The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan


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Saskatchewan River

(53°54’ N, 101°46’ W; map sheet 63 F/13). The Saskatchewan River is formed by the confluence of its two major branches: the North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers. This occurs approximately 45 km east of Prince Albert in an area known as “the Forks.” The river then flows for 550 km eastward into Manitoba, eventually draining into Lake Winnipeg. With its two branches included, the overall length of the Saskatchewan River is 4,618 km, crossing the prairies from the Rocky Mountains to Manitoba. Dams across the river downstream from Nipawin helped create Tobin Lake, a recreational area renowned for its walleye fishing. These dams are used by SaskPower to generate hydroelectricity. In the Cumberland Delta area close to the Manitoba border, the Saskatchewan River divides into numerous channels. The first fur trade post built in Saskatchewan was located here in 1774 by Samuel Hearne. Cumberland House played a crucial role in the fur trade, strategically located for access not only along the Saskatchewan River and its tributaries, but also to the Churchill River and the northwest. The name of the river is derived from the Cree word kisiskâciwani-sîpiy, meaning “swift-flowing river.”

Marilyn Lewry

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provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
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Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.