Early setlers, some Métis, others Ontario-born, were first to arrive in the area. By the 1890s German-speaking immigrants occupied parts of the hinterland that were not previously set aside for farming and ranching. The discovery of natural gas, coal and clay deposits stimulated early industrial development. Unfortunately, economic depression before and then following World War I, as well as the severe drought conditions during the 1920s and 1930s, drove many from the land and severely curtailed economic development. The years following World War II saw a gradual restoration of prosperity and an increase in population.
Medicine Hat, with its 3 converging valley systems, is an oasis on the vast arid plains. It has numerous parks and provides a variety of recreational facilities. As well, the magnificent CYPRESS HILLS, a favourite recreation area for residents, is located 66 km southeast of the city.
A community college offers post-secondary educational opportunities. Baseball and hockey franchises are also located in Medicine Hat. The city takes pride in a number of visual artists who have won recognition for their work nationally. Area residents are served by a daily newspaper, 2 radio stations, a television station and a community cable company.
Author L.J. ROY WILSON
R. Common, "Early Settlement About Medicine Hat, Alberta," Geographical Bulletin, 4:3 (1967); Ed Gould, All Hell for a Basement (1981); David C. Jones, et al, The Weather Factory: A Pictorial History of Medicine Hat (1988); Laurie Milne, The Saamis Site: A Late Prehistoric-Protohistoric Campsite in Medicine Hat, Alberta (1978).
Links to Other Sites
The official website of the City of Medicine Hat, AB.
This nicely illustrated “Travel Alberta” website is a complete guide to planning an Alberta vacation. Offers a searchable directory of accommodations, recreational and cultural opportunities, and much more.
Four Directions Teachings
Elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq share teachings about their history and culture. Animated graphics visualize each of the oral teachings. This website also provides biographies of participants, transcripts, and an extensive array of learning resources for students and their teachers. In English with French subtitles.
Profiles of AlbertaFirst member communities provide important business, economic and lifestyle information to compliment the statistical information available for all communities.
Canadian Forces Base Suffield
This site highlights the biodiversity found within the boundaries of Canadian Forces Base Suffield, which is the largest remaining intact block of undisturbed native prairie habitat. Well documented with numerous maps. From the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
Return of the Swift Fox
View a film that documents the impact of human activity on the fragile prairie grasslands ecosystem in Alberta and Saskatchewan. From the National Film Board.
The website for Jane’s Walk, a network of free walking tours that explore the quality and livability of local neighbourhoods based on ideas espoused by Jane Jacobs. Click on "The Community" to access the latest news and photos on their blog and more. Also, check out "Find Your Walk" for maps and descriptions of local walks throughout the country.