The City That Wanted to be Prairie - Taproot Edmonton

The City That Wanted to be Prairie

How did Edmonton come to be known as a prairie city?

By
July 26, 2018


Edmonton is located within the Aspen parkland biome, the “very large area of transitional biome between prairie and boreal forest.” So how did Edmonton come to be known as a prairie city?

That's the question that Chris Chang-Yen Phillips and Dustin Bajer explored for Episode 25 of Let’s Find Out, a monthly podcast about Edmonton, Alberta – aka Amiskwaciwâskahikan – on Treaty Six territory. Each episode, host Chris Chang-Yen Phillips takes questions from curious Edmontonians about local history and works with them to find out the answers.

“I want to know more about this place that I call my home,” Dustin said. “Are we a river city? A prairie city? A forest city?”

Jeff Papineau and Dustin Bajer look through materials at the Bruce Peel Special Collections

Their investigation took them to the Bruce Peel Special Collections at the University of Alberta, to the Coates Conservation Area, and to the office of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations.

Finding out the answer — and figuring out whether this area is aspen parkland, or prairie, or forest — challenged ideas about the land we live on.

Listen to the episode on SoundCloud:

Taproot Edmonton is proud to commission this episode, the first of a series of collaborations with Let's Find Out.

Photos by Mack Male & Chris Chang-Yen Phillips.