Saskatchewan Cultural Groups

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Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

These links cover the larger ethno-cultural groups in Saskatchewan. For information on smaller groups not represented, you can find links from the same major sources:

  1. History of immigration: ethno-cultural groups, Library and Archives Canada
  2. Saskatchewan History and Ethnic Roots, Saskatchewan GenWeb
  3. The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

Remember that the members of each group are also found in all the genealogical sources normally used in research: civil registration, church records, censuses, immigration records, land records, military records, obituaries, wills and proabtes, etc.

Black Canadians[edit | edit source]

Danish[edit | edit source]

Dutch Settlements[edit | edit source]

Doukhobors[edit | edit source]

Finnish[edit | edit source]

First Nations[edit | edit source]

Germans[edit | edit source]

Between 1874 and 1911, 152,000 German speaking settlers arrived in Western Canada. By the start of World War I, more than 100 German settlements had been established, the largest being Rosthern, Wetaskewin, St. Peter's and St. Joseph's. German immigration to Canada resumed at the end of the war. Between 1915 and 1935, more than 97,000 German-speaking people arrived in Canada from Germany, the Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia. It was not until 1950 that Canadian restrictions on German immigration were lifted. During this period, Canada took a more aggressive approach to recruiting tradespeople from abroad. These changes resulted in more than 400,000 people migrating to Canada from Austria, Germany and Switzerland between 1950 and 1970. [1]

The Germans from Russia are a prominent settlement group in the rural landscape of Saskatchewan. Perhaps because they came incrementally, by chain migration, rather than by organized group colonization, they compose an ethnic group little noticed by historians. Also, their immediate origins are divided, inasmuch as earlier German-Russian immigrants came directly from Russia, whereas many twentieth-century German-Russian immigrants came to Canada from the United States, mainly from North Dakota and South Dakota.
"Germans from Russia in Saskatchewan: An Oral History", Jessica Clark. Thomas D. Isern. American Review of Canadian Studies, Volume 40, 2010 - Issue 1., accessed 13 December 2020.</ref>

Hutterites[edit | edit source]

Icelandic[edit | edit source]

Irish[edit | edit source]

Jewish Communities[edit | edit source]

Mennonites[edit | edit source]

Métis[edit | edit source]

Counselors of the Provisional Métis Government of 1870.

Archive, Libraries, and Museum[edit | edit source]

Glenbow Archive, Library, and Museum

Contact: Glenbow Archives
130 - 9 Avenue
SE Calgary, Alberta T2G 0P3
Reference Desk telephone: 403-268-4204

The Glenbow Archives and Library, has an excellent collection of resources for the study of Métis genealogy. Their sources cover predominantly Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and some parts of the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and British Columbia.
Most of our sources pertain to people who were living in the Prairie Provinces in 1900 or earlier.

One unique collection is the Gail Morin database. The collection consists of a database of 65,434 records of persons who were Metis ancestors. For each individual, dates and places of birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial, and notes on sources are given if known. Using Ancestral Quest software, the data can be linked to show genealogical relationships in the form of pedigree charts and descendancy charts. The database is available only with the assistance of the Archives staff in the reading room of the Glenbow Archives. The database is fully searchable online.

History[edit | edit source]

  • The Métis are a multi ancestral indigenous group whose homeland is in Canada and parts of the United States between the Great Lakes region and the Rocky Mountains. The Métis trace their descent to both Indigenous North Americans and European settlers (primarily French). Not all people of mixed Indigenous and Settler descent are Métis, as the Métis are a distinct group of people with a distinct culture and language. Since the late 20th century, the Métis in Canada have been recognized as a distinct Indigenous people under the Constitution Act of 1982 and have a population of 587,545 as of 2016.
  • During the height of the North American fur trade in New France from 1650 onward, many French and British fur traders married First Nations and Inuit women, mainly Cree, Ojibwa, or Saulteaux located in the Great Lakes area and later into the north west.
  • The majority of these fur traders were French and Scottish; the French majority were Catholic.
  • These marriages are commonly referred to as marriage à la façon du pays or marriage according to the "custom of the country."
  • At first, the Hudson's Bay Company officially forbade these relationships. However, many Indigenous peoples actively encouraged them, because they drew fur traders into Indigenous kinship circles, creating social ties that supported the economic relationships developing between them and Europeans. When Indigenous women married European men, they introduced them to their people and their culture, taught them about the land and its resources, and worked alongside them. Indigenous women paddled and steered canoes, made moccasins out of moose skin, netted webbing for snowshoes, skinned animals and dried their meat.
  • The children of these marriages were often introduced to Catholicism, but grew up in primarily First Nations societies. As adults, the men often worked as fur-trade company interpreters, as well as fur trappers in their turn.
  • Many of the first generations of Métis lived within the First Nations societies of their wives and children, but also started to marry Métis women.
  • By the early 19th century, marriage between European fur traders and First Nations or Inuit women started to decline as European fur traders began to marry Métis women instead, because Métis women were familiar with both white and Indigenous cultures, and could interpret.[2]

Norwegian[edit | edit source]

Scottish[edit | edit source]

Swedish[edit | edit source]

Ukrainians[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "German Genealogy and Family History", Library and Archives Canada,, accessed 13 Decembers 2020.
  2. "Métis Nation", Wikipedia,, accessed 25 October 2020.