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Indian Head

Town, pop 1,758, located approximately 70 km E of Regina on Hwy 1. Indian Head had its beginnings in 1882 as the first settlers, mainly of Scottish origin, pushed into the area in advance of the railroad, most traveling by ox-cart from Brandon. The Indian Head post office was established that year, as well as a large-scale Farming enterprise, the Bell Farm. Conceived of and managed by Major W.R. Bell of Ontario, the farm consisted of over 50,000 acres and was run like a military operation. Although the enterprise experienced some success, poor crops in the middle of the decade, as well as the settlers’ preoccupation with the North-West Resistance resulted in the farm’s failure. The need for agricultural research in the west was recognized by the federal government, and in 1887 an experimental farm was established at Indian Head (see Agriculture Canada Research Stations). Development in the young community was slow at first, but after 1900 settlers began arriving in droves. By the outbreak of World War I, Indian Head was a thriving agricultural service centre with a population of over 1,200. Some of the province’s largest Wheat shipments were passing through the Indian Head elevators. The research farm at Indian Head remains to this day, as does the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) Shelterbelt Centre, which had its origins in 1902. Today, both operations are major community employers. Indian Head is also home to the Orange Home and Orange Home Farm. Started by the Orange Benevolent Society, the homes have provided safe and secure shelters for children experiencing family stress or turmoil since 1923. Indian Head has a range of professional services and tradespeople, financial institutions, and a large number of retail establishments.

David McLennan

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Further Reading

Carter, S. 1990. Lost Harvests. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

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