Wabasca, Alberta

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Wabasca
Hamlet
Wabasca, Alberta is located in Alberta
Wabasca, Alberta
Location of Wabasca in Alberta
Coordinates: 55°58′N 113°51′W / 55.967°N 113.850°W / 55.967; -113.850
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Northern Alberta
Municipal district Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17
Elevation 550 m (1,800 ft)
Population (2011)[1][2]
 • Total 1,569
Time zone MST (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Area code(s) +1-780
Highways Highway 813
Highway 754
Waterways Wabasca Lakes
Website M.D. of Opportunity No. 17

Wabasca, also known as Wabasca-Desmarais, is a hamlet in northern Alberta, Canada, within the Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17.[3] It is located between and along the South and North Wabasca Lakes, at the intersection of Highway 813 and Highway 754. It is approximately 123 kilometres (76 mi) northeast of Slave Lake.

Wabasca, which is the location of the M.D of Opportunity No. 17's municipal office, consists of two communities – Wabasca and Desmarais. The hamlet has a population of 1,569,[1][2] which is largely Native Canadian. Another 2,207 additional residents live on five Indian reserves in the immediate surrounding area. These reserves include Wabasca 166, 166A, 166B, 166C and 166D of the Bigstone Cree Nation, a Woodland Cree First Nation.[4]

The name Wabasca originates from the Cree word wapuskau, meaning "white rapid" the name for the Wabasca River. Desmarais was named after Father Alphonse Desmarais, the first missionary in this area.[5]

Geography[edit]

Wabasca's hamlet boundary includes three Statistics Canada census geographic units – the Wabasca and Desmarais designated places and the Desmarais Indian settlement – as well as additional lands.[6][7]

Climate[edit]

Wabasca has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc).

Climate data for Wabasca
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.5
(58.1)
14
(57)
17.2
(63)
28.5
(83.3)
32
(90)
32.2
(90)
32
(90)
32.5
(90.5)
29.5
(85.1)
25.5
(77.9)
13.3
(55.9)
10
(50)
32.5
(90.5)
Average high °C (°F) −10.8
(12.6)
−5.5
(22.1)
0.9
(33.6)
9.7
(49.5)
15.4
(59.7)
20.2
(68.4)
22
(72)
21.4
(70.5)
15
(59)
8.5
(47.3)
−2.3
(27.9)
−8.2
(17.2)
7.2
(45)
Daily mean °C (°F) −16.7
(1.9)
−12.6
(9.3)
−6.1
(21)
3.2
(37.8)
9.2
(48.6)
14.5
(58.1)
16.5
(61.7)
15.5
(59.9)
9.5
(49.1)
3.6
(38.5)
−7.2
(19)
−13.7
(7.3)
1.3
(34.3)
Average low °C (°F) −22.5
(−8.5)
−19.7
(−3.5)
−13.1
(8.4)
−3.3
(26.1)
3
(37)
8.8
(47.8)
11
(52)
9.6
(49.3)
4
(39)
−1.4
(29.5)
−12.1
(10.2)
−19.1
(−2.4)
−4.6
(23.7)
Record low °C (°F) −51
(−60)
−49
(−56)
−42.2
(−44)
−35
(−31)
−18.9
(−2)
−1.1
(30)
−1.1
(30)
−4.5
(23.9)
−13.3
(8.1)
−26
(−15)
−36.5
(−33.7)
−43.5
(−46.3)
−51
(−60)
Precipitation mm (inches) 22.5
(0.886)
17.2
(0.677)
15.8
(0.622)
20.2
(0.795)
47.5
(1.87)
79.2
(3.118)
96.9
(3.815)
58.8
(2.315)
48.4
(1.906)
25.9
(1.02)
19.2
(0.756)
23.4
(0.921)
474.9
(18.697)
Source: Environment Canada[8]

Demographics[edit]

Name Census
geographic
unit
Population
(2011)
Population
(2006)
Per cent
change
Occupied
dwellings
Private
dwellings
Land
area
(km²)
Population
density
Desmarais[1] Designated place 138 82 68.3% 64 75 5.48 25.2
Desmarais[2] Indian settlement 129 78 65.4% 62 72 1.44 89.6
Wabasca[1] Designated place 1,302 1,156 12.6% 401 453 21.68 60.1
Total Hamlet of Wabasca 1,569 1,316 19.2% 527 600 28.6 54.9
Wabasca 166[2] Indian reserve 152 78 94.9% 36 50 84.82 1.8
Wabasca 166A[2] Indian reserve 738 648 13.9% 174 199 6.32 116.7
Wabasca 166B[2] Indian reserve 250 216 15.7% 49 53 25.5 9.8
Wabasca 166C[2] Indian reserve 182 173 5.2% 50 57 35.21 5.2
Wabasca 166D[2] Indian reserve 885 863 2.5% 241 280 58.98 15
Total Indian reserves 2,207 1,978 11.6% 550 639 210.83 10.5
Total Wabasca community 3,776 3,294 14.6% 1,077 1,239 239.43 15.8

In the 2011 Census, by combining the Wabasca and Desmarais designated places and the Desmarais Indian settlement, the Hamlet of Wabasca had a population of 1,569 living in 527 of its 600 total dwellings, a 19.2% change from its 2006 population of 1,316. With a land area of 28.6 km2 (11.0 sq mi), it had a population density of 54.86/km2 (142.09/sq mi) in 2011.[1][2] By including the five nearby First Nation reserves, the Wabasca community had a population of 3,776 living in 1,077 of its 1,239 total dwellings, a 14.6% change from its 2006 population of 3,294.[1][2]

The population of the Hamlet of Wabasca was 1,410 according to a municipal census conducted in 2007 by the M.D. of Opportunity No. 17.[9]

Economy[edit]

Located west of the Wabasca oil field, oil and gas exploration and extraction is Wabasca's primary industry. Forestry also plays a role in the local economy with Alberta Pacific Forest Industries operating an office out of the community.[9] The community is also within vicinity of the Wabasca oil sands, the fourth largest deposit of oil sands in Alberta.[10]

Arts and culture[edit]

Wabasca hosts numerous events on an annual basis including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Fish Derby, the Wabasca Road Race, and the Lions Club Ski-Doo Rally among others.[9]

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

The Hamlet of Wabasca is served by Highway 813 and Highway 754. The Wabasca Airport is located within the hamlet.[9]

Health care[edit]

The community is home to the Wabasca General Hospital.[9]

Amenities[edit]

The community is home to the Wabasca Public Library and a recreation centre that includes a pool.[9] Wabasca also has two exercise centres, an ice arena, outdoor rodeo grounds, baseball diamonds, a skateboard park, and winter outdoor ice rinks.[citation needed]

Wabasca has four churches including St. Charles Catholic Church, St. John's Anglican Church, St. Martins Catholic Church, and the Wabasca Revival Centre.[9]

Education[edit]

The Northland School Division operates two schools in the community – St. Theresa School for students in kindergarten through grade 6 and Mistassiniy School for students in grades 7 through 12.[9]

The Bigstone Cree First Nation Education Authority operates the Bigstone Community School (Oski Pasikoniwew Kamik).[11]

A campus of Northern Lakes College is located in Wabasca.[9] The college provides part-time and full-time programming for adult upgrading, apprenticeships, university studies, workforce development, and other careers.[12]

Activities[edit]

Fishing, ice fishing, hunting, trapping, quadding, and snowmobiling are traditional and recreational activities in the area. Other activities includes cross-country skiing, skating, skateboarding, and swimming.

A paved walking trail links Desmarais and Wabasca with an approximate distance of 20 km (12 mi).

Located along the shores of the North and South Wabasca Lakes, the community has a boat launch, a swimming dock, and a fishing bridge between the two lakes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  3. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (2010-04-01). "Specialized and Rural Municipalities and Their Communities". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  4. ^ Bigstone Cree Nation webpage[dead link]
  5. ^ M.D. of Opportunity No. 17 - History[dead link]
  6. ^ "Bylaw 2008-10 To establish the hamlet boundaries for Wabasca, Alberta". Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  7. ^ "GeoSearch 2011 - Census Subdivisions (CSD)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  8. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Environment Canada. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "M.D. of Opportunity No. 17 Profile". Prairie Wind Consulting Inc. November 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  10. ^ Bruce Biossat (1973-11-23). "An oil-hungry world eyes Alberta's sand". Rome News-Tribune. Retrieved 2010-06-22. "Great as is the Athabasca spread, where real scientific exploration began just 60 years ago, it's not the full story. Alberta hold three other oil sands deposits -- Wabasca just southwest of Athabasca, Cold Lake to the south, Peace River to the west." 
  11. ^ "Oski Pasikoniwew Kamik (BCN School)". Bigstone Cree Nation. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  12. ^ "Programs". Northern Lakes College. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°58′N 113°51′W / 55.967°N 113.850°W / 55.967; -113.850 (Wabasca-Desmarais)