city, southeastern Alberta, Canada. It lies at the foot of the Cypress Hills, along the South Saskatchewan River, 164 miles (264 km) southeast of Calgary. It originated as a settlement around a North West Mounted Police post (1882) and a railroad construction camp (1883). The site, according to one legend, marks the spot in the river where a cowardly Cree medicine man lost his hat (saamis) after deserting his tribe and fleeing from Blackfoot warriors. The community's economic growth can be attributed mainly to its location in the centre of one of the world's largest natural-gas fields. This and the city's position on the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway have attracted diversified industries, including glassblowing and pottery manufactures; the local economy, however, still remains heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly ranching and vegetable growing. Medicine Hat has a notable historical museum, holds an annual (July) stampede and exhibition, and is the gateway to Cypress Hills Provincial Park. Medicine Hat College (1965) is affiliated with the University of Calgary. Inc. town, 1898; city, 1906. Pop. (1991) 43,625.
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