Pre-contact & Fur Trade

The river that become known as the North Saskatchewan River began carving through the prairies around 12,000 years ago, separating the northern boreal and the great southern plains. The unique transitional area would provide suitable land for bison and the humans that would come to hunt them.

Edmonton would become the most important HBC post west of what is now Winnipeg, becoming the administrative centre for a network of posts throughout the prairies. About 150 people lived in and around the Fort in 1870, although the promise of a new railway would signal the area’s first dramatic expansion.