St Paul, Alta, incorporated as a town in 1937, population 5400 (2011c), 5106 (2006c). The Town of St Paul, county seat for the County of St Paul, is located on the north shore of Upper Therien Lake, 202 km northeast of Edmonton. In 1895 Oblate Father Albert LACOMBE successfully appealed for reservation of 2 townships near the Saddle Lake Indian Reserve for MÉTIS SETTLEMENT. Meagre agricultural success and trapping barely sustained St Paul des Métis. The town developed only after the reserve was opened to general settlement in 1909.
The French-speaking Québecers, Ukrainians and others who arrived did without a railway connection until volunteers completed the CNR line from nearby Spedden in 1920. Considerable soil variation made mixed farming (especially beef cattle and grain) popular, and the town contains several agricultural processing plants.
Aboriginal, French and Ukrainian cultural organizations reflect St Paul's traditions, and special educational facilities include the Alberta Vocational Centre, Lakeland College and the neighbouring Blue Quills Indian College.