Saskatchewan: Background information when reading Canada

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by Richard Ford

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  • First Published:
    May 2012, 432 pages
    Jan 2013, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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The vast prairies of Saskatchewan, where one can easily be "unimaginably bored" are the perfect setting for Richard Ford's Canada. Bordering Montana and North Dakota, it is one of two Canadian provinces that is completely landlocked (Alberta is the other one) and has no geographical features distinguishing its boundaries. It is over 250,000 square miles (over 650,000 square kilometers) - almost the size of Texas. The province's name has its origins in the Plains Indian word, kisiskatchewan, meaning "the river that flows swiftly"; a reference to the Saskatchewan River.

Interestingly, the city of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan province is named after the saskatoon berry, which is often used by the province's aboriginal people in making pemmican. Pemmican is a kind of meat dish made with fat drippings and protein that uses saskatoon or other berries as preservatives and to add flavor. The dehydrated version is considered a good snack to have on long hikes.

map of Saskatchewan South Saskatchewan River saskatoon berries

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