Photo NA-862 from Glenbow Archives, Calgary.

Cowboy Will James of Montreal, alias Ernest Dufault, came west from Montreal as a teenager and learned cowboying in Saskatchewan, working on one of the famous “76” ranches. When he ran afoul of the law, he fled across the border to the U.S. where he achieved fame as an author of such books as Smoky the Cowhorse.

“Scots Metis” Harry Hourie, younger brother of Big Tom Hourie to whom Louis Riel turned himself in, was a renowned bronco-buster who often won at rodeos. Some seven hundred horses and three hundred cattle roamed his own ranch near Wood Mountain. It is said he once rode his horse into a bar, predating the Calgary Stampeders’ custom of riding horses through bars during Grey Cup.

Another famous cowpoke was Harold (Corky) Jones, who came to the Maple Creek area in 1898. He rambled around the ranges at Eastend, worked at the WP ranch, took part in vast roundups of the 76, and battled prairie fires. In 1902 he and Harry A. Crawford ran a ranch at Chimney Coulee where the first Mountie police post had been.  But Corky Jones was better known as a fossil collector.

There was ranching in the north too. The Cyprian Morin family ranched in the Meadow Lake area in 1873, and more cattlemen arrived from 1909 to 1925. (That family sent twenty-four sons off to fight in World War I!) There was enough of a cowboy presence for a stampede there as early as 1920.

William Hall Ogle was an affluent British gent who came to Cannington Manor seeking adventure, but moved on to Wood Mountain. As a greenhorn, he reportedly astonished onlookers by riding a killer bronco on a wild one-hour gallop, until the horse got tuckered out. Ogle married a Sioux, and by 1889 owned a ranch near the Frenchman River. Once he tracked down stolen horses in the U.S. and unmasked a rustling ring. Ogle sired a dynasty of cowboys at Wood Mountain.

In November 1906 American Harry Otterson rode with his shivering wife by buggy in brutal cold from the Bloom Cattle Company ranch in Montana to work at its T-Down Bar Ranch near Eastend. “You picked a fine time to immigrate, Harry” might have been his wife’s refrain that terrible year. His account of their frigid trek across blizzard-blown southwestern Saskatchewan must have impressed Wallace Stegner, who wrote about that winter in Wolf Willow. Later Otterson managed the 50 Mile Ranch, and some say he later had his own.

D.J. Wylie of Maple Creek was a “charming Englishman” who returned to England with Sir John Lister-Kaye to convince investors to pony up for a huge ranching company, and they succeeded. Wylie himself purchased the ranch formerly owned by Michel Oxarart, and became MLA for Maple Creek in 1905.

Bonneau: Poplar Poles and Wagon Trails, 328-30. Slippers: The Best of Billy Bock, Stegner: Wolf Willow. Henson: University of Saskatchewan Archives & Special Collections; On Campus News 19 Feb 1999. James: Millar, Saskatchewan Heroes & Rogues. Jones: Range Riders and Sod Busters, McCourt, Saskatchewan, 63. Morin: Meadow Lake community history. Ogle: Otterson: Otterson manuscript, Sask. Archives. Wylie: McGowan, Grassland Settlers, 60, 135]

Raising critters

Unusual livestock raised in Saskatchewan

Animals other than cattle and hogs are still raised here for meat, dairy, wool or fur. For many, breeding associations exist in the province to promote raising high-quality purebred stock. Others might just be for their novelty. 

At hunting farms, game animals are kept as sport for hunters. There are some half-dozen high-fenced game enclosures in the south, and some in the north. In 2018 there were 175 game farms with animals such as elk, whitetail deer, reindeer, fallow deer, and mule deer.

Buffalo being raised in southern Saskatchewan. Photo by Alistair Mirrlees.

Buffalo once filled the landscape, but now they are carefully husbanded. The Saskatchewan Bison Association (SBA) formed in 1991, keeps track of their numbers, health, safety of their meat, research on them, and commercial aspects. In 2016 there were 303 producers in Saskatchewan raising bison. Hundreds of others roam free in the protected reserve at Grasslands National Park.

Tame rabbits are raised in “rabbitries”, some for their fur, some for their meat and hides, and some as pets. They tend to be located in or near cities. (Wild ones seen hopping around city lawns and gardens annoy groundskeepers and gardeners no end, but children and animal lovers think they are cute.)

When fur coats were status symbols, mink used to be lucrative. But by 2012 there were zero mink farms in Saskatchewan. Who knew then that fur would become politically incorrect, with help from animal activists like Brigitte Bardot? 

Fox ranches used to flourish here, such as the silver fox ranch run by S. Parrot near Saskatoon. It shipped 600 fox pelts every season, plus some mink skins. The Saskatchewan Trappers Association reported only two fox farms in operation here in 2012.

Alpaca wool makes lovely soft sweaters, and alpacas are cute. To keep the species pure, the Saskatchewan Alpaca Breeders Network boasts thirty-six breeders, and there’s an alpaca wool association. In 2016 there were 2,766 llamas and alpacas on 450 Saskatchewan farms.

Llamas are also raised here, although they aren’t as cute, and they spit. Still, one sold at auction for $40,000 in 2002! There are claims they can even herd sheep. There is a Canadian association for them.

When you think about goats, you think of Switzerland or Greece. But we raise ‘em here too, although some say ornery goats with attitude can be a trial. Here, apparently, it’s mainly about the meat. In 2011, 460 farms in Saskatchewan were raising 10,480 goats.

Saskatchewan ranks fourth in Canada as a sheep-producing province. Sheep ranchers, despised by cattlemen, proliferated in the Maple Creek area around 1900. By 1901 the ratio of sheep to cattle in Assiniboia West was bigger than anywhere else in the then Territories. In 1934 their numbers peaked at 381,000, but by 2016 there were still 110,000 sheep here, grown on 871 farms.

In 2018 at least one enterprise, Lazy Plum Farm of Shell Lake in the boreal forest, was raising Tibetan yaks, along with other winter-hardy stock such as exotic breeds of sheep, horses and pigs.

[Buffalo: Goats: Natascia Lypny, Regina Leader-Post, 25 July 2016. Foxes:, StarPhoenix 27 December 1941. Alpacas:; www.statcan. Llamas; Sheep: Statistics Canada Census of Agriculture; breeders’ association websites; LaDow, The Medicine Line, 117; Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Yaks: StarPhoenix 13 December 2108;]

Science and Technology

Science and Technology

Many scientific breakthroughs, discoveries and innovations have taken place in Saskatchewan, mostly at our universities. Some have been game-changers.


A small sample of scientific innovations at the U of S since 1970

The Canadian “VHF Meteor” to measure wind and temperatures was set up in a new laboratory in the Arctic. 

Saskatchewan scientists’ contributions to the first Canadian-led experiments on space shuttle Discovery in 1990. 

U of S scientists participated in experiments in space at the MIR space station. 

The first conversion, in 1998, of an antibody into an enzyme could lead to improved medications and therapies

The first ultrasound of a human ovary releasing an egg in 1990 made possible the non-invasive study of ovarian changes, a technique that could improve fertility. 

The first high-gravity fermentation process that produces higher alcohol concentrations, is now preferred by brewers for its efficiency, and is also used to make ethanol fuel (1980s).

The first “pulse stretcher” ring in North America, the Electron Ring of Saskatchewan (EROS) used in nuclear physics, was a “mini-synchrotron” that in the 1980s paved the way for the Canadian Light Source synchrotron.

The first technology was developed in the 1970s to weigh passing vehicles on highways.

[U of S Century of Innovation website (no longer active); skyway.Usask; International Road Development and other sources]

The halls of science

Building facilities for scientific progress and innovation

1887: The Agriculture Canada Research Station opened at Indian Head, one of five experimental farms developed and directed in Canada by William Saunders; later other experimental farms and nurseries were established elsewhere in Saskatchewan. Saunders’s son, Sir Charles Saunders of Ontario, in 1904 developed rust-resistant Marquis wheat, which revolutionized grain production for farmers.

1906: The Royal Saskatchewan Museum, first museum in the province, began in Regina as the Provincial Museum, its mandate to collect and preserve natural history specimens.

1909: The University of Saskatchewan opened at Saskatoon (having started in Prince Albert). It was then focused on agriculture, but later offered a smorgasbord of courses of study for students. 

1948: The U of S obtained the first Betatron in Canada, used for cancer treatment and radiation research, a science coup spearheaded by Dr. Leon Katz (Order of Canada), nuclear and accelerator physicist.

Sylvia Fedoruk with Betatron
Dr. Sylvia Fedoruk with Cobalt-60 unit. Photo from University of
Saskatchewan Archives.

1951: The trail-blazing “cobalt bomb” was pioneered, for cancer treatment using cobalt-60 radiation by Dr. Harold Johns, a medical physicist at the U of S. It saved millions of lives worldwide, and is currently displayed at Saskatoon’s Western Development Museum. The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, into which Johns was inducted in 1998, considers him the “father of medical physics in Canada.” He was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978.

1958: Dr. T.T. Thorvaldson was first director of research at the new National Research Council lab on the U of S campus.

1962: The Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory (SAL) at the U of S housed the ground-breaking new (for its time) linear accelerator, built for $1.7M under the direction of Dr. Leon Katz. The lab revolutionized research in radiology, chemistry and physics and spawned the synchrotron.

1986: A toxicology centre opened on campus. It was said to be the first in Canada.

1989: The Saskatchewan Science Centre opened its doors in Regina to unveil the marvels of science to the public with its interactive Powerhouse of Discovery, and the Kramer IMAX theatre.

Canadian Light Source Synchrotron. Photo from https://commons/

In 2004 when the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron (the only one in Canada) opened on the U of S campus, it was a blockbuster event with awesome scientific implications. By 2014, 220 staff and 700 researchers worked there.

In Saskatoon, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) founded by Lorne Babiuk, does research to maintain and improve the health of animals.

[Cobalt bomb:;; Encyclopedia of Sask. and other sources. Toxicology: Century of Innovations website (now off-line?), U of S]

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Some renowned scientists who made history at our universities

Dr. Henry Taube
Nobel prize winner Dr. Henry Taube. Photo from University of Saskatchewan
Archives & Special Collections

Henry Taube, the only U of S graduate to receive a Nobel prize, was awarded this prestigious prize in chemistry in 1983 (even though his field was physics). Born in Neudorf, Saskatchewan in 1915, he took physics classes from Gerhard Herzberg, attaining an MSc and honorary LLD at the U of S, and later a PhD from the University of California. He taught at the universities of California at Berkeley, Cornell and Stanford. Dr. Taube was at Stanford when he received the Nobel prize for his “work on the mechanisms of electron transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes.” His other honours, too many to list here, are cited on the Nobel website.

Dr. John William Tranter Spinks, former president at the U of S. – Photo from University of Saskatchewan Archives & Special Collections.

Former U of S president John W.T. Spinks was the sparkplug behind many spectacular scientific developments at the U of S. Born in 1908 in England, he attended King’s College, University of London, where he attained a BSc and PhD in chemistry. He came to the U of S in 1930 as assistant professor, but spent the academic year of 1933-34 at the University of Darmstadt in Germany. There he met Dr. Gerhard Herzberg, whom he was instrumental in bringing to the U of S. Spinks became a professor in 1938, head of chemistry in 1948, dean of grad studies in 1949, and president of the university in 1958. The U of S Archives website says he “led the university through its most active period of development.” He published 260 scientific papers and an autobiography, Two Blades of Grass. His honours and degrees included an MBE in 1945, an LLD, DSc, and Companion of the Order of Canada.

Nobel Prize honouree Dr. Gerhard Herberg. Photo A 3234, from University of Saskatchewan Archives & Special Collections.

Gerhard Herzberg received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1971. Educated in Germany, he had to flee as a refugee in 1935 because his wife was jewish. He came to the U of S as a guest professor, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation. He remained a faculty member for ten years, and then became a research professor at the University of Chicago until 1948, when he joined Canada’s National Research Council. His science career continued to soar thereafter. Other honours bestowed on him include Companion of the Order of Canada (CC), Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).

In the 1920s Dr. Thorberger Thorvaldson developed a revolutionary new kind of cement, resistant to the sulphate that was causing foundations to crumble. The chemistry building at the U of S. was named in his honour. To this day owners of buildings with crumbling foundations wish he had developed his new concrete sooner. Among honours he received was being named FRSC. (He died in 1965, before the Order of Canada was established.)

C.J. Mackenzie, first dean of engineering at the U of S, and first president of Atomic Energy
of Canada. Photo A 3174 from University of Saskatchewan Archives & Special Collections.

Under the baton of former U of S engineering dean Chalmers Jack (C.J.) Mackenzie, the National Research Council flourished in Ottawa. Born in New Brunswick and educated at Dalhousie University, he came to the U of S in 1912 to develop the engineering program. After serving in the Canadian Army, he returned to the U of S until 1932, when he turned his attention to public works projects like Saskatoon’s Broadway Bridge. In 1939 he moved to Ottawa to head the NRC, and also became the first president of Atomic Energy of Canada. A string of degrees and honours follows his name: CC CMG MC FRS FRSC.

Stem cell therapy grew out of research sixty years ago by U of S grad James Till and a colleague Ernest McCullough, at the Ontario Cancer Institute. Stem cells are used in bone marrow transplants to treat cancer, and scientists are exploring ways to use them to fix damaged cells, and even grow artificial organs.  At the U of S some of his early work was with Dr. Harold Johns. He was honoured by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and received two major international awards for his medical research, is a FRS and FRSC, as well as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Astrophysicist and space scientist Alistair G.W. Cameron did a PhD at the U of S and later joined Harvard University’s astronomy department. His scientific achievements are rather astronomic. He conceived theories about the creation of chemical elements in stars, and the moon’s birth when Planet Earth collided with an object as big as Mars. He is highly recognized in the field of nuclear strophysics in which he was a pioneer. Among his many laurels are as a member of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), a member of the American Physical Society, and as a FRSC.

In space technology: Saskatoon native Richard Carley’s fascination with aviation rocketed him to a career at NASA, where he specialized in guidance and navigation in space shuttle systems. He was one of several Canadians involved with the doomed Avro Arrow progam, who went on to NASA and helped put a man on the moon in 1969 in the Apollo space program. He also worked on the Mercury and Gemini space programs, and helped develop GPS.

[General: Canadian Encyclopedia, Green & White, Wikipedia, and other sources. Carley:, Herzberg: Mackenzie: Wikipedia and other sources. Spinks: University of Saskatchewan Archives website; Two Blades of Grass; Taube: Taube: Facts.Nobel/]

Dinosaur fossils found here

T-Rex fossils
T-Rex fossil display at University of Saskatfhewan. Photo by Ruth Millar

Dinosaurs were land-based reptiles (often titanic in size) that lived in the Mesozoic era. Partial remains found here, usually bone fragments or teeth from the late Cretaceous period sixty-five to seventy-four million years ago. 

Tyrannosaurus rex (T.rex) fossil remains found in 1991 in the Frenchman River Valley, in the RM of White Valley. A model of the full dinosaur (nicknamed Scotty) is on display in the paleontological museum near Eastend.   

Remains of a Gorgosaurus, found along the South Saskatchewan River. It was a thirty-foot-long carnivore resembling an Albertosaurus. Both are tyrannosaurs, the same dinosaur family as T.rex. 

An ankylosaur (spiked-armor-plated dinosaur with club tail), teeth of which were found near Consul in 2018. 

Remains of three Triceratops unearthed in 2018 in Grasslands National Park. They were a common dinosaur for this time period.

Parts of the large dinosaur Struthiomimus, found in several places, including Grasslands National Park and the Frenchman River Valley. It looked like a cross between a kangaroo (with short front legs) and an ostrich (with long neck). 

A specimen of the species Anzu, a rare oviraptor (known as “egg-stealers”) found in Grasslands National Park. These dinosaurs were bird-like but couldn’t fly.  Some oviraptors had beak-like snouts, crests on their heads, and flexible tails ending in feathery fans.

The skull of a duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaur) known as Edmontosaurus was discovered near Shaunavon in 2018.

Fossil remains of Pachycephalosaurus, belonging to a dinosaur family commonly referred to as “dome-headed”, are found in Saskatchewan, according to the Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, but are “vanishingly rare.”

Remains of a Stygimoloch, an herbivore bristling with spikes on its cranium, in the pachycephalosaur family.  Up to ten feet long and three feet high at the hip, it stalked on two legs and could run like an ostrich. Its fossil remains were reportedly found along the South Saskatchewan River.

Other dinosaurs that lived in Saskatchewan included Ornithomimus, Chasmosaurus, ThescelosaurusDromaeosaurus, Sauronitholestes, Troodon and Richardoestesia. The latter four were bipedal and flesh-eating. Another, the aptly named Torosaurus, was a horned dinosaur.

[List compiled with the help of Dr. Emily Bamforth, archaeologist at Saskatchewan Natural History Museum. Other sources: Global News 19 September 2018, August 2018; Braithwaite, The Western Plains.]

Other ancient fossils

Marine and flying reptiles, and mammals

A vast, shallow inland sea once covered Saskatchewan, and fossils of marine reptiles have been found here that were not dinosaurs. Neither were flying reptiles that were contemporaries of the dinosaurs. Mammal specimens have also been found.

A juvenile Elasmosaur (a long-necked plesiosaur) fossil was discovered at Lake Diefenbaker. They were endurance swimmers.

In 1992 bones of the marine reptile Terminonatator ponteixensis (meaning “last swimmerhave only been found near Ponteix, Sask. A genus of elasmosaurs, they were about eight metres long and fed on molluscs and crustaceans.

Remains of a Mosasaur, a marine reptile resembling a crocodile, up to ten metres long, were found between Saskatchewan Landing and Riverhurst. Mosasaurs were “fast and agile swimmers.”

Bones of a Terminonaris crocodile from the Cretaceous period were found near the Pasquia Hills in the Carrot River area in 1995. It was originally thought to be a Telethinus.

Parts of a young brontothere (a mammal like a rhinoceros) came to light recently near Eastend.

Mammal bones twenty-five million years old were discovered in 2018 at Grasslands National Park – parts of a rhino, three horses including a diminutive one, and a cougar-sized cat. They lived in an time that was tropical, even up here.

[Dr. Emily Bamforth (see previous entry)]

Made in Saskatchewan

Scientific and technical ingenuity of tinkerers and inventors

In 1913 a key figure in the Church, Withers and Simister Company invented a post hole digger that had an attachment for setting posts.  He claimed it enabled one man to do the job instead of six.

The Meilicke calculator was the brainchild of Carl Meilicke of Dundurn, who made his first one with a tomato can.  He set up Meilicke Systems Inc. factory in Chicago, where more high-tech versions of it were made. They solved specific math “problems”, each worked out in advance, and his system spat out answers. When computers came on stream, these “calculators” became obsolete.

“Blowtorch”, a life-sized mechanical horse powered by a nine-horsepower gasoline engine, was built about 1947 by W.J. McIntyre of Swift Current. Small wheels under its hooves made its legs lurch backward and forward. With its sheet metal body painted black and white, a horsehair mane and tail, it looked somewhat real. One of the three versions of it can be seen in the Moose Jaw WDM.

Old car with blimp shaped ballon above, supplying fuel.
A contraption that burned straw
to create gas as fuel, is housed in the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon
Photo by Ruth Millar.

A straw-gas powered car was developed by U of S chemistry prof R.D. McLaurin and engineer A. R. Greig. Using existing technology to create gas (chiefly methane) from straw, they powered a car with a gas-producing balloon attached above it, with a pipe to the carburetor. This contraption turned heads in Saskatoon. 

The Lux “vertical axis wind turbine” was created by Saskatoon inventor Glen Lux in the early 2000s. It is said to be cheaper to run, quieter, occupies less space, and is safer for birds.  There is a model of it in the WDM.

Veterinarian William Ballard created the recipe for what became “Dr. Ballard’s Dog Food”, and canned it. His son, William Robert Ballard, born in 1914 in Grenfell, turned the concoction into a popular pet food brand.

U of S grad Jackie Martin of Viking Innovations invented a system for preventing kitchen fires, called the Dalmation.

The Draganfly X6UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) is basically a remote-controlled gizmo that looks like a helicopter and functions a bit like a drone with cameras on board. In 2008 Popular Science Magazine called it their “best of what’s new in aviation and space.” It is made by Draganfly Innovations Inc.

Ernie Symons, a nineteen-year-old tinkerer/blacksmith, developed the Symons Oiler. Existing oil cans inspired him to improve the design; he applied for a patent in 1922 and launched a business that took him as far afield as Burma.

Gofer electric vehicle for use in mines
“Gofer” electric vehicle used in potash mines, is preserved at Western Development Museum.

The Gofer EV is an electric vehicle (EV) that looks something like a golf cart. It was developed by PapaBravo, founded by Patrick Byrns of Saskatoon in 2010. It is a boon in mines because it doesn’t pollute the air.

Driving off in winter without unplugging one’s block heater cord elicits curses — it’s annoying and costly to fix. Now a U of S grad has brought us a magnetic, prong-less, block-heater plug that connects and disconnects easily. (Ordinary ones take nimble fingers and thirty-five pounds of pressure to plug in or unplug.) Jarash Janfada invented the “Voltsafe” concept, and electrical engineer William Topping designed the device. It’ll help absent-minded or disabled drivers, and arthritic seniors, and is expected in Federated-Co-op stores in December 2019. (Note to southerners: Block heaters, invented in 1947, are essential in sub-zero climes.)

[WDM staff; Saskatchewan Trivia; Green & White fall 2016; Voltsafe:; CKOM Radio Saskatoon, CJME Regina, Global News Saskatoon, 24 October 2019]

Television broadcasting history

How we got the “boob tube” – 1954 to 1971

Because Saskatchewan was too remote to piggyback on signals from big American cities, television took root slowly here. Private broadcasters gave the new technology its initial boost. Luckily, local writers have chronicled the saga of the evolution of TV here.

Early television experiments were conducted in Saskatoon by Sigurd Sanda, a machinist from Norway who designed and built “one of the world’s first” television transmission and receiving sets. As the story goes, he transmitted in 1929 the first TV signals from the Zenith Building in downtown Saskatoon, using his mechanical invention. Unfortunately, his brand of television didn’t catch on.  

Medical staff performing an operation.
Dr. Barton Jackson (centre background) performing an operation in 1949 at City Hospital, before telvision cameras (cropped). Photo B 2935 by
Leonard Hillyard, from Local History Room
Saskatoon Public Library

The first television “broadcast” (or perhaps “narrowcast”) using TV cameras occurred in Saskatoon in 1949 during a medical convention at the Bessborough Hotel. Surgeons performed operations in front of enormous television cameras at CFQC, which broadcasted them to the hotel and wowed the assembled doctors. TV close-ups showed its potential for demonstrating surgical techniques to medical students, up close and personal in large groups.

Television made its formal debut in Canada in the 1950s, and in 1954 here. That year TV sets were selling like hotcakes. More than 110,000 sets were sold in Saskatchewan between 1955 and 1959, more than households with indoor plumbing.

Until 1966 television stations in Saskatchewan were privately-owned affiliates, not owned by CBC.

Teens on TV dance program at CFQC Saskatoon showed local teenagers doing the jive.
Photo from Local History Room,
Saskatoon Public Library

In the 1950s privately-owned stations affiliated with the CBC did many of their own programs, which were local in nature to reflect our own realities. As is the case today, they carried news, sports and weather, but there was more. Local TV stars were born, in programs such as “Sallytime”, “Smokey’s Cabin” and “Kids’ Bids.” There was even a teen dance program on CFQC in the 1950s, “Teens on TV” probably modelled on “American Bandstand” hosted by Dick Clark.

TV host Sally merchant, on set in CFQC-TV.
Sally Merchant hosted the popular television show “Sallytime” in Saskatoon, ca. 1956.
Photo QC-266-3 by CFQC staff, from Local History Room, Saskatoon Public Library,

In Regina, CKCK-TV started to broadcast on July 28, 1953, after an abortive start.

In Saskatoon, A.A. Murphy, owner of CFQC, got the first television license and began broadcasting later in 1954. The StarPhoenix, CKOM and others were all clamouring to get into the act but – no dice.

Moose Jaw’s CHAB-TV had birthing pains too, enduring both technical glitches and sparring among businesses.

Would-be viewers had to live within sixty-five kilometres of a transmitter and erect rooftop aerials. Even in the cities our TV sets often blasted us with noisy “snow” in early broadcasting days.

The microwave network arrived here in 1957. Before that, we had to rely on pony express. Well, not really, but we did have to wait for films of programs to be shipped – not very satisfactory for hockey games and the like! But we did get the cream of the crop from CBC and three American networks.

In 1958 a new broadcasting act set up an independent Broadcast Board of Governors, which permitted satellite stations to rebroadcast to smaller places. Before that legislation, all stations had to hook up with CBC.

Then private groups in the cities created their own network, CTV, in 1961. Moose Jaw got a CTV station, so it could offer different fare than nearby Regina, and their lucky viewers had a choice of two networks.

Between 1954 and 1969, there were six privately owned stations, located in Saskatoon, Regina, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and Yorkton. Each city only had one station at first, so there were no family feuds about what to watch.

Prince Albert’s CKBI went on air in 1958. Their satellite station in North Battleford began broadcasting in February 1961, but signals from Edmonton kept interfering until CKBI built a more powerful transmitter.

A demand arose for a CBC-owned and operated station. After a government freeze on applications for licenses was lifted, CBC won approval for its own station in April 1965. By 1969 the CBC had its very own stations in Moose Jaw and Regina, but Saskatoon had to apply three times, with government, citizens and local ringleaders “squawking loudly” before getting their own CBC station, in October 1971.

Even in the early 1960s northerners were beseeching the powers that be for service up there. CBC finally got the go-ahead to broadcast in Uranium City and El Dorado and went on air in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, 11.5 percent of Saskatchewan households still did not have good TV reception.

Prince Albert pioneered the cable system in this province in 1955, and Weyburn and Estevan followed suit in 1958 and 1959. (The latter could piggyback off signals from the U.S.) Of the 264,000 household in Saskatchewan with TV, only 5,800 had cable. Finally, in the 1980s, cable spread its tentacles far and wide.

Colour TV arrived with peacocks and fanfare in the 1960s. For example, in 1966 CFQC-TV scored equipment to produce network, film, slide and videotape shows in colour. That was also the year it became a full affiliate of the CTV network. In 1971 it bought three RCA Colour Studio cameras, and graduated to full colour programming.

[Zenith broadcast: Wayne Schmalz, On Air: Radio in Saskatchewan; “Zenith Block Tuned in to Television,” Saskatoon Sun, 22 December 1996, B8.  Broadcast to doctors: StarPhoenix 1949. History of television: Bonnie Wagner, We Proudly Begin Our Broadcast Day: Saskatchewan and the Arrival of Television, 1954-1969 (master’s thesis U of S Department of History, October 2004); Bonnie Wagner, “Squawk, and Squawk Loudly”, citing DBS and Statistics Canada documents; Saskatoon History Review (vol. 19, 2005): 1-6]