History

Scottish people first came to Canada from Scotland during the time of the fur trade. Many of the Scottish fur traders married First Nations women and their children were known as English speaking Métis. You can see the Scottish influence in the Métis culture in their music and food.

Scottish immigrants traveled from Scotland to Canada.

Scottish immigrants traveled from Scotland to Canada.

A map illustration highlights Scotland, but also shows the surrounding countries of England, Wales, Ireland, France, and Germany.

The country of Scotland and the surrounding countries.

A young Scottish mother sits down on suitcases with her four young children on a ship that is headed to Canada.

This Scottish mom and her four children are on the ship and headed to Canada.

Three Scottish couples pose together for a photo before they depart on a ship to Canada.

This group of Scottish people are at the ship port to travel to Canada in search of better opportunities.

Settlement

The Earl of Selkirk in Scotland wanted to help Scottish peasants and started settlements near Winnipeg, Manitoba in the early 1800s. Some of the Scots moved further west to Prince Albert, close to Batoche, where many of the Scottish Métis had settled.

This French settler is proposing to a First Nations woman. Their children will be known as Metis.

This Scottish fur trader is proposing to a First Nations woman. Their children will be known as English-speaking Métis.

Another wave of Scottish settlers came to Saskatchewan in the late 1800s. Scotland was overpopulated and there were few jobs. Canada offered the promise of both jobs and prosperity. This group of Scots settled near Moosomin and Wapella. Later groups settled near Dunrea, Pelican Lake, Abernethy, and Indian Head.

Five Scottish men stare out 3 separate windows from the inside of a train before they depart out West.

In 1911, these men from Scotland were taking a train to the closest town to their homestead.

Scottish people continued to settle all through the province into the early 1900s. They were very good masons, and built fine houses and schools made of stone or brick.

An Illustrated mason puts the finishing touches on the stone house he has made

This Scottish man is making his home out of stone. He is a talented mason.

This woman moved to St. Walburg, Saskatchewan with her parents when she was 11 years old. She married her husband in 1929. They farmed their homestead. They also owned a machine shop that became an International Harvester franchise.

Culture

Many Scots played an important role in Saskatchewan’s growth such as Patrick Gammie Laurie, who founded a newspaper called the Saskatchewan Herald. Thomas MacNutt was the first Speaker of the Saskatchewan Legislature. Archibald Peter McNab was Lieutenant-Governor from 1936 to 1944. Also, Premier T.C. Douglas started and led the provincial party which is now known as the NDP.

A painting of Walter Scott is shown. He is sitting and looking at the painter. He wears a suit.
Walter Scott had Scottish roots and became the first Premier of Saskatchewan and editor of the Regina newspaper.

Today you can enjoy Scottish culture through pipe bands and the Highland games. Numerous Scottish place names are found throughout Saskatchewan.

A band of pipe band players march together during an opening ceremony for the Highland games.

The Highland games include opening and closing ceremonies where dancing and music will take place.

Many Scottish communities host a Highland Games, where kilted athletes compete.