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Swedish Settlements

The first Swedish settlement in Saskatchewan was the New Stockholm Colony, developed between 1885 and 1887 to the west of Esterhazy in southeastern Saskatchewan. In the village of Stockholm, Swedes form only 10% of the population and are outnumbered four to one by Hungarians; the neighbouring smaller village of Dubuc (to the west) actually has twice as high a Swedish proportion. The Swedish Lutheran congregation at Stockholm was the earliest Scandinavian Lutheran Church in Saskatchewan. Later, a Norwegian Lutheran congregation was established at Atwater, the closest village to the north. Approximately 400 people of Scandinavian origin still live in this settlement, if we include those who moved into the town of Esterhazy. Another Swedish colony was soon founded in 1889 at Percival, just east of Broadview and 35 km south of Stockholm; not more than 500 people of Scandinavian origin are found today in the Percival-Broadview area. About 80 km to the east is the small village of Kirkella, Manitoba; some 200 people of Swedish origin reside in the Kirkella area, extending across the provincial boundary to Fleming and the Rotave district in Saskatchewan.

Perhaps the largest primarily Swedish settlement in Saskatchewan is the ADMIRAL area, east of Shaunavon in the southwestern region. People of Scandinavian (mostly Swedish) origin comprise half of the population in the village of Admiral. Swedish settlement extended westward to the town of Shaunavon (which also had a substantial Norwegian element and a Norwegian Lutheran congregation), southward into the Sordahl district, and northward towards Simmie (where Norwegians concentrated). Some 600 Scandinavian people live in this settlement today. A number of small Swedish concentrations could be noted, such as the Lunnar Swedish Lutheran congregation (closed in 1968) in the Fairy Hill district near Earl Grey, northeast of Regina, and around Kindersley. Many Swedes settled within or adjacent to several predominantly Norwegian Settlements, such as at Canwood and Parkside, Melfort and the Fairy Glen district, Wadena and Hendon, or in the Outlook settlement. According to recent census data (2001), 29,900 Saskatchewan residents claim Swedish ethnic origin, of whom 88.6% (26,500) also claim other ethnic origins, compared to just 11.4% (3,400) claiming only Swedish origin.

Alan Anderson

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