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Saskatchewan ( [Listen] i/səˈskætʃəwᵻn/ or /səˈskætʃəˌwɑːn/) is a prairie province in Canada, which has a total area of 651,900 square kilometres (251,700 sq mi) and a land area of 592,534 square kilometres (228,800 sq mi), the remainder being water area (covered by lakes/ponds, reservoirs and rivers). Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the American states of Montana and North Dakota. As of December 2013, the population of Saskatchewan was estimated at 1,114,170.Residents primarily live in the southern half of the province. Of the total population, 257,300 live in the province's largest city, Saskatoon, while 210,000 live in the provincial capital, Regina. Other major cities include Prince Albert,Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Estevan, Swift Current, and North Battleford.
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Saskatchewan is a landlocked province with large distances to moderating bodies of waters. As a result, its climate is extremely continental, rendering severe winters all throughout the province. Southern areas have very warm or hot summers. Midale and Yellow Grass near the U.S. border are tied for the highest ever recorded temperatures in Canada with 45 °C (113 °F) observed at both locations in July 1937. In winter, temperatures below −45 °C (−49 °F) are possible even in the south during extreme cold snaps.
Saskatchewan has been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups, and first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774. It became a province in 1905, in the early 20th century the province became known as a stronghold for Canadian democratic socialism; North America's first social-democratic government was elected in 1944. The province's economy is based on agriculture, mining, and energy. Saskatchewan's current premieris Brad Wall and its lieutenant-governor is Vaughn Solomon Schofield.
In 1992, the federal and provincial governments signed a historic land claim agreement with First Nations in Saskatchewan. The First Nations received compensation and were permitted to buy land on the open market for the tribes; they have acquired about 3,079 square kilometres (761,000 acres; 1,189 sq mi), now reserve lands. Some First Nations have used their settlement to invest in urban areas, including Saskatoon.