Long before Europeans began to explore Canada, nomadic Indians roamed the plains of what is now Saskatchewan hunting buffalo. They remained undisturbed until the late 17th century, when the first Europeans came to the area in search of furs. The principal inhabitants at that time were the Chipewyans, the Blackfeet, the Assiniboin, and the Cree.

Important dates in Saskatchewan
1670 King Charles II of England granted trading rights in the region to the Hudson's Bay Company.
1690-1692 Henry Kelsey of the Hudson's Bay Company explored the Saskatchewan region.
1740's The La Verendrye brothers, French-Canadian fur traders, built trading posts on the Saskatchewan River.
1774 Cumberland House, Saskatchewan's first permanent settlement, was established.
1870 Canada acquired Rupert's Land and made it part of the North West Territories.
1882-1883 The Canadian Pacific Railway was built across the Saskatchewan region.
1885 The Metis rebelled against the Canadian government in the North West Rebellion.
1905 Saskatchewan became a province on September 1.
1924 Farmers organized the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.
1944 The voters of Saskatchewan elected the first socialist government in Canada.
1947 Saskatchewan became the first province to provide all residents with free hospital care financed by taxes.
1951-1952 Major deposits of petroleum were discovered in Saskatchewan.
1962 Continuous potash production started in Saskatchewan. The province began a program of tax-supported, free medical care for all residents.
1964 The Liberals defeated the socialist government.
1971 The New Democratic Party won power in the legislature and formed another socialist government.
1982 The Progressive Conservative Party came to power.
1991 The New Democratic Party returned to power.