Swift Current Creek snakes through a hundred miles of prairie from its source in the Cypress Hills, until it empties into the South Saskatchewan River. Native groups knew this creek well. They camped along its banks for centuries. Later, when the fur traders found the creek on their westward treks, they too forded the shallow places and named it “Riviere Au Courant” or Swift Current.
In 1882, the C.P.R. bridged the creek and decided to build a depot. For some time, Swift Current was the freight terminus for goods hauled north and south on overland trails. The Battleford Trail from Swift Current cut deep wagon ruts which are still visible today.
At the turn of the century, settlers began arriving from the United States, Europe and eastern Canada. These people saw Swift Current and district as a new home where they could live and prosper. With an economy founded on ranching and farming, the City was incorporated on January 15, 1914. In later years, oil and natural gas discoveries in the area helped to diversify the economy.
Over 80 years later, Swift Current is a thriving community. It offers a vibrant quality of life and strong local economy based on agriculture, oil and gas and a growing manufacturing sector.
How Swift Current Got It's Name
The creek was as “Riviere au Courant” to Metis buffalo hunters. This name was also used by the North-West Mounted Police expedition in 1874.
Undoubtedly, the Indians had their own name for it; Possibly, it was much the same word as for the Saskatchewan River, which in Cree means “fast flowing”. John Macoun, the Canadian Naturalist who examined the area for the Department of the Interior in 1880, refered to “Strong Current Creek”. Official maps published by that Department as early as 1883 consistently show Swift Current Creek.
In 1881, the surveyed line for the CPR was staked out as far west as Swift Current Creek. Early the following year, the townsite of Swift Current was reserved. Development commenced with the arrival of the grader and track layers in the period September - December, 1882. The settlement of Swift Current began the following spring
In 1898 a Local Improvement District was established. On September 21, 1903, the Hamlet of Swift Current became a village under the Village Ordinance Act. On March 15, 1907, Swift Current became a town following a census which indicated the population as 550 persons. With the influx of settlers into the district, and business development in the community, Swift Current became a City on January 15, 1914.