Alberta is a prairie province in Canada; its capital is Edmonton. Alberta's motto is "Fortis et liber" (Strong and free), and its official flower is the Wild Rose. Alberta was explored in 1754 by Anthony Henday, who was sent by the Hudson's Bay Company, and it entered Confederation in 1905. Alberta is often called "the Texas of Canada" because of its oil, cattle, and pioneer "can-do" culture.
The population of Alberta in 2001 was 2,974,807, representing 9.91% of the Canadian population. The median family income in 2000 was $60,142. Alberta's GDP was $215.9 billion (Canadian) in 2005.
The largest city in Alberta is Calgary, with a population of 988,193; Edmonton, Alberta's capital has a population of 730,372. Alberta is also home to the town of Vulcan, which hosts an impressive Star Trek/Sci-Fi convention every year.
Alberta has a thriving economy and is a great environment to do business in. It has the best job market in Canada.
Certain Extremist Albertans feel such a pride and sense of distinction for their province that they have considered Alberta separatism, the idea that Alberta should be its own sovereign state or a part of the United States of America. Alberta has its own public radio network,CKUA.
Alberta is the richest and most politically conservative of the provinces of Canada.
- 1 History
- 2 Drive to provincehood
- 2.1 Early 20th century
- 2.2 Medical care and nursing
- 2.3 Religion, Ethnicity
- 2.4 Rural life
- 2.5 Urban life
- 2.6 Oil, gas and tar sands
- 3 Social Credit
- 4 Second World War
- 5 Postwar
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Alberta prehistory extends back thousands of years. The modern Canadian province was first opened in the 19th century.
After 1890 settlers began to pour into Alberta. About half came from Ontario and Anglophone Canada, one quarrter from the U.S., and one quarter from Europe.
The closing of the American frontier around 1890 led 600,000 Americans to move to Saskatchewan and Alberta, where the farming frontier flourished 1897-1914.
The railways developed town sites six to ten miles apart and lumber companies and speculators loaned money to encourage building on the lots. Immigrants faced an unfamiliar, harsh environment. Building a home, clearing and cultivating thirty acres, and fencing the entire property, all of which were requirements of homesteaders seeking title to their new land, were difficult tasks in the glacier-carved valleys.
Initially, the government preferred English-speaking settlers from Eastern Canada or Great Britain, and to a lesser extent, the United States. However, in order to speed up the rate of settlement, the government under the direction of Minister of the Interior Clifford Sifton soon began advertising to attract settlers from continental Europe. Large numbers of Germans, Ukrainians, and Scandinavians moved in, among others, often coalescing into distinct ethnic settlement blocks, giving parts of Alberta unique ethnic cultures.
One typical settlement involved Norwegians from Minnesota. In 1894, Norwegian farmers from Minnesota's Red River Valley, originally from Bardo, Norway, resettled on Amisk Creek south of Beaverhill Lake, Alberta, naming their new settlement Bardo, after their homeland. Since the Land Act of 1872, Canada had eagerly sought to establish planned single-nationality immigrant colonies in the Western Provinces. The settlement at Bardo grew steadily, and from 1900 on most settlers came directly from Bardo, Norway, joining family and former neighbors. While somewhat primitive living conditions were the norm for many years into the 20th century, the settlers quickly established institutions and social outlets, including a Lutheran congregation, a school, the Bardo Ladies' Aid Society, a literary society, a youth choir, and a brass band.
In July 1897 the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) began work on a railway passing through Crow's Nest Pass, Alberta. To attract a thousand workers from Wales who would eventually settle in Canada, the British government offered workers $1.50 a day and land through the homestead process. Publicized by shipping companies and newspapers, the scheme drew many workers from Bangor, Wales, where quarrymen had been on strike for nearly a year. However, the transport costs alone were more than many Welsh workers could afford, and this limited the number of people responding to the offer to under 150. By November letters began to arrive in Wales complaining about the living and working conditions in the CPR camps. Government officials, seeking to populate the Canadian prairies, began to downplay the criticisms and present more positive views. Although some of the immigrants eventually found prosperity in Canada, the immigration scheme envisioned by government and railroad officials was canceled in 1898.
In the 1890s about 3200 Mormons arrived from Utah, where their practice of polygamy had been outlawed. They were very community oriented, setting up 17 farm settlements; they pioneered in irrigation techniques. They flourished and in 1923 opened the Cardston Alberta Temple in their center of Cardston. In the 21st century about 50,000 Mormons live in Alberta. The government in Ottawa refused to officially approve of polygamy, and the new settlers kept quiet about their family structure. No Mormon was prosecuted for polygamy in Canada.
Drive to provincehood
In 1900 Alberta was simply a district of the North-West Territories. Local leaders lobbied hard for provincial status, led by the premier of the territories, Sir Frederick Haultain.
Prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier did not want to concentrate too much power in one gigantic prairie province, which might grow to rival Quebec and Ontario, but neither did he think three small provinces were viable, and so opted for the two-province plan. Alberta became a province along with her twin sister Saskatchewan on September 1, 1905. Haultain, a Conservative, was passed over for premier in favor of Liberal Alexander Rutherford, a weak leader.
Frank Oliver started Edmonton's influential newspaper the Edmonton Bulletin in 1880. He promoted Conservative party causes and disliked anyone who did not speak English, especially the French and Ukrainians. Elected to the national Parliament, Oliver became Minister of the Interior and reduced support for European immigration.
Early 20th century
The new province of Alberta had a population of 78,000 but apart from the Canadian Pacific railway it lacked infrastructure. The people were farmers and they lacked schools and medical facilities. Ottawa retained control of its natural resources until 1930, making economic development difficult and complicating federal-provincial relations. Indeed, battles over oil poisoned relations with the federal government, especially after 1970.
The Liberals formed the first government of Alberta and remained in office until 1921. After the election of 1905, Premier Rutherford's Liberal party government started work on the governmental infrastructure, especially regarding legal and municipal affairs. Rutherford, a gentleman of the old school, was a weak leader, but did aid education. Calgary was annoyed when Edmonton was chosen as the capital, and outraged in 1908 when the University of Alberta was given to Strathcona (a suburb that soon was annexed into Edmonton). Talented Conservatives sought their political fortune in national rather than provincial politics, most notably R. B. Bennett, who became Prime Minister in 1930.
Communication was enhanced when a telephone system was set up for the towns and cities. Long-term economic growth was stimulated by the construction through Edmonton of two additional transcontinental railroads, which later became part of the Canadian National Railway. Their main role was to ship people in, and wheat out. Drawn by cheap farm land and high wheat prices, immigration reached record levels, and the population reached 470,000 by 1914.
Feeling abused by the railroads and the grain elevators, militant farm organizations appeared, notably the left-wing United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), formed in 1909. Guided by the ideas of William Irvine and later by Henry Wise Wood, the UFA was intended to represent economic interests rather than to act as another political party. But the farmers' dissatisfaction with Liberal provincial policies and Conservative federal policies, combined with falling wheat prices and a railroad scandal, produced an overwhelming UFA landslide in the provincial legislature in 1921. Alberta also gave strong support to the Progressive Party of Canada, a national farm organization, which held a bloc of seats in the federal parliament
John E. Brownlee led the UFA to a second majority government in the 1926 election. It repealed prohibition, passed a Debt Adjustment Act to help indebted farmers, and aided workers. It abolished the provincial police, leaving law enforcement to the RCMP. The government bailed-out the bankrupt Alberta Wheat Pool in 1929. The high point of Brownlee's administration came after long negotiations with the federal government concerning Alberta's natural resources. In 1930, control of these resources was turned over to the province. Riding a wave of popularity, Brownlee led the UFA to a third majority government in the 1930 election. As he moved to the right, alienating socialists and labour groups.
In 1934 the UFA collapsed politically, and returned to being a cooperative. Its defeat was in part due to a tawdry sex scandal and in part due to the government's inability to raise wheat prices or otherwise mitigate the Great Depression in Canada. A prolonged drought in the southern two-thirds of the province forced the abandonment of thousands of farms, and cut grain output at a time prices were falling in half.
Medical care and nursing
The first homesteaders relied on themselves for medical services. Poverty and geographic isolation empowered women to learn and practice medical care with the herbs, roots, and berries that worked for their mothers. They prayed for divine intervention but also practiced supernatural magic that provided as much psychological as physical relief. The reliance on homeopathic remedies continued as trained nurses and doctors and how-to manuals slowly reached the homesteaders in the early 20th century.
After 1900 medicine and especially nursing modernized and became well organized.
The Lethbridge Nursing Mission in Alberta was a representative Canadian voluntary mission. It was founded, independent of the Victorian Order of Nurses, in 1909 by Jessie Turnbull Robinson. A former nurse, Robinson was elected as president of the Lethbridge Relief Society and began district nursing services aimed at poor women and children. The mission was governed by a volunteer board of women directors and began by raising money for its first year of service through charitable donations and payments from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The mission also blended social work with nursing, becoming the dispenser of unemployment relief.
Richardson (1998) examines the social, political, economic, class, and professional factors that contributed to ideological and practical differences between leaders of the Alberta Association of Graduate Nurses (AAGN), established in 1916, and the United Farm Women of Alberta (UFWA), founded in 1915, regarding the promotion and acceptance of midwifery as a recognized subspecialty of registered nurses. Accusing the AAGN of ignoring the medical needs of rural Alberta women, the leaders of the UFWA worked to improve economic and living conditions of women farmers. Irene Parlby, the UFWA's first president, lobbied for the establishment of a provincial Department of Public Health, government-provided hospitals and doctors, and passage of a law to permit nurses to qualify as registered midwives. The AAGN leadership opposed midwife certification, arguing that nursing curricula left no room for midwife study, and thus nurses were not qualified to participate in home births. In 1919 the AAGN compromised with the UFWA, and they worked together for the passage of the Public Health Nurses Act that allowed nurses to serve as midwives in regions without doctors. Thus, Alberta's District Nursing Service, created in 1919 to coordinate the province's women's health resources, resulted chiefly from the organized, persistent political activism of UFWA members and only minimally from the actions of professional nursing groups clearly disinterested in rural Canadians' medical needs.
The Alberta District Nursing Service administered health care in the predominantly rural and impoverished areas of Alberta in the first half of the 20th century. Founded in 1919 to meet maternal and emergency medical needs by the United Farm Women of Alberta (UFWA), the Nursing Service treated prairie settlers living in primitive areas lacking doctors and hospitals. Nurses provided prenatal care, worked as midwives, performed minor surgery, conducted medical inspections of schoolchildren, and sponsored immunization programs. The post-World War II discovery of large oil and gas reserves resulted in economic prosperity and the expansion of local medical services. The passage of provincial health and universal hospital insurance in 1957 precipitated the eventual phasing out of the obsolete District Nursing Service in 1976.
Because health care was not provided by treaty with the Canadian government, First Nations reserve residents in the early 20th century usually received this service from private groups. The Anglican Church Missionary Society ran hospitals for the Blackfoot bands of southern Alberta during this time. In the 1920s the Canadian government authorized funds for building hospitals on both the Blackfoot and Blood reserves. They emphasized the treatment of tuberculosis through long-term care.
There was a strong link between federal Indian health care and the ideology of social reform operating in Canada between the 1890s and 1930. Between the 1890s and 1930 the Department of Indian Affairs became increasingly involved in Indian health. With the aim of revealing aspects of the department's Indian health administration in this early period, this article describes the creation and workings of two hospitals on Indian reserves in southern Alberta. The federal government took two main steps in dealing with Indian peoples' health: it built hospitals on reserves, and it created a system of medical officers to staff these facilities. Before World War II, the health care system had a number of characteristics: it was a system initially operated by missionaries and later taken over by the Department of Indian Affairs, it was an extensive and decentralized system, the health care services delivered by the system were firmly rooted in Canadian middle-class reformist values and represented an attempt to have these values applied to Indian communities, and, apparently, the system served peoples who were reluctant to use the facilities and services made available to them. Contrary to the idea that prior to World War II the federal government refused to take responsibility for Indian health in Canada, the development of an Indian health policy and system had already taken place gradually.
Assimilation into Canadian culture was the norm for nearly all European immigrants. An important indicator was language, as the children of all immigrant groups showed a strong preference in favour of speaking English. From 1900 to 1930, the government faced the formidable task of transforming the ethnically and linguistically diverse immigrant population into loyal and true Canadians. Many believed language assimilation to be the key to this process of Canadianization, aimed primarily at children. Major difficulties ensued initially from the Direct Method of second-language teaching with resistance emanating from both immigrants and some sectors of English-speaking society. Games frequently provided the most effective vehicle for language and citizenship instruction and were used as a method of socialization. The elementary schools of rural Alberta played a very significant role in the acculturation of the immigrant and his children, providing a community character that created a distinctive feature of Canadian schools glaringly missing in the European school tradition.
During the interwar period the various components of the Alberta Woman's Missionary Societies worked tirelessly to maintain traditional Anglo-Protestant family and moral values. Comprising a number of mainstream denominational groups and at one time numbering over five thousand members, the societies actively sought to "Christianize and Canadianize" the substantial numbers of Ukrainian immigrants who settled in the province. A particular focus was child education, with music activities used as a recruiting tool. Some chapters admitted male members. The movement faded as general society shifted away from religious activities and the conservative fundamentalist movement gained strength.
Methodist revivalism in early-20th century Calgary promoted progress and bourgeois respectability as much as spiritual renewal. In 1908, the Central Methodist Church hosted American evangelicals H. L. Gale and J. W. Hatch. They drew big crowds, but the message was mild and the audience calm and well dressed. Few became church members after the revival was over, however. Working-class attendees probably experienced discomfort among their better-dressed and better-behaved neighbors, and the church leadership maintained strong ties to local business interests but did little to reach out to the lower classes. The cottage meetings that followed the revival typically took place in middle-class homes.
The Catholic archbishop of Edmonton, Henry Joseph O'Leary had a considerable impact on the city's Catholic sectors, and his efforts reflect many of the challenges facing the Catholic Church at that time. During the 1920s, O'Leary favored his fellow Irish and drastically reduced the influence of French Catholic clergy in his archdiocese and replaced them with Anglophone priests. He helped to assimilate Ukrainian Catholic immigrants into the stricter Roman Catholic traditions, extended the viability of Edmonton's separate Catholic school system, and established both a Catholic college at the University of Alberta and a seminary in Edmonton.
In 1892 Alberta adopted the Ontario schools model, emphasizing state-run institutions that glorified not only the English language but English history and customs as well. Predominantly francophone communities in Alberta maintained some control of local schools by electing trustees sympathetic to French language and culture. Such groups as the Association Canadienne-Française de l'Alberta expected trustees to implement their own cultural agenda. An additional problem francophone communities faced was the constant shortage of qualified francophone teachers during 1908-35; the majority of those hired left their positions after only a few years of service. After 1940 school consolidation largely ignored the language and culture issues of francophones.
A key controversy concerning the linguistic rights of ethnic minorities in western Canada was the 1913 Ruthenian School Revolt in the Edmonton, Alberta, area. Ukrainian immigrants, called "Galicians" or "Ruthenians" by Anglo-Celtic Canadians, settled in the vicinity of Edmonton. The attempts by the Ukrainian community to use the Liberal Party to garner political power in districts that were predominantly Ukrainian and introduce bilingual education in those areas, were quashed by party leaders, who blamed a group of teachers for the initiative. As a reprisal, these teachers were labeled "unqualified." The various rebellious actions by Ukrainian residents of the Bukowina school district did not prevent the dismissal of Ukrainian teachers. By 1915 it was clear that bilingual education would not be tolerated in early-20th century Alberta.
Italians arrived in two waves, the first from 1900 to 1914, the second after the Second World War. The first arrivals came as temporary and seasonal workers, often returning to southern Italy after a few years. Other became permanent urban dwellers, especially when the First World War prevented international travel. From the outset they began to have an impact on the cultural and commercial life of the area. As "Little Italy" grew it started to provide essential services for its members, such as a consul and the Order of the Sons of Italy, and an active fascist party provided a means of social organization. Initially the Italians coexisted peacefully with their neighbors, but during World War II they were the victims of prejudice and discrimination to the point that even today Italians in Calgary feel that Canadian society does not reward those who maintain their ethnicity.
An economic crisis engulfed much of rural Alberta in the early 1920s, as wheat prices plunged from their wartime highs and farmers found themselves deep in debt.
Wheat was the dominant crop and the tall grain elevator alongside the railway tracks became a crucial element of the Albertan grain trade after 1890. It boosted "King Wheat" to regional dominance by integrating the province's economy with the rest of Canada. Used to efficiently load grain into railroad cars, grain elevators came to be clustered in "lines" and their ownership tended to concentrate in the hands of increasingly fewer companies, many controlled by Americans. The main commercial entities involved in the trade were the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the powerful grain syndicates. Dramatic changes in the Albertan grain trade took place in the 1940s, notably the amalgamation of grain elevator companies.
Recklessness, greed, and overoptimism played a part in the early-20th-century financial crisis on the Canadian wheat frontier. Beginning in 1916, the Palliser Triangle, a semiarid region in Alberta and Saskatchewan, suffered a decade of dry years and crop failures that culminated in financial ruin for many of the region's wheat farmers. Overconfidence on the part of farmers, financiers, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Canadian government led to land investments and development in the Palliser on an unprecedented and dangerous scale. A large share of this expansion was funded by mortgage and loan companies in Britain eager to make overseas investments. British money managers were driven by a complex set of global economic forces including a decline in British investment opportunities, excess capital, and massive investment expansion on the Canadian frontier. Reduced grain production in Europe and increased grain production in the Prairie Provinces also encouraged the export of capital from London. The mythical image of the Palliser as an abundant region, coupled with a growing confidence in technology, created a false sense of security and stability. Between 1908 and 1913 British firms lent vast sums to Canadian farmers to plant their wheat crops; only when the drought began in 1916 did it become clear that far too much credit had been extended.
Ranches and mixed farming
The term "mixed farming" better applies to southern Alberta agricultural practices during 1881-1914 than does "ranching." "Pure ranching" involves cowboys working predominantly from horseback; it was the norm when huge ranches were formed in 1881. Quickly practices were modified. Hay was planted and cut in summer to provide winter cattle feed; fences were built and repaired to contain winter herds; and dairy cows and barnyard animals were maintained for personal consumption and secondarily for market. Mixed farming was clearly predominant in southern Alberta by 1900.
Captain Charles Augustus Lyndon and his wife, Margaret, established one of the first ranches in Alberta in 1881. Lyndon homesteaded a site in the Porcupine Hills west of Fort Macleod. They primarily raised cattle but also raised horses for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for additional income. Lyndon's herds suffered with others' herds during the hard winter of 1886-87. He developed an irrigation system and a post office as the district grew during the 1890s. Although Lyndon died in 1903, his family maintained his enterprises until 1966 when the ranch was sold.
Benson (2000) describes the social structure for cowboys and other workers on large, corporate ranches in southwestern Alberta around 1900. Four of those ranches, the Cochrane, the Oxley, the Walrond, and the Bar U, demonstrate the complex hierarchies that separated cowboys from cooks and foremen from managers. Ethnic, educational, and age differences further complicated the elaborate social fabric of the corporate ranches. The resulting division of labor and hierarchy permitted Alberta's ranches to function without the direct involvement of investors and owners, most of whom lived in eastern Canada and Britain.
The survival of Alberta's cattle industry was seriously in doubt for most of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At two points during this time, 1887-1900 and 1914–20, the industry enjoyed great prosperity. The latter boom began when the United States enacted the Underwood Tariff of 1913, allowing Canadian cattle free entry. Exporting Alberta cattle to Chicago markets proved highly profitable for the highest quality livestock. By 1915, most stocker and feeder cattle from the Winnipeg stockyards were exported to the United States, harming Canada's domestic beef market. Several factors, including the severe winter of 1919-20, the end of inflated wartime prices for beef, and the reinstitution of the US tariff on Canadian cattle, all contributed to the collapse of the Alberta cattle market. The boom ultimately worked against Alberta's economic interests because the high prices during that period made it unfeasible to establish local cattle finishing practices.
Some ranchers became important entrepreneurs. A rancher and brewer with secondary interests in gas, electricity, and oil, Calgary entrepreneur Alfred Ernest Cross (1861-1932) was a significant agent of modernization in Alberta and the Canadian West. As with others, his name symbolizes a driving force of enterprise, the pursuit of profit, family-centered capitalism, use of Canada's and Britain's capital markets, and economic progression through reinvestment of earnings. His personal family management developed a family estate that remains significant in Alberta's economy. Cross is remembered principally for his cattle breeding advances and his dynamism and scientific approach to brewing.
Gender roles were sharply defined. Men were primarily responsible for breaking the land; planting and harvesting; building the house; buying, operating and repairing machinery; and handling finances. At first there were many single men on the prairie, or husbands whose wives were still back east, but they had a hard time. They realized the need for a wife. As the population increased rapidly, wives played a central role in settlement of the prairie region. Their labor, skills, and ability to adapt to the harsh environment proved decisive in meeting the challenges. They prepared bannock, beans and bacon, mended clothes, raised children, cleaned, tended the garden, helped at harvest time and nursed everyone back to health. While prevailing patriarchal attitudes, legislation, and economic principles obscured women's contributions, the flexibility exhibited by farm women in performing productive and nonproductive labor was critical to the survival of family farms, and thus to the success of the wheat economy.
James Moodie developed the Rosedale Mine in Alberta's Red Deer River Valley in 1911. Although Moodie paid higher wages and operated the mine more safely and efficiently than other coal mines in the province, the Rosedale experienced work slowdowns and strikes. Because Moodie owned the mine and provided services for the camp, Bolshevik sympathizers considered him an oppressor of the laborers and a bourgeois industrialist. The radicalism at the mine diminished as Moodie replaced the immigrant miners with Canadian military veterans ready to appreciate the safe work environment offered there.
In the larger cities the Alberta chapter of the Canadian Red Cross provided relief services to the community during the hard years of the 1920s and 1930s. It also successfully lobbied the government to take a more active and responsible role in looking after the people during difficult times.
Most business operations were family affairs, with relatively few large scale operations apart from the railways. In 1886, the Cowdry brothers (Nathaniel and John) opened a private bank at Fort MacLeod, Alberta. Its history provides a prototype to show how a small-scale private banking house became an important force in early southwestern Alberta finance. Both brothers were astute businessmen, community leaders, and had absolute confidence in each other - so much so that in 1888 Nathaniel returned to Lindsay (later Simcoe) and became a grain merchant. The banking business expanded, with branches being opened and advertising and the lending of money becoming widespread. In March 1905, the Cowdrys sold their banking concerns at Fort Macleod to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The role of family enterprise in private banking during the late 19th and early 20th centuries was pivotal in providing an important channel for the flow of credit into southwestern Alberta and facilitated the emergence of the modern economy.
After a dramatic economic boom during the First World War, a sharp, short depression hit Alberta in 1920-22. Conditions were typical in the town of Red Deer, a railroad and trading center midway between Calgary and Edmonton that depended on farmers. Hardship during the early 1920s was as severe, or even somewhat worse, than those experienced during the much longer Great Depression of the 1930s. The groundwork for the economic collapse had been laid as early as 1913, when the speculative boom that had fueled Alberta's prosperity had collapsed. But the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 initiated an enormous demand for agricultural products and helped to mask the serious weaknesses of the provincial economy. With the conclusion of the war, however, unemployment skyrocketed as veterans returned and inflation increased. Grain prices began to fall in 1920, causing further hardships. By the spring of 1921, many Red Deer businesses had gone bankrupt, and the city's unemployment rate was estimated at 20%. The city's economic situation began to improve in 1923, and Red Deer city officials were finally able to collect enough tax revenues to avoid the need for short-term bank loans.
Up to the 1880s prostitution in Alberta was tolerated and not considered serious. As the itinerant population became more settled, however, this attitude gradually changed. The years 1880-1909 witnessed few arrests and even fewer fines for prostitution, in part because those caught were encouraged to leave town rather than be jailed. Later, 1909–14, a smallpox epidemic in the red light district started a crackdown against prostitution, which by then was regarded as a major problem, especially by middle class women reformers. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union vigorously opposed both saloons and prostitution, and called for woman suffrage as a tool to end those evils.
The Calgary Current Events Club, started in 1927 by seven women, rapidly gained popularity with professional women of the city. In 1929 the group changed its name to the Calgary Business and Professional Women's Club (BPW) in response to a call for a national federation of such groups. Members traveled to London, England, in 1929 to make the case for recognizing women as full legal citizens. In the 1930s the group addressed many of the controversial political issues of the day, including the introduction of a minimum wage, fair unemployment insurance legislation, the compulsory medical examination of school children, and the requirement of a medical certificate for marriage. The national convention of the BPW was held in Calgary in 1935. The club actively supported Canadian overseas forces in World War II. At first most of the members were secretaries and office workers; more recently it has been dominated by executives and professions. The organization continues to attend to women's economic and social issues.
Motion pictures have been an important aspect of urban culture since 1910. The places where people have watched films, from the nickelodeon to the multiplex, have changed in ways that reflect changes in the society generally. The cinema in Edmonton reflected the changing urban landscape. Because the movie houses themselves are part of the entertainment product, the cinema industry follows a cycle of construction, renovation, and demolition. The industry's face is constantly changing in an effort to draw people inside; Edmonton's cinemas have moved with the retail industry from the downtown core to the suburban shopping malls, and are now experimenting with new formats similar to retailers' big boxes. Just as Edmonton is known for massive amounts of retail space, it also has one of the highest numbers of movie screens in Canada in proportion to its population. Cinemas are thus a revealing aspect of trends in urban development.
Throughout the province popular sports included snowshoeing and skating for everyone, and hunting and fishing for men and boys.
Competitive sports emerged in urban areas, especially hockey. It provided an arena for the civic rivalries such as those between the cities of Edmonton and neighboring Strathcona during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Edmonton, on the north bank of the Saskatchewan River, and Strathcona, on the south bank of the river, developed separately - economically, politically, and socially - because travel and communication across the river were limited. (They merged in 1912.) In addition to affording an outlet for civic rivalries, the games between the Edmonton Thistle and Strathcona Shamrock hockey clubs united individuals from different social classes and diverse cultural backgrounds in support of their team.
Skiing began in Banff in the 1890s and received its main impetus with the winter carnival in 1916. In the next decades the carnival became popular; ski jumping and cross-country races led to much publicity. By 1940, Banff had become one of Canada's leading skiing centers, and was heavily promoted as a vacation destination by the Canadian Pacific railway.
Oil, gas and tar sands
Alberta has played the central role in Canada's petroleum industry —both from the discovery and development of conventional oil and natural gas, and through the development of the world's largest bitumen deposits in the province's vast northern oil sands or "tar sands." The province became one of the world's foremost producers of crude oil and natural gas, generating billions of revenue for the province and igniting a bitter feud with the national government.
The first oil field in western Canada was Turner Valley, south of Calgary, where large supplies were discovered in 1914 at a depth of about 3,000 feet (910 meters). Calgary became the oil capital, with a reputation for swashbuckling entrepreneurship. Turner Valley was for a time the largest oil and gas producer in the British Empire. Three distinct phases of discovery marked the field's history and involved such Albertans as William Stewart Herron and A. W. Dingman, and companies that included Calgary Petroleum Products, later the Royalite Oil Company; Turner Valley Royalties; and later the Home Oil Company. In 1931, the province enacted the Oil and Gas Wells Act to reduce the heavy waste of natural gas. In 1938, the Alberta Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board was successfully established and enacted conservation and prorating measures. The goal was to maximize the long-term yield, as well as to protect small producers.
In 1947 an even bigger field opened at Leduc, 20 miles (32 km) south of Edmonton, and in 1948 oil mining began at Redwater. Both these fields were overshadowed in importance in 1956 with the discovery of the Pembina field west of Edmonton. Other fields were discovered east of Grande Prairie and in central Alberta. From collection and distribution points near Edmonton the oil is sent by pipeline to refineries, some as distant as Sarnia, Toronto and Montreal to the east, Vancouver to the west, and especially the U.S. to the South. Interprovincial Pipe Line (IPL) began in 1949, transporting oil to refineries in the east. IPL became Enbridge Pipelines in 1998 and now has 4500 employees; it moves 2 million barrels a day over 13,500 miles of pipe.
Alberta produced 81% of Canada's crude oil in 1991, when Alberta's traditional oil fields peaked; output is now steadily declining. Before the 1970s, the major producers were controlled by U.S. oil giants.
Exploration for oil led to the discovery of large reserves of natural gas. The most important gas fields are at Pincher Creek in the southeast, at Medicine Hat, and in the northwest. TransCanada pipeline, completed in 1958, carries some of the gas eastward to Ontario and Quebec; other pipelines run to California. Alberta produces 81% of Canada's natural gas.
The "oil sands" or "tar sands" in the Athabasca River valley to the north of Fort McMurray contain an enormous amount of oil, one of the world's richest deposits—second only to Saudi Arabia. The first plant for extracting oil from the tar sands was completed in 1967, and a second plant was completed in 1978. In 1991 the plants produced about 100 million barrels of oil. Expansion was rapid, with very high paid workers flown in from eastern Canada, especially the depressed Maritimes and Newfoundland. In 2006 bitumen production averaged 1.25 million barrels per day (200,000 m³/d) through 81 oil sands projects, representing 47% of total Canadian oil output. The processing of bitumen, however, releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, which has alarmed environmentalists worried about global warming and the Canada's carbon footprint.
In the 1960s Great Canadian Oil Sands, Ltd., a small, indigenous Canadian firm, relied on new technology and heavy capital investment to pioneer oil sand extraction in the Athabascan region. Unfavorable leasing terms from the provincial government and the strong financial risk inherent in the project forced it firm to seek an investment partner. The large American oil company Sun Oil Company took the risk, but as the investment burden on Sun increased, the company became compelled to assume both financial and managerial control of the operation. Thus, the native Canadian firm had to yield its autonomy as the price of pursuing a pioneering but complicated industrial project. In 1995 Sun sold its interest to Suncor Energy, based in Calgary. Suncor is second to Syncrude in the oil sands, but Syncrude is controlled by a consortium of international oil companies.
The province's oil and natural gas furnish raw materials for large industrial complexes at Edmonton and Calgary, as well as for smaller ones at Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. These complexes include oil and gas refineries and plants that use refinery by-products to make plastics, chemicals, and fertilizer. The oil and gas industry provides a market for firms supplying pipes, drills, and other equipment. Large amounts of sulfur are extracted from natural gas in plants near the gas fields. Helium is extracted from the gas in a plant near Edson, west of Edmonton.
Social Credit (often called Socred) was a populist political movement strongest in Alberta and neighboring British Columbia, 1930s-1970s. Social Credit was based on the economic theories of an Englishman, C. H. Douglas. His theories became very popular across the nation in the early 1930s. A central proposal was the free distribution of prosperity certificates (or social credit), called "funny money" by the opposition.
During the Great Depression in Canada the demand for radical action peaked around 1934, after the worst period was over and the economy was recovering. Mortgage debt was significant because farmers could not meet their interest payments. The insecurity of farmers, whose debts were increasing and who had no legal protection against foreclosure, was a potent factor in creating a mood of political desperation. The radical farmers party, UFA was baffled by the depression and Albertans demanded new leadership.
The prairie farmers had always believed that they were being exploited by Toronto and Montreal. What they lacked was a prophet who would lead them to the promised land. The Social Credit movement began in Alberta in 1932; it became a political movement in 1935 and suddenly burned like a prairie fire. The prophet and new premier was radio evangelist William Aberhart (1878-1943). The message was biblical prophecy. Aberhart was a fundamentalist, preaching the revealed word of God and quoting the Bible to find a solution for the evils of the modern, materialistic world: the evils of sophisticated academics and their biblical criticism, the cold formality of middle-class congregations, the vices of dancing and movies and drink. "Bible Bill" preached that the capitalist economy was rotten because of its immorality; specifically it produced goods and services but did not provide people with sufficient purchasing power to enjoy them. This could be remedied by the giving out money in the form of "social credit", or $25 a month for every man and woman. This pump priming was guaranteed to restore prosperity, he prophesied to the 1600 Social Credit clubs he formed in the province.
Alberta's businessmen, professionals, newspaper editors and the traditional middle-class leaders protested vehemently at Aberhart's crack-pot ideas, but they had not solved any problems and spoke not of the promised land ahead. Aberhart's new party in 1935 elected 56 members to the Assembly, compared to 7 for all the other parties.
Alberta's Social Credit Party remained in power for 36 years until 1971. It were re-elected by popular vote no less than 9 times, achieving success by moving from left to the right.
Social Credit in office
Once in office Aberhart gave a high priority to balancing the provincial budget. He reduced expenditures and increased the sales tax and the income tax. The poor and unemployed got nothing. The $25 monthly social dividend never arrived, as Aberhart decided nothing could be done until the province's financial system was changed, and 1936 Alberta defaulted on its bonds. He did pass a Debt Adjustment Act that canceled all the interest on mortgages since 1932 and limited all interest rates on mortgages to 5%, in line with similar laws passed by other provinces. In 1937 backbenchers passed a radical banking law that was disallowed by the national government (banking was a federal responsibility). Efforts to control the press were also disallowed. The party was authoritarian and tried to exert detailed control over its officeholders; those who rebelled were purged or removed from office by the new device of recall elections. Although Aberhart was hostile to banks and newspapers, he was basically in favor of capitalism and did not support socialist policies as did the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Saskatchewan.
By 1938 the Social Credit government abandoned its notions about the $25 payouts, but its inability to break with UFA policies led to disillusionment and heavy defections from the party. Aberhart's government was re-elected in the 1940 election, carrying 43% of the vote. The prosperity of the Second World War relieved the economic fears and hatreds that had fueled farmer unrest. Aberhart died in 1943, and was succeeded as Premier by his student at the Prophetic Bible Institute and lifelong close disciple, Ernest C. Manning (1908-1996).
The Social Credit party, now firmly on the right, governed Alberta until 1968 under Manning.
The anti-semitic rhetoric of some Social Credit activists greatly troubled Canada's Jewish community; in the late 1940s Premier Manning belatedly purged the anti-Semites.
Second World War
Alberta's contribution to the Canadian war effort from 1939 to 1945 was substantial. Thousands volunteered for service and many were killed in combat in Europe.
In 1942 many Japanese from British Columbia were forcibly sent to internment camps in southern Alberta, which already had Japanese communities at Raymond and Hardieville. At first limited to working in sugar beet fields, the newly arrived Japanese had severe housing, school, and water problems. In the following years some of the Japanese were permitted to work in canning factories, sawmills, and other businesses. There was constant controversy in the press about the role and freedom of the local Japanese. Farm production increased markedly, and after the war few of the Japanese took advantage of the repatriation plan to go to Japan. The Japanese in Alberta today are well assimilated, but little of Japanese heritage remains.
After the war the Manning government passed several pieces of restrictive legislation that limited labor's ability to organize workers and to call strikes. The enforcement of labor law also reflected an anti-union bias. Social Crediters, who had a penchant for conspiracy theories, believed union militancy was the product of an international Communist conspiracy. Their labor legislation sought to foil the conspiracy's plans in Alberta and incidentally to reassure potential investors, particularly in the oil industry, of a good climate for profit taking. The path for such legislation was made smoother by the conservatism of one wing of the labor movement in the province and the fear of being tarnished with the Communist brush by the other wing.
Conservatives and reform
In 1971, Peter Lougheed's Conservatives put an end to the long rule of the Social Credit Party as the Progressive Conservative Party came to power. They remain in power to this day, coming up on 38 years of majority governments.
Many experts maintain that the large-scale social change that occurred in the province as a result of the postwar oil boom was responsible for this important change of government. Urbanization, in particular the expansion of the urban middle classes, secularization, and increasing wealth are often cited as the primary causes of Social Credit's downfall. Bell (1993) challenges this popular interpretation, arguing instead that short-term factors such as leadership, contemporaneous issues, and campaign organization better explain the Conservative triumph.
The election in May 1986 of a 22-member opposition to Alberta's legislature signals for the first time since 1971 a significant competitive voice to the dominant Conservative Party in that province's voting citizenship. This development and the emergence of the New Democrats as the primary opposition party in Alberta necessitates a reevaluation of Alberta politics, which critics have long labeled as ideologically conservative, anachronistic, and oddly unpredictable. Alberta politics are now beginning to resemble that of Canada's other provinces. The rise of a new, competent opposition is a healthy development in Alberta's politics and will likely contribute positively to Alberta's economic and social well-being, Tupper (1986) argues.
Surveys and reference
- Heritage Community Foundation. Alberta Online Encyclopedia, online 2009, a short encyclopedia
- The Canadian Encyclopedia (2008) a very good starting point online edition
- The Dictionary of Canadian Biography (1966-2006), scholarly biographies of every important person who died by 1930 online edition
- Cashman, Tony. A Picture History of Alberta. Edmonton, Alta.: Hurtig, (1979) . 215 pp.
- Friesen, Gerald. The Canadian Prairies: A History (2nd ed. 1987)
- MacGregor, James A. A History of Alberta. Edmonton, Alta.: Hurtig, 1972. 335 pp.
- Owram, Douglas R., ed. The Formation of Alberta: A Documentary History. Calgary: Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1979. 403 pp. primary sources
- Palmer, Howard. Alberta: A New History (1999), standard survey by leading historian
- Pitsula, James M. "Disparate Duo" Beaver 2005 85(4): 14-24, a comparison with Saskatchewan, Fulltext in EBSCO
- Wardhaugh, Robert A., ed. Toward Defining the Prairies: Region, Culture, and History. (2001). 234 pp.
Economics, business, labour
- Ascah, Robert L. Politics and Public Debt: The Dominion, the Banks, and Alberta's Social Credit. U. of Alberta Press, 1999. 360 pp.
- Bercuson, David Jay, ed. Alberta's Coal Industry, 1919. Calgary: Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1978. 264 pp. 1919 primary source
- Breen, David H. Alberta's Petroleum Industry and the Conservation Board. U. of Alberta Press, 1993. 800 pp.
- Breen, David H. and Macleod, R. C., eds. William Stewart Herron: Father of the Petroleum Industry in Alberta. Calgary: Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1984. 459 pp. primary sources
- Bright, David. The Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929. U. of British Columbia Press, 1998. 286 pp.
- Burrill, Gary. Away. Maritimers in Massachusetts, Ontario and Alberta: An Oral History of Leaving Home. McGill-Queen's U. Press, 1992. 272 pp. a primary source; interviews with oil workers
- Chatko, Paul. Developing Alberta's Oil Sands: From Karl Clark to Kyoto (2005) author's dicsussion
- Ferguson, Barry Glen. Athabasca Oil Sands: Northern Resource Exploration, 1875-1951. Regina, Saskatchewan: Can. Plains Res. Center, 1986. 283 pp.
- Hart, E. J. The Selling of Canada: The CPR and the Beginnings of Canadian Tourism. Banff: Altitude, 1983. 180 pp.
- House, John D. The Last of the Free Enterprisers: The Oilmen of Calgary. Toronto: Macmillan, 1980. 230 pp.
- Johnston, Alex; Gladwyn, Keith G.; and Ellis, L. Gregory. Lethbridge: Its Coal Industry. Lethbridge Hist. Soc. (1989) 148 pp.
- Kennedy, Margaret A. The Whiskey Trade of the Northwestern Plains: A Multidisciplinary Study. New York: Lang, 1997. 181 pp.
- Klassen, Henry C. A Business History of Alberta. U. of Calgary Press, 1999. 362 pp.
- Parker, James M. Emporium of the North: Fort Chipewyan and the Fur Trade to 1835. Regina, Sask.: Can. Plains Res. Cen., 1987. 208 pp.
- Richards, John and Larry Pratt. Prairie Capitalism: Power and Influence in the New West. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979. 340 pp. influential Marxist interpretation
- Schneider, Ena. Ribbons of Steel: The Story of the Northern Alberta Railways. Calgary: Detselig, (1991) 312 pp.
- Wetherell, Donald G. and Kmet, Irene. Useful Pleasures: The Shaping of Leisure in Alberta, 1896-1945. U. of Regina Press, 1990. 430 pp.
First Nations, Metis
- Drees, Laurie Meijer. The Indian Association of Alberta: A History of Political Action. U. of British Columbia Press, 2002. 246 pp.
- McClintock, Walter. The Old North Trail: Life, Legends, and Religion of the Blackfeet Indians. (1910). 539 pp.
- Pocklington, T. C. The Government and Politics of the Alberta Métis Settlements. Regina: Can. Plains Res. Cen., 1991. 162 pp.
- Price, Richard, ed. The Spirit of the Alberta Indian Treaties. Toronto: Butterworth, 1979. 202 pp.
- Samek, Hana. The Blackfoot Confederacy, 1880-1920: A Comparative Study of Canadian and U. S. Indian Policy. U. of New Mexico Press, 1987. 236 pp.
- Ward, Donald. The People: A Historical Guide to the First Nations of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1995. 115 pp.
- Ainslie, Patricia Ainslie, and Mary-Beth Laviolette. Alberta Art and Artists: An Overview (2007) 147 pages
- Calder, Alison and Wardhaugh, Robert, ed. History, Literature, and the Writing of the Canadian Prairies. U. of Manitoba Press, 2005. 310 pp.
- Keahey, Deborah. Making It Home: Place in Canadian Prairie Literature. (1998). 178 pp.
- Johns, Walter H. A History of the University of Alberta, 1908- 1969. Edmonton: U. of Alberta Press, 1981. 544 pp.
- Melnyk, George. The Literary History of Alberta, Vol. 1: From Writing-on-Stone to World War Two. Edmonton: U. of Alberta Press, 1998. 240 pp.
- Melnyk, George. The Literary History of Alberta. Vol. 2: From the End of the War to the End of the Century. U. of Alberta Press, 1999. 302 pp.
Politics and government
- Aberhart, William. Aberhart: Outpourings and Replies. ed. by David R. Elliott, Calgary: Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1991. 296 pp. a primary source
- Barr, John J. The Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of Social Credit in Alberta. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. 248 pp.
- Bell, Edward. Social Classes and Social Credit in Alberta. McGill-Queen's U. Press, 1993. 196 pp.
- Boudreau, Joseph A., ed. Alberta, Aberhart and Social Credit. Canadian History Through the Press. Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada, 1975. 122 pp. newspaper reports; primary source
- Bruce, Christopher J.; Kneebone, Ronald D.; and McKenzie, Kenneth J., eds. A Government Reinvented: A Study of Alberta's Deficit Elimination Program. Oxford U. Press, 1997. 518 pp.
- Caldarola, Carlo, ed. Society and Politics in Alberta: Research Papers. Toronto: Methuen, 1979. 392 pp.
- Elliott, David R. and Iris Miller. Bible Bill: A Biography of William Aberhart. Edmonton: Reidmore Books, 1987. 373 pp.
- Finkel, Alvin. The Social Credit Phenomenon in Alberta. U. of Toronto Press, 1989.
- Gray, James H. R. B. Bennett: The Calgary Years. U. of Toronto Press, 1991. 310 pp.
- Hesketh, Bob. Major Douglas and Alberta Social Credit. U. of Toronto Press, 1997. 315 pp.
- Hewitt, Steve. Riding to the Rescue: The Transformation of the RCMP in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1914-1939. (2006). 205 pp. excerpt and text search
- Johnson, William. Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada (2006)
- Mardon, Ernest, and Austin Mardon. Alberta Election Results 1882–1992. Edmonton: Documentary Heritage Society of Alberta (1993).
- Rennie, Bradford J. ed. Alberta Premiers of the Twentieth Century. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina. (2004) excerpt and text search
- Rennie, Bradford James. The Rise of Agrarian Democracy: The United Farmers and Farm Women of Alberta, 1909-1921. U of Toronto Press, 2000. 282 pp.
- Thomas, Lewis H., ed. William Aberhart and Social Credit in Alberta. Toronto: Copp Clark, 1977. 175 pp. readings
- Thomas, Lewis Gwynne. The Liberal Party in Alberta. University of Toronto Press: (1959).
- Tupper, Allan and Gibbins, Roger, eds. Government and Politics in Alberta. U. of Alberta Press, 1992. 335 pp. textbook
- Belliveau, Anne. The Story of Alberta's Big West Country: Upper North Saskatchewan River Corridor, Shunda Basin, Brazeau Collieries and Nordegg. Calgary: Detselig, 1999. 240 pp.
- Foran, Max and Jameson, Sheilagh S., eds. Citymakers: Calgarians after the Frontier. Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1987. 386pp.
- Foran, Max and Foran, Heather MacEwan. Calgary: Canada's Frontier Metropolis. An Illustrated History. Windsor, Ont.: Windsor, 1982. 367 pp.
- Foran, Max. Calgary: An Illustrated History/Calgary: Histoire Illustrée. Toronto: Lorimer; Ottawa: Natl. Mus. of Man, 1978. 192 pp.
- Hesketh, Bob and Swyripa, Frances, eds. Edmonton: The Life of a City. Edmonton: NeWest, 1995. 366 pp.
- Johnston, Alex and denOtter, Andy A. Lethbridge: A Centennial History. Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1985. 240 pp.
- MacDonald, Graham A. Where the Mountains Meet the Prairies: A History of Waterton Country. (Parks and Heritage Series, No. 3.) U. of Calgary Press, 2000. 210 pp.
- Melnyk, Bryan P. Calgary Builds: The Emergence of an Urban Landscape, 1905-1914. Calgary: Alberta Culture, Can. Plains Res. Center, 1985. 214 pp.
- Rasporich, Anthony W. and Klassen, Henry C. Frontier Calgary: Town, City, and Region, 1875-1914. U. of Calgary and McClelland and Stewart West. 306 pp.
- Reasons, Chuck, ed. Stampede City: Power and Politics in the West. Toronto: Between the Lines, 1984. 216 pp. impact of oil on Calgary
- Smith, Donald B., ed. Centennial City: Calgary, 1894-1994. U. of Calgary Press, (1993) 88 pp.
- Wetherell, Donald G. and Kmet, Irene R. A. Alberta's North: A History, 1890-1950 U. of Alberta Press, 2000. 520 pp.
- Wetherell, Donald G. and Kmet, Irene R. A. Town Life: Main Street and the Evolution of Small Town Alberta, 1880-1947. U. of Alberta Press, 1995. 368 pp.
Settlement, rural, pioneers
- Baker, William M., ed. Pioneer Policing in Southern Alberta: Deane of the Mounties, 1888-1914. Calgary: Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1993.
- Bennett, John W. and Seena B. Kohl. Settling the Canadian-American West, 1890-1915: Pioneer Adaptation and Community Building. An Anthropological History. U. of Nebraska Press, 1995. 311 pp.
- Bowen, Lynne. Muddling Through: The Remarkable Story of the Barr Colonists. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1992. 234 pp.
- Brado, Edward. Cattle Kingdom: Early Ranching in Alberta. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1984. 298 pp.
- Brunvand, Jan Harold. Norwegian Settlers in Alberta. National Museum of Man, Mercury Series, Canadian Centre for Folk Cultural Studies, Paper no. 8. Ottawa: Natl. Mus. of Man, 1974. 71 pp.
- Danysk, Cecilia. Hired Hands: Labour and the Development of Prairie Agriculture, 1880-1930. (1995). 231 pp.
- Hurt, Leslie J. The Victoria Settlement, 1862-1922. Occasional Paper, no. 7. Edmonton: Alberta Culture, Hist. Resources Division, 1979. 242 pp.
- Jaques, Carrol. Unifarm: A Story of Conflict and Change. U. of Calgary Press, 2001. 342 pp.
- Jones, David C. Empire of Dust: Settling and Abandoning the Prairie Dry Belt. U. of Nebraska Press, 1987. 330 pp.
- Jones, David C., ed. "We'll All Be Buried Down Here": The Prairie Dryland Disaster, 1917-1926. Calgary: Alberta Records Publ. Board; Hist. Soc. of Alberta, 1986. 200 pp. collects primary sources
- Leonard, David W. Delayed Frontier: The Peace River Country to 1909. Calgary, Alta.: Detselig, 1995. 256 pp.
- Palmer, Howard. The Settlement of the West (1977) online edition
- Rennie, Bradford James. The Rise of Agrarian Democracy: The United Farmers and Farm Women of Alberta, 1909-1921. U of Toronto Press, 2000. 282 pp.
- Gross, Renie. Groundwork: Carl Anderson, Farm Crusader. Wardlow, Alta.: Badlands Books, 1998. 352 pp.
- Jackson, Mary Percy. Suitable for the Wilds: Letters from Northern Alberta, 1929-1931. ed. by Janice Dickin McGinnis, Toronto: U. of Toronto Press, 1995. 264 pp.; a primary source
- Sharp, Paul F. Whoop-up Country: The Canadian-American West, 1865-1885. Reprint ed., Norman: U. of Oklahoma Press, 1973. 347pp. primary source
- Silverman, Eliane Leslau. The Last Best West: Women on the Alberta Frontier 1880-1930. Montreal: Eden, 1984. 183 pp.
- Thompson, John Herd. Forging the Prairie West. (1998)
- Voisey, Paul. Vulcan: The Making of a Prairie Community. Toronto: U. of Toronto Press, 1987. 341 pp.
Social, ethnic, religion and schools
- Byrne, M. B. From the Buffalo to the Cross: A History of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. Calgary Archdiocese. 555 pp.
- Cavanaugh, Catherine A. and Warne, Randi R., ed. Standing on New Ground: Women in Alberta. U. of Alberta Press, 1993. 202 pp.
- denOtter, Andy A. Civilizing the West: The Galts and the Development of Western Canada. U. of Alberta Press, 1981. 395 pp.
- Flint, David. The Hutterites: A Study in Prejudice. Oxford U. Press, 1975. 193 pp.
- Hoe, Ban Seng. Structural Changes of Two Chinese Communities in Alberta, Canada. Mercury Series, no. 19. Ottawa: Natl. Mus. of Man, Can. Centre for Folk Culture Studies, 1976. 385 pp.
- McLachlan, Elizabeth. With Unshakeable Persistence: Rural Teachers of the Depression Era. Edmonton: NeWest, 1999. 187 pp.
- Palmer, Howard and Palmer, Tamara, eds. Peoples of Alberta: Portraits of Cultural Diversity. Saskatoon, Sask.: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1985. 551 pp.
- Palmer, Howard. Patterns of Prejudice: A History of Nativism in Alberta. McClelland and Stewart, 1982. 217 pp.
- Scheffel, David. In the Shadow of Antichrist: The Old Believers in Alberta. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 1991. 252 pp.
- Stebbins, Robert A. The Franco-Calgarians: French Language, Leisure, and Linguistic Life-Style in an Anglophone City. U. of Toronto Press, 1994. 152 pp.
- Ukrainian Pioneers' Association of Alberta. Ukrainians in Alberta. Edmonton: Ukrainian Pioneers' Assoc. of Alberta (1975) 560 pp.
- Alberta Tourism
- Tourism Calgary
- Travel Drumheller
- Tourism Canmore
- Discover Turner Valley
- Vulcan Tourism
- [Readers Digest Atlas of Canada 1995, pg50]
- Canada Infolink
- Alberta Advantage
- CBC, Alberta Census
- Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
- Fish Creek Park
- Heritage Park
- Kananaskis Country
- Waterton Lakes et al
- The Melting Pot
- Art Gallery of Calgary
- Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Passion Play
- Theatre Calgary
- Karel Denis Bicha, "The Plains Farmer and the Prairie Province Frontier, 1897-1914." Journal of Economic History 1965 25(2): 263-270. in JSTOR
- Odd S. Lovoll, "Canada Fever: The Odyssey Of Minnesota's Bardo Norwegians." Minnesota History 2001 57(7): 356-367. 0026-5497
- Wayne K. D. Davies, "'Send A Thousand Welsh Farm Labourers To Canada!' The Crow's Nest Pass Work Scheme And Damage Control." Welsh History Review 2001 20(3): 466-494. 0043-2431
- L. A. Rosenvall, "The Transfer of Mormon Culture to Alberta." American Review of Canadian Studies 1982 12(2): 51-63.
- Alexander Bruce Kilpatrick, "A Lesson in Boosterism: The Contest for the Alberta Provincial Capital, 1904-1906," Urban History Review 1980 8(3): 47-109.
- Carl F. Betke, "The United Farmers of Alberta, 1921-1935." in Society and Politics in Alberta, edited by Carlo Caldarola. (1979). pp 14-32.
- Anne Woywitka, "Pioneers In Sickness and in Health." Alberta History 2001 49(1): 16-20.
- Sharon Richardson, "Women's Enterprise: Establishing The Lethbridge Nursing Mission, 1909-1919." Nursing History Review 1997 5: 105-130. 1062-8061
- Sharon Richardson, "Political Women, Professional Nurses, and the Creation of Alberta's District Nursing Service, 1919-1925." Nursing History Review 1998 6: 25-50. 1062-8061
- Sharon Richardson, "Frontier Health Care: Alberta's District and Municipal Nursing Services, 1919 to 1976." Alberta History 1998 46(1): 2-9.
- Laurie Meijer Drees, Reserve Hospitals In Southern Alberta, 1890 To 1930. Native Studies Review 1993-94 9(1): 93-110. 0831-585X
- Laurie Meijer Drees, "Reserve Hospitals and Medical Officers: Health Care And Indian Peoples In Southern Alberta, 1890s-1930." Prairie Forum 1996 21(2): 149-176. 0317-6282
- Manfred Prokop, "Canadianization Of Immigrant Children: Role of the Rural Elementary School in Alberta, 1900-1930." Alberta History 1989 37(2): 1-10.
- Gayle Thrift, "'Women of Prayer are Women of Power': Woman's Missionary Societies in Alberta, 1918-1939." Alberta History 1999 47(2): 10-17.
- Eric Crouse, "'The Great Revival': Evangelical Revivalism, Methodism, and Bourgeois Order in Early Calgary." Alberta History 1999 47(1): 18-23.
- Peter McGuigan, "Edmonton, Archbishop Henry O'Leary and the Roaring Twenties." Alberta History 1996 44(4): 6-14.
- Yvette T. M. Mahé, "Bilingual School District Trustees and Cultural Transmission: The Alberta Experience, 1892-1939." Historical Studies in Education 1997 9 (1): 65-82. 0843-5057
- Angela Gauthier, Nick Kach, and Kas Mazurek, "The Ruthenian School Revolt of 1913: Linguistic and Cultural Conflict in Alberta." Historical Studies in Education 1996 8 (2): 199-210. 0843-5057
- Antonella Fanella, "Italians In Calgary". Alberta History 1994 42(2): 3-9.
- John Everitt, "The Line Elevator in Alberta." Alberta History 1992 40(4): 16-22; 1993 41(1): 20-26.
- John Feldberg, and Warren M. Elofson, "Financing The Palliser Triangle, 1908-1913." Great Plains Quarterly 1998 18(3): 257-268. 0275-7664
- W. M. Elofson, "Not Just A Cowboy: The Practice Of Ranching in Southern Alberta, 1881-1914." Canadian Papers In Rural History 1996 10: 205-216.
- Patricia Hawk, "The Lyndon Ranch." Alberta History 2000 48(1): 10-13.
- Kristi Benson, "Cowboys and Cattlebarons: Status and Hierarchy on Alberta's Early Corporate Ranches." Alberta History 2000 48(4): 2-9. Professor Sheldon, "A Visit To The Bar U" Alberta History 2000 48(1): 21-26, reprints an 1891 travel account.
- Max Foran, "Mixed Blessings: The Second 'Golden Age' of the Alberta Cattle Industry 1914-1920." Alberta History 1998 46(3): 10-19.
- Henry C. Klassen, "Entrepreneurship in the Canadian West: The Enterprises of A. E. Cross, 1886-1920." Western Historical Quarterly 1991 22(3): 313-333. 0043-3810
- Sandra Rollings-Magnusson, "Canada's Most Wanted: Pioneer Women on the Western Prairies." Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 2000 37(2): 223-238; E. Rowles, "Bannock, beans and bacon: An investigation of pioneer diet." Saskatchewan History, 1952. Vol. V, No 1, pp. 1-16.
- Catherine Munn Smith, "J. Frank Moodie: The Man and the Mine." Alberta History 2000 48(2): 2-9.
- Nancy M. Sheehan, "The Red Cross And Relief In Alberta, 1920s-1930s." Prairie Forum 1987 12(2): 277-293.
- Henry C. Klassen, "Cowdry Brothers: Private Bankers In Southwestern Alberta, 1886-1905." Alberta History 1989 37(1): 9-23.
- Michael J. Dawe, "Debt and Depression: Red Deer in the Early 1920s." Alberta History 1996 44(2): 19-23.
- Judy Bedford, "Prostitution In Calgary 1905-1914". Alberta History 1981 29(2): 1-11; Nancy M. Sheehan, "The WCTU on the Prairies, 1886-1930: An Alberta-Saskatchewan Comparison." Prairie Forum 1981 6(1): 17-33.
- Andrews, D. Larraine. "Calgary Business And Professional Women's Club." Alberta History 1997 45(1): 20-25.
- Douglas Bailie, Cinemas in the City: Edmonton from the Nickelodeon to the Multiplex. Prairie Forum [Canada] 1996 21(2): 239-262.
- Terence O'Riordan, "The 'Puck Eaters': Hockey As A Unifying Community Experience In Edmonton & Strathcona, 1894-1905." Alberta History 2001 49(2): 2-11. 0316-1552
- Rolf T. Lund, "The Development of Skiing in Banff." Alberta History 1977 25(4): 26-30.
- Laura Atkins, Coleen Nicoll, and Jody Stewart, "Turner Valley Oilfields." Alberta History 1984 32(1): 9-19; Breen (1993).
- Timothy Le Riche, Alberta's Oil Patch - The People, Politics & Companies (2006)
- Graham D. Taylor, "Sun Oil Company and Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd.: The Financing and Management of a 'Pioneer' Enterprise, 1962-1974." Journal of Canadian Studies 1985 20(3): 102-121. 0021-9495
- Bob Hesketh, Major Douglas and Alberta Social Credit. (1997)
- The economic theorist for Aberhart was Major Douglas, an English engineer with an unbounded confidence in technology. * H. Blair Neatby, The Politics of Chaos: Canada in the Thirties (1972) pp 143-61; John A. Irving, The Social Credit Movement in Alberta (1959)
- Thomas Flanagan and Martha F. Lee, "From Social Credit to Social Conservatism: The Evolution of an Ideology," Prairie Forum 16 (1991): 205-223; C. B. Macpherson, Democracy in Alberta: Social Credit and the Party System. 2d ed. 1962.
- Alvin Finkel, "Social Credit and the Unemployed." Alberta History 1983 31(2): 24-32.
- In Alberta the CCF and Social Credit were bitter enemies, which made it impossible for them to merge in Saskatchewan. See S. M. Lipset, Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan a Study in Political Sociology. (1950, 1971 ed.) p. 143-4.
- Murray Dobbin, Preston Manning and the Reform Party (1991)
- Major C.H. Douglas, was blatantly anti-Semitic and enamored with the fake Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Aberhart and Manning vigorously denied they were anti-Semitic. See Janine Stingel, Social Discredit: Anti-Semitism, Social Credit, and the Jewish Response. McGill-Queen's U. Press, 2000.
- David B. Iwaasa, "The Japanese in Southern Alberta, 1941-45." Alberta History 1976 24(3): 5-19.
- Alvin Finkel, "The Cold War, Alberta Labour, and the Social Credit Regime." Labour 1988 (21): 123-152. 0700-3862
- Edward Bell, "The Rise of the Lougheed Conservatives and the Demise of Social Credit In Alberta: A Reconsideration." Canadian Journal of Political Science 1993 26(3): 455-475. 0008-4239
- Allan Tupper, "New Dimensions of Alberta Politics." Queen's Quarterly 1986 93(4): 780-791.