Saskatchewan (i/səˈskætʃɨwən/ or /səˈskætʃɨˌwɑːn/) is a prairie province in Canada, which has a total area of 651,900 square kilometres (251,700 sq mi) and a land area of 592,534 square kilometres (228,800 sq mi), the remainder being water area (covered by lakes, reservoirs and rivers). Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by the Province of Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota. As of July 2012, the population of Saskatchewan was estimated at 1,079,958. Residents primarily live in the southern half of the province. Of the total population, 257,300 live in the province's largest city, Saskatoon, while 210,000 live in the provincial capital, Regina. Other major cities include Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Swift Current and North Battleford.
Saskatchewan was first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774, having also been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups. It became a province in 1905. Saskatchewan's current premier is Brad Wall and its lieutenant-governor is Vaughn Solomon Schofield. Its major economic activities are agriculture, mining, and energy. "In 1992, the federal and provincial governments signed a historic land claim agreement with Saskatchewan First Nations. Under the Agreement, the First Nations received money to buy land on the open market. As a result, about 761,000 acres have been turned into reserve land and many First Nations continue to invest their settlement dollars in urban areas", including Saskatoon. The province's name is derived from the Saskatchewan River. Earlier, the river was designated kisiskāciwani-sīpiy ("swift flowing river") in the Cree language.