When the prairie region was transferred to Canada from the Hudson's Bay Company, the central government acquired control over a territory that had a 200-year history of economic and cultural interchange between Indians mixed-bloods, and whites. The federal government was determined to administer the new lands in the interests of the dominion as a whole, and to that end the relationship of the prairie west to the central government was to be that of a colony, a statement borne out by the acts establishing Manitoba and later Saskatchewan and Alberta as provinces, for control over the public lands and resources in all three provinces was retained by the federal government until as late as 1930. Furthermore, the federal government wished to see established in the prairie west a society based on the values that were thought to be embodied in Central Canada, the values of a peaceful, ordered, and law-abiding community-essentially British values.
About the Author
Lewis G. Thomas joined the University of Alberta in 1938 as a sessional lecturer in history. He served as secretary of the Faculty of Arts from 1946 to 1951 and in 1958 was appointed professor and head of the Department of History. He retired from the chair in 1964 and from the University as Professor Emeritus in 1974. Dr. Thomas introduced the first course in western Canadian history to the University of Alberta in 1949/50, and he shared his interest in western Canadian history through his many publications and his participation in historical associations.