From coast to coast, Canada has some incredible lakes, pools and rivers, but few have been recognized for their outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational heritage.

Described as “majestic,” the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, Alberta is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing and even gold panning – but there’s more than meets the paddle!

“The North Saskatchewan River has been an essential conduit for economic and cultural exchanges among Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial,” reads the official website for Canada’s National River Conservation Program (CNRCP).

“This river remains a place for ceremony, gathering of medicines, subsistence, and spirituality. In the post-contact period, the river has remained a central travel route, solidified by the transcontinental railroads in the late 1800s.”

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According to the organization, The North Saskatchewan River also played an integral part in the signing, oral history and shared understanding of Treaty No. 6, an agreement that outlined the terms and conditions of annuities, land use and other provisions.

For this reason, a 718-kilometre section of the legendary waterway is one of only 41 babbling brooks to have been acknowledged as a Canadian Heritage River by the CNRCP.

From the Columbia Icefields, across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Lake Winnipeg, into the Nelson River and finally, out of the Hudson Bay, this magnificent river is incredibly special, oh so scenic and also a ton of fun.

So – next time you’re floating, casting or lounging – be proud, Alberta!

We’re awfully lucky that we’ve got access to something so spectacular.