Rama, Saskatchewan

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Canada Saskatchewan location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Rama in Saskatchewan
Coordinates: 51°45′28″N103°0′3″W / 51.75778°N 103.00083°W / 51.75778; -103.00083 Coordinates: 51°45′28″N103°0′3″W / 51.75778°N 103.00083°W / 51.75778; -103.00083 [1]
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan
Census division 9
Region East Central
Rural Municipality RM 305
First Area Surveys1890
First Post Office1908 [2]
Incorporated (village)December 18, 1919
First Named1907
Founded byJohn Anderson Berge
Named for Norwegian Ram
  Type Mayor-Council
  BodyRama Village Council
   Mayor Phillip Shewchuk
   Village 70.01 ha (165.56 acres)
  Land65.3 ha (161.359 acres)
  Water1.6607 ha (4.10368 acres)  2.37%
  Length0.800 km (0.50 mi)
  Width0.870 km (0.54 mi)
553 m (1,814 ft)
Highest elevation
563.5 m (1,848.8 ft)
Lowest elevation
549 m (1,801 ft)
 (2016) [4]
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-6 (CST (No DST) [5] )
Postal code
S0A 3H0
Area Codes 306 / 639
ISO 3166 code CA-SK
Highways No image wide.svgSaskatchewan Rural Municipal Route.svg
Saskatchewan Highway 5 (jct).svgSaskatchewan Route 754.svg Hwy 5 / Hwy 754
Waterways & Rivers Whitesand River, Spirit Creek
NTS Mapsheets062M15 - Preeceville and 062M14 - Margo
Federal Electoral District Yorkton—Melville
Provincial Electoral District Kelvington-Wadena

Rama (2016 population: 80) is a village in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan within the Rural Municipality of Invermay No. 305 and Census Division No. 9. It is located 44 km west of Canora and 60 km east of Wadena at the intersection of Highway 5 and Highway 754.


Rama is on the banks of Spirit Creek, a tributary of the Whitesand River. [8] The Spirit Creek Dam and its reservoir are located just east of the Village.


Former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool grain elevator in Rama Rama Grain Elevator.JPG
Former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool grain elevator in Rama

Community name

The rail siding and passenger platform at what is now the village was named Rama in 1904 by Canadian Northern Railways. Saskatchewan Wheat Pool archives show the name was from the Rama area of Ontario. [9] More commonly the name is thought to refer to the Norwegian Ram as the founder was from Norway. No reference material exists to back up this claim. The municipal corporation has been named Rama since its inception in 1919 the name was not declared official by other levels of government until years later, 1956.

While other names such as Silver Hill (1907) were discussed for the village or school district they were ultimately passed over and for simplicity sake the decision was made to keep with the name already given to the train platform and siding there.

Rama is assigned a UN/LOCODE of CA-RMA.

Doukhobor pilgrims leaving Yorkton to evangelize the world, 1902 Doukhobor pilgrims leaving Yorkton to evangelize the world (HS85-10-13523).jpg
Doukhobor pilgrims leaving Yorkton to evangelize the world, 1902


Until 1899 a large area directly to the east of Rama, around the north end of good spirit lake, was reserved for the Doukhobors; this reserve was called the Good Spirit Lake Annex. It was part of the South Colony. [10] The people settled eight communal villages in this area of almost 170,000 acres. [11]

Decisions of the Canadian government in the early 1900s (1907) caused almost all these communal farm villages to be deserted for individual homesteads by 1918. These families moved on to southern British Columbia or onto individual farmsteads. [12]

Homesteading and surveys

Rama incorporated as a village on December 18, 1919. [13] The first British-Canadian surveys in the Assiniboia district were completed in this area for the British crown by around 1879, by 1890 the provisional government began to encourage European immigration to the area.

At about the same time the site for Rama was being surveyed a large wave of immigrant homesteaders were coming to the province from all over the world.

The settlers that arrived to homestead in the area of Rama were largely of Eastern European origin. [14] Some of the first area families lived south of the town site. They were documented as the Landstad's, Murray's, Dean's, and Lockhart's all on or near the former Pelly Trail to the south of Rama. John Berge (and family) are listed as homesteaders in the area near the rail siding.

ShehoCairn ShehoCairn.JPG


Devils Lake School District Devils Lake School District.jpg
Devils Lake School District
Canadian Northern Portable Train Station CNorR-TrainStation.jpg
Canadian Northern Portable Train Station
STC Logo


Rama is located on the banks of Spirit Creek and is found at the junction of Highways 5 and 754 [31] in Saskatchewan's aspen parkland region. [32] This area is part of the east central region of the province. [33]

Growing zones are geographical areas which are generally determined by the lowest sustained temperature in that area achieved during the year and other climate variables. [34] Rama and the surrounding area finds itself in Growing Zone 1b. [35]

Growing zone 1 is defined as having the lowest temperature achieved of below -45.6 °C or -50 °F with the first frost usually occurring by September 12 and the last frost of the spring on or about May 22. [36]

Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture studies show the available Corn Heat Units in this area to be in the 1,401-1,800 range. While suitable for silage, these conditions are quite unfavorable to grow corn in. [37]

The soils in the community and the nearby farmland are generally black with a heavy clay base. [38] Growing seasons are short and high soil PH (alkalinity) are challenging growing conditions for many types crops, trees and plants. Despite these challenges, cereal crop production often exceeds other areas of the province. In the 1950s, the Canora area held nearly 500 country elevators within a 30 miles radius in order to handle all the grain produced from the region.


Being located in the middle of North America has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, Saskatchewan is located so far away from any large bodies of water (Great Lakes, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean) that any moderating effect these bodies of water would have on the temperature here is negligible. Because of this, Saskatchewan as a whole is considered to have a temperate continental climate. In the summer the days are very long and hot, in the winter the days become shorter and very cold, making for a temperature range that can exceed 65 °C or more. [39]

Hours of sunlight and frequently clear skies are an important feature of the climate here. Hours of sunlight typically exceeding 2,300 hours annually. [40]


Population history
1996 99−18.2%
2001 90−9.1%
2006 75−16.7%
2011 75+0.0%
2016 80+6.7%
Source: Statistics Canada via Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics [42] [43]

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Village of Rama recorded a population of 80 living in 38 of its 48 total private dwellings, a

In the 2011 Census of Population, the Village of Rama recorded a population of 75, a


Industry in the community consists mainly of 'family' or corporate farming with several small and medium-sized farming support businesses. While self-employment in farming is the generally accepted occupation in the area, Olysky and the Rama Co-Operative Assoc., as well as area farms, also provide employment opportunities to area residents and newcomers looking for work.

Tourism and recreation

Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes

The annual pilgrimage in Rama, Saskatchewan, Canada. Pilgrimage in Rama, Saskatchewan - 2011.jpg
The annual pilgrimage in Rama, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Located in Rama is the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, an homage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France.

Many of these grottoes in Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta were created by Fr. Anthony Sylla and his parishioners. [46]

Sylla arrived in Saskatchewan in 1909 and by 1933 was in charge of the parish in Rama. By 1939 he began to establish the shrine and pilgrimage site. The shrine was largely completed during the next two years. [47] Updates, landscaping changes and additions to the grounds have continued gradually until today. [48] Every year on August 14 and 15 (since 1941) St. Anthony's parish holds a 'Pilgrimage'. Mass is held in several languages, and a candlelight procession occurs. The shrine in Rama is located west of St. Anthony's church. [49]

Old-fashioned farming

Heritage horse drawn seeding and farming demonstrations are held in the village annually in the spring and fall (seeding and harvest). Teamsters hitch their horses up to vintage farm equipment such as discs, seeders and plows as spectators watch horse powered farming. [50] [51]

The outdoors

Moose wintering in Rama, Saskatchewan 2013 Moose wintering in Rama, Saskatchewan 2013.JPG
Moose wintering in Rama, Saskatchewan 2013

Nearby the farmland gives way to nearly endless lakes and rivers fed by uncountable streams, swamps and other wetlands. Ducks, geese and many other water-loving migratory birds congregate here and in the nearby Quill Lakes area during the spring and fall migrations. In the fall, hunters from the local area as well as visitors from other provinces, the United States and around the world come to this area for the birds and many other game animals. [52]

Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park, [53] Whitesand Regional Park, [54] Camp Whitesand, [55] Leslie Beach, [56] Canora Beach [57] and many other parks and recreational opportunities nearby.

Winter and sports

Winter recreational activities include snowmobiling with an extensive network of groomed trails located nearby. [58] The surrounding area offers activities such as hockey, curling, Ukrainian Dance, figure skating, and softball to name a few. Rama is former home of the Rama Rams softball team and the Rama Rebels recreational hockey club.

See also

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