Norwegian Emigration to Canada
Norwegian emigration to Canada was enormous when it is recognized that more than half of Norway's population moved to the New World. Many originally went to the U.S., but finding land unavailable or too expensive they headed for Canada, settling in huge numbers in Saskatchewan and Alberta. They built their homesteads all over the prairies, but most of all in a broad belt roughtly stretching from Estevan (in southwest Saskatchewan) to Saskatoon, Camrose and Edmonton. Their communities reflected their heritage as they established their own churches and schools. The Norwegian language was predominant in their early communities for some time.
The immigrants suffered hardships as they struggled to homestead. It wasn't an easy life, especially in the 1930's with the Depression and drought and dust storms. Many from southern Alberta and Saskatchewan gave up and headed for the Peace River District and also B.C.
Today Norwegian Canadians are the largest of the Nordic groups in Canada. B.C. Claims the greatest population of Norwegian Canadians and Saskatchewan claims 5% of their population from that ancestry. Norwegian Canadians were major contributors in settling and cultivating the Prairies, to Canadian politics and Northern exploration. Many community-based populist organizations such as the C.C.F. party in Saskatechewan and the Social Credit in Alberta were started by Norwegian Canadians. They also made a significant contribution to sports through the introduction of cross-country skiing to Canada.Credits: