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Indian Head is a town in southeast Saskatchewanmarker, Canadamarker, east of Reginamarker. The town is directly north of the Trans-Canada Highway. The town is known for its federally-operated Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) experimental farm and tree nursery that produces seedlings for shelter belts.


The first settlers were of Scottish origin and moved into the district in 1882, ahead of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Bell Farm at Indian Head comprised . This was so huge and out of the ordinary that, on many occasions, the passenger trains would stop and let the passengers watch the harvesting operation.

In 1887 the Dominion Experimental Farm was founded, as one of the original research stations in Canada and today is still doing research and giving valuable information to farmers. Settlement began to accelerate seriously after 1900 and by the outbreak of World War I in 1914 its population had reached 1200. In 1902, the PFRA tree nursery was inaugurated and is still shipping out several million trees each year for farm shelterbelts in the three prairie provinces.
Mr Holden Farm near Indian Head, NWT, August 1902.
In 1923 the Orange Benevolent Society, then a substantial service club, established the Orange Home and Orange Home Farm for children from distressed families which subsist to the present despite the substantial decline of the Loyal Orange Lodge and self-conscious Northern Irish Protestantism generally.

Indian Head was incorporated as a town in 1902. In that year the Canadian Journal, published by James McAra, noted that Indian Head was the largest point of initial shipment of wheat in the world.

In the early 1900s Indian Head was the financial centre of the district and distribution point. Three banks established branches, the Opera House was erected by Mr. Osment, and The Club conducted its operations within the opera house block. The Lady Minto Hospital was erected for a cost of CA$6,000. ( $6,000 is equivalent to $ in present day terms. )

The Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle was originally centred in the nearby town of Qu'Appelle, whose parish church was the pro-cathedral for southern Saskatchewan. Bishop's Court, the residence of the diocesan bishop, was relocated from Qu'Appelle to Indian Head in 1895 before being further relocated to Regina.


Indian Head is located in the Indian Head Plain of the Aspen Parkland ecoregion on the parkland of the Qu'Appelle flood plain. Qu'Appelle's elevation is above sea level placing it within the topographical region of the Squirrel Hills. The area is characterised by lush rolling grasslands, interspersed with poplar bluffs (in prairie Canadian terminology poplar groves surrounding sloughs) and open sloughs. Indian Head is located in the transition zone between the Qu'Appelle River and the corresponding Qu'Appelle Valley and the Canadian Prairies. The Indianhead Creek flows through Indian Head into the Qu'Appelle River to the north. The legal land description is section 24 - township 18 - range 13 - west of the 2nd meridian. north of Indian Head are the Fishing Lakes which are part of the Qu'Appelle Valley.


Indian Head has a humid continental climate, with extreme seasonal temperatures. It has warm summers and cold winters, with the average daily temperatures ranging from in January to in July. Annually, temperatures exceed on an average in late July Typically, summer lasts from late June until late August, and the humidity is seldom uncomfortably high. Winter lasts from November to March, and varies greatly in length and severity. Spring and autumn are both short and highly variable.


The 2006 Statistics Canada data estimates the town's population at 1,634 residents, continuing a slight trend of population decline in the town since the 2001 Census, although unusually for prairie towns, Indian Head's population today is larger than in 1916. Of the current population, 80.1 per cent were male and 86.7 per cent were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 6.1 per cent of the resident population of Indian Head.

Between 2001 and 2006, Indian Head's population decreased by 3.7 percent. During the same time period, the population of Saskatchewanmarker decreased by 1.1 percent, while that of Canada grew by 5.4 percent. A recent economic boom in Saskatchewan and an atypical persistence of prosperity during the 2008 worldwide slump will have altered this trend. The population density of Indian Head averaged , compared with an average of for the province. According to data from 2001 (although with so small a population percentages are not especially informative) more than 33.6% of the town's residents identify themselves as Catholic; 48.9% of residents are Protestant, and 12.3% of residents do not practise a religion.

Indian Head is a part of Census Division No. 6. Indian Head is a part of the South East Saskatchewan Economic Development Association (SEDA).


town of Indian Head has a mayor as the highest ranking government official. The town also elects aldermen or councillors to form the municipal council. Currently the mayor is Allan Hubbs, and is serving with councillors John Mayer, Lisa Craigie, Tim Reihl, Ronald Braithwaite, Steven Cole, and Thor Johnson. The town administrator is Erinn Kaunn.

Provincially Indian Head is within the constituency of Indian Head-Milestone served by their Member of legislative assembly, the honourable Don McMorris. This district was created before the 8th Saskatchewan general election in 1934 by combining the constituencies of South Qu'Appelle and Wolseley. Redrawn and renamed "Indian Head-Wolseley" in 1975. This constituency was created through the Representation Act, 1994 (Saskatchewan) by combining the district of Indian Head-Wolseley with part of the constituency of Bengough-Milestone.

Federally the Regina—Qu'Appelle riding is represented by their Member of Parliament, Andrew Scheer. Qu'Appelle riding was first created in 1903 and covered the Northwest Territories, including what would later be Saskatchewan. In 1905, the district was amended to just cover Saskatchewan..

In 1966, Qu'Appelle riding was abolished when it was redistributed between Qu'Appelle—Moose Mountain, Regina—Lake Centre, Regina East and Assiniboia ridings.

In 1987, Regina—Qu'Appelle was created from parts of the districts of Assiniboia, Humboldt—Lake Centre and Qu'Appelle—Moose Mountain ridings. It was known as Qu'Appelle from 1996 to 1998.

It was abolished in 1996 when it was redistributed between Wascana, Regina—Arm River, Qu'Appelle and Yorkton—Melville ridings.

A new Qu'Appelle riding was created in 1996 from Regina—Qu'Appelle, Regina—Lumsden and Mackenzie ridings.

In 1998, its name was changed back to Regina—Qu'Appelle..


Indian Head grain elevator on a winters day
Historically, according to the Department of Agriculture, the Indian Head district ranked highest for wheat production in the North West Territories in 1903, 1904 and 1905. The Indian Head Experimental Station exceeded the Brandon Experimental station by seven bushels of wheat per acre for ten years. For a town of population 1,800 in 1905, it boasted twelve grain elevators which were erected along the Canadian Pacific Railway, with each elevator having the capacity to hold approximately 350,000 bushels. This location handled a higher quantity of grain in 1902 in the initiatory shipment stage than any other inland port in the world.

The North-West Rebellion in 1885 caused the farm land of the Qu’Appelle Valley Farming Company to lie untended as their horses and wagons were used in the military engagement. The summer of 1886 provided a good crop as the land was allowed to collect moisture. The Indian Head Experimental Farm then followed up and said “fallowing the land is the best preparation to ensure a crop.”

The Territorial Grain Growers’ Association was formed in the winter of 1901 at Indian Head. It was a collective of farmers in the Qu'Appelle Valley responding to the Sinatluta Case. The fall of 1901 farmers were tryijng to ship a large harvest and they could not sell it due to a boxcar shortage. The existing elevators neighter were set up to hold the amount of grain that year. Farmers lost about half of a record wheat crop. William Richard Motherwell became the first president and pressed for a change to the Manitoba Act which would allow farmers access to railway cars on a first come first serve basis.


Indian Head hospital opened in 1905 with an attached nursing training school. Even though the provincial government Saskatchewan Air Ambulance system was not established until 1946, Indian Head did call to Charlie Skinner, a pilot in Regina in 1935. Transport was needed to get the doctor from Indian Head to Odessamarker to treat a critically ill patient during a time when the roads were blocked by snow. Thus began Skinner’s Air Service.

The first telephone system in Saskatchewan was on the Bell Farmmarker built in 1882 by Major Bell on ten miles (16 km) square or at Indian Head. The telecommunications system utilised barb wire for the phone lines.


Indian Head is serviced by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is located at the junction of the Trans Canada Highway and highway 56. It is located east of the provincial capital city of Reginamarker and west of Winnipegmarker.

An Indian trail used by fur traders, and red river carts pulling settlers effects was the first path between Moosominmarker and Fort Ellice, Manitoba. The transcontinental CPR paralleled this trail when coming through in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Provincial Highway 4, the precursor of the Trans–Canada Saskatchewan Highway 1 followed the surveyed grade of the transcontinental CPR between the Albertamarker and Manitobamarker border. Travel along Provincial Highway 4 before the 1940s would have been traveling on the square following the township road allowances, barbed wire fencing and rail lines. As the surveyed township roads were the easiest to travel, the first highway was designed on 90 degree right angle corners as the distance traversed the prairie along range roads and township roads. Two horse then eight horse scrapers maintained these early dirt roads.

One of the problems that came about was when the Manitoba survey met the Saskatchewan survey. The Manitoba survey allowed for road allowances placed east and west every . This system was followed west of Manitoba until just north of Indian Head. Whereas, the Saskatchewan survey conducted in 1887, allowed for road allowances and placed roads east and west every . The two surveys needed a correction which took years to smooth out.

Agriculture is Saskatchewan's main industry and taking grain to elevators was first accomplished by horse and cart, to be replaced around World War I by truck travel. Long haul trucking flourished between 1950 and 1970, and the trans–Canada was completed across Canada by 1970. Since the 1970s, 17 times the number of grain trucks and 95 per cent of goods transported now are hauled by truck across the Saskatchewan.


The Indian Head High School hosts the Broncs athletic teams and is part of the Prairie Valley School Division No. 208 along with the Indian Head Elementary School. Indian Head Elementary School features classes Kindergarden to grade 6 with about 205 enroled. The high school supports grades 7 to 12 with an enrollment of about 225 pupils.

The Southeast Regional College has a district campus office located in Indian Head which will support grade 12 equivalency general education development, post secondary classes supported by the University of Reginamarker, University of Saskatchewanmarker, SIASTmarker and the Certified General Accountants Association. Some post secondary skills and career services are additionally available.

Historically there were quite a number of one room school houses in the area of Indian Head the first, Indian Head School District #49, was established in 1886. It was followed soon after by Wide Awake School District #54. Other schools were Sunny South School District #61, Katepwe School District #116, Rose Valley School District # 191 Fair Play School District #192, Blackwood School District #241, Flen Lynn School District #333 Burnsdale School District #777, Jubilee School District #1122, Interlake School District #1565, Sunny Slope School District #1843, Squirrel Hills School District #4058, Lake Marqerite School District #1237 and Spring Coulee School.

Museums and other points of interest

Indian Head museum
Charhead Ranch Farm features Charolais cattle, dairy operation and Welsh ponies on this 75 year old farm.

The Bell Farmmarker is amongst the ten top most endangered sites by the Heritage Canada Foundation. Having the silo centrally located in the round barn greatly reduced labour involved in livestock feeding and resulted in a stronger facility than the rectangular structures. It is currently undergoing re-construction and preservation.

32 hectares of federal crown land comprise the Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary located south of Indian Head. The Canada Agriculture Experimental Farm Tree Nursery is a part of the sanctuary lands The Canadian Wildlife Service on its last review felt that the sanctuary should be abolished.
Shelter Belt Center Sk Hwy 56 junction on Highway 1, the Trans Canada
The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) and PFRA shelterbelt centre set up in 1902 features a picnic area with nature trails along with tree nursery, and flora displays. The nursery still establishes farm shelterbelts with its shipments of trees every year across Albertamarker, Saskatchewan and Manitobamarker.

Indian Head Experimental Station or Indian Head Research Farm established in 1887 provides innovative research into crops and soil types.

The Indian Head Museum features pioneer artifacts and is hosted in the 1907 fire hall. In the museum yards is a 1926 one-room school house and an 1883 Bell Farm cottage.

Sports and recreation

As early as 1889, Indian Head had established its own curling rink, and in 1904 it was a provincial sport. Indian Head was one of four rinks which competed in the first curling bonspiel of the Northest Territories in 1892 playing against Calgary REgina, and Qu'Appelle.

Indian Head established its hockey team by 1900, one of the first of a dozen or so in the Northwest Territories.

After World War II, for a period of time, baseball tournaments were held in Saskatoon and Indian Head offering thousands of dollars in prize money.

Indian Head is home to the Saskatchewan Rural Sports Hall of Fame and Museum established in 1992 which commemorates athletes from rural Saskatchewan who achieved fame in the big leagues.

The Philharmonic Society in Indian Head was established in the early 1900s.

Notable residents

  • Shannan Calcutt is a professional clown, currently appearing as her "Izzy" character in Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity show in Las Vegas, Nevada, was born and spent her early years in Indian Head.

  • Chester McBain considered as Saskatchewan's Finest Magician resides in Indian Head. Performing locally and internationally for over 40 years as "The Magic of Chester" and more recently, "The entertainer - Chester"[89345].

  • Angus McKay was the inaugural superintendent of the Indian Head Experimental Farm. He arrived in Indian Head 1882, homesteaded in the area before helping to establish the first Dominion experimental farm in the Northwest territories and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws for his agricultural work.

  • Sinclair Ross was born near Shellbrookmarker, but attended school in Indian Head until grade 11. Ross is a noteworthy Canadian author best known for his fiction about life in the Canadian prairies, espeically As For Me and My House (1941). A monument in his honour has been erected in Indian Head by Saskatchewan artists and readers with a bronze statue sculpted by Joe Fafard

  • Lorne Scott, Environmentalist, provincial MLA and Member of the Order of Canada


The innovative local Internet news program Indian Head Today has been featured on CBC's The National

Indian Head is a major filming location for the CBC television show Little Mosque on the Prairie



McLennon, David. "Indian Head." Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 9 May 2009.

N.a. (1984), Indian Head: History of Indian Head and District. Digitalised online by Our Roots/Nos Racines, University of Calgary, 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2009.

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