Bison, Waterton Lakes National Park

Two bison on the prairie

By 1875 bison (also called buffalo) were on the verge of disappearing from the Canadian West. By 1889 only 635 buffalo remained in North America. At the beginning of the 19th century, there had been 50 million freely roaming the Prairies and Plains of North America. During this time, an increasing number of immigrants came to Canada. Many Ukrainians, Poles, and Russians made the prairies their home, whereas many South Asians, Chinese, and Japanese immigrated to the west coast. Most of the treaties which displaced First Peoples onto reserves were designed to clear the prairies for new immigrants, agriculture, and the railway.

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