Our Past

The settlement and development of the Palliser region is a story of overcoming adversity and hardship with hard work, vision and ingenuity.

The area is named after Captain John Palliser, who studied and mapped the agricultural potential of this part of western Canada, virtually unknown to European settlers, in the late 1850s. Captain Palliser concluded that the region’s dry climate, sandy soils and vast, grassy plains were too harsh for agricultural production and therefore virtually uninhabitable.

Early settlers were quickly able to disprove Palliser’s assessment of the area. The region provided exceptional conditions for raising livestock and grain, and is now home to some of the most productive agricultural operations in western Canada. Using the same ingenuity as the original settlers, Palliser farmers skillfully manage the region’s climate with precision dryland farming and irrigation.

Today, Palliser residents and entrepreneurs are demonstrating this same rugged frontier spirit and vision as they grow thriving businesses and careers in a wide range of sectors including alternative energy, information technology, oilfield equipment, unmanned vehicle systems and value-added agriculture.

Contrary to Captain Palliser’s predictions, the region’s plentiful resources (natural gas, coal, clay, arable land, water and sun) and unique environment (wide open spaces, small safe communities, lower cost of living) offer ideal growing conditions for modern pioneers.

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