C.J. MacFarline's interim receipt from the York Farmers Colonization Company for his homestead application fees on N 14-26-4 W2
SK Archives Photo S-C36
Following the transfer of ownership of Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territories from the Hudson’s Bay Company to the Dominion of Canada in 1868, the Canadian government passed the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 to set out guidelines for the settlement of Western Canada.
Starting in the 1870s, surveyors were sent out to mark boundaries and survey the area which would become Saskatchewan. The Dominion Government decided to develop a grid system for land description in the West, similar to that used in United States.
For a detailed explanation of the grid system that was set up in Saskatchewan, and to learn how to read a legal land description and identify the location on a map, please read Measuring Land in Saskatchewan, a document prepared by the Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan.
During the early surveys, the Dominion Government set aside almost all of the even-numbered sections in Saskatchewan as 160 acre homestead grants.
In addition, designated tracts in each township were reserved or appropriated for a variety of other purposes, including:
During the settlement period, special land grants were given to individuals who served the Dominion in a military capacity. These special grants included:
Some lands in the West fell outside of the survey system. These lands were not resurveyed by the Dominion surveyors, and they fell outside the area included in the grid system. Examples that fall into this category include:
River lots which were protected and not incorporated into the grid system during the survey;
Unsettled land in northern Saskatchewan;
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