Alberta History, Language and Culture
History of Alberta
First inhabited by the Paleo-Indians more than 10,000 years ago, the first European settlers arrived in Alberta circa 1750. The native population and the new arrivals, mostly either British or French, helped establish the area as a centre for the North American fur trade and trading opportunities ballooned with the arrival of the Canadian National Railway in Alberta in 1883. Within ten years, Alberta's non-native population swelled from about 1,000 to almost 17,500. Alberta was officially declared a province of Canada on 1 September 1905, named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of the Marquess of Lorne, former Governor General of Canada. Edmonton was named its capital city.
The early twentieth century was a period of boom and bust for Alberta as its fortunes followed the seismic economic shifts of the times. After World War II, the region was transformed forever with a major crude oil discovery Leduc, near Edmonton. The oil industry now became the main source of the province's economic prosperity and fuelled the region's urbanisation, as Edmonton and Calgary grew into centres of business and finance.
Alberta has hosted a number of international sporting events over the years, including the 2005 Grand Prix in Edmonton and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
Language in Alberta
Although Canada is officially bilingual (English and French), English is more commonly spoken in Alberta.