Pioneers, not Palliser, define southeastern Alberta

Happy 2012 everyone! For your reading enjoyment (I hope) here is an excerpt from, and a link to, my first Forgotten Alberta column for the Prairie Post:

You’ve probably heard of Captain John Palliser.

He’s the Irish adventurer whose expedition passed through these parts a century-and-a-half ago, and whose name has become synonymous with Alberta’s southeastern corner.

His description of a triangle-shaped region, encompassing modern-day southeastern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan, as “desert, or semi-desert in character, which can never be expected to become occupied by settlers” has long outlived the intrepid captain, who passed away in 1887.

The Irishman’s observations regarding the “Palliser Triangle” are controversial. Since their initial publication in 1863, his conclusions have consistently been both debunked and vindicated, with opinions on the subject changing as frequently as the southeast’s volatile weather.

Considering the relative prosperity within Palliser’s Triangle today, the ongoing recognition we give the Captain is puzzling.

Click here to read the rest of the column in the Prairie Post

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