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)
Average 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[9] Designated place 74 138 -46.4% 30 41 5.61 13.2
Desmarais[10] Indian settlement 105 129 -18.6% 51 91 1.45 72.4
Wabasca[9] Designated place 1,406 1,302 8% 446 545 21.38 65.8
Total Hamlet of Wabasca 1,585 1,569 1.0% 527 677 28.44 55.7
Wabasca 166[10] Indian reserve 160 152 5.3% 42 49 84.96 1.9
Wabasca 166A[10] Indian reserve 658 738 -10.8% 183 213 6.33 103.9
Wabasca 166B[10] Indian reserve 190 250 -24% 43 52 25.52 7.4
Wabasca 166C[10] Indian reserve 188 182 3.3% 47 58 35.24 5.3
Wabasca 166D[10] Indian reserve 961 885 8.6% 248 273 58.8 16.3
Total Indian reserves 2,157 2,207 -2.3% 563 645 210.85 10.2
Total Wabasca community 3,742 3,776 -0.9% 1,090 1,322 239.29 15.6

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, by combining the Wabasca and Desmarais designated places and the Desmarais Indian settlement, the Hamlet of Wabasca recorded a population of 1,585 living in 527 of its 677 total private dwellings, a change of 1% from its 2011 population of 1,569. With a land area of 28.44 km2 (10.98 sq mi), it had a population density of 55.7/km2 (144.3/sq mi) in 2016.[9][10]

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.[11]

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.[11] The community is also within vicinity of the Wabasca oil sands, the fourth largest deposit of oil sands in Alberta.[12]

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.[11]

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

The Hamlet of Wabasca is served by Highway 813 and Highway 754. The Wabasca Airport is located within the hamlet.[11]

Health care[edit]

The community is home to the Wabasca General Hospital.[11]

Amenities[edit]

The community is home to the Wabasca Public Library and a recreation centre that includes a pool.[11] 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.[11]

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.[11]

The Bigstone Cree First Nation Education Authority operates the Bigstone Community School (Oski Pasikoniwew Kamik).[13]

A campus of Northern Lakes College is located in Wabasca.[11] The college provides part-time and full-time programming for adult upgrading, apprenticeships, university studies, workforce development, and other careers.[14]

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 "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 "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" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  4. ^ Bigstone Cree Nation webpage Archived January 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ M.D. of Opportunity No. 17 - History Archived August 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  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 "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "Oski Pasikoniwew Kamik (BCN School)". Bigstone Cree Nation. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  14. ^ "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)