ARCHIVED - Contact - The Canadian West - Exhibitions - Library and Archives Canada
 Library and Archive Canada - Bibliothèque et Archives Canada Français | Help     Canada  
 Home > Browse Selected Topics > The Canadian West > Main menu
  Important Notices | Proactive Disclosure  

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

The Canadian WestHome
AnticipationContactAccommodationIndexAboutNewSearchSite MapContact Us
Contact - Making the West Canadian
Contact - Making the West Canadian

From Confederation to the early-1900s, the federal government began the long process of preparing the "Last Best West" for large-scale European immigration, and in doing so, gave the West a Canadian identity.

With the Red River Rebellion resolved, the Canadian government set itself to the more difficult task of putting a "Canadian" identity on the western landscape. From the moment the region entered Confederation with the transfer of Rupert's Land, Ottawa envisioned an orderly settlement of the West under the direct control of a federal administration. Aboriginal claims needed to be dealt with, homesteads surveyed, a transportation system built, and a system of law enforcement firmly entrenched before mass immigration from Europe and the United States could proceed. The entire settlement process was to be administered by a new government agency, the Department of the Interior, which initially had Prime Minister John A. Macdonald as its minister.

Interestingly, at no time throughout the settlement process was there a mechanism put in place by the federal government  -  Conservative or Liberal  -  that would enable the West to evolve gradually from a territorial administration controlled by Ottawa to a provincial administration controlled at the local level. "The federal government wanted no inconvenient local interference with its project of making the prairie west Canadian," notes historian John Thompson.



Home | Index | About | New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us |  Français
Sections: Anticipation | Contact | Accommodation 
Materials: Reading List | Thematic Research Guides | Links | ArchiviaNet