First Colonization house in Beiseker
Photo courtesy of Glenbow Museum (na-4079-5)
The Canadian government gave vast tracks of prairie land to the Canadian Pacific Railway. The building of the railroad was part of the government’s plan to connect Canada from east to west and consolidate ownership in a race with the Americans to dominate the west. The CPR sold land to colonization companies who in turn, sold to settlers. The first four Colonization Farms were built in the Beiseker area in 1906. Settlers were housed at the farm until they could set up their homestead. The farms demonstrated the prospects of the land, including growing grain and raising animals.