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Town, pop 702, located 30 km NW of Melfort on Hwy 3. The Saskatchewan River Forks are 30 km north of the community. In the 1870s, what was known as the Carrot River Settlement developed just to the south of today’s community. In 1883, a post office was established and given the name Kinistino in honour of the Saulteaux chief, Kinistin. The settlement developed slowly for the first 25 years, until the construction of the Canadian Northern Railway through the area in 1905. Settlers to the area included people of Scottish, English, and Norwegian origins—as well as a Black man, Alfred Schmitz Shadd, who would become one the district’s most-respected citizens. Having come to the Kinistino area from Ontario in 1896 to teach school, he was likely the only Black educator out of approximately 400 employed in the territories at the time. Shadd, seeing the great need for doctors in the area, returned to Ontario and completed his medical degree in 1898. He returned to Kinistino and set up a medical practice. He later moved his practice to Melfort, where he set up a drug store, became the editor of the newspaper, and served on the town’s council. He ran unsuccessfully in the territorial election in 1901, and in 1905 came within 52 votes of becoming the first Black ever elected to a provincial legislature. Kinistino grew steadily over the decades, attaining town status in 1952 and reaching a peak population of 861 in 1966. For the past 10 years, the population has remained stable at close to 700. Kinistino is the main trading centre in the district; agriculture, a combination of both grain and livestock production, is the major industry.

David McLennan

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This web site was produced with financial assistance
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.