Wadena, Sask, incorporated as a town in 1912, population 1306 (2011c), 1315 (2006c). The Town of Wadena is located about 200 km east of SASKATOON near the Quill Lakes. In the 18th century this area was the territory of the Saulteaux. Henry HIND did resource surveys of the area in 1858 but the town was not founded until 1905, when the CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY built its line through this part of Saskatchewan. Some of the first homesteaders in the area came from Wadena, Minnesota, and the new community was named in honour of their former home.
Today Wadena remains an important commercial and service centre for a large agricultural district. In 1992 the province's second producer-owned inland grain terminal opened in Wadena. Tourism has been gaining in importance for the town since the saline QUILL LAKES (Big, Middle and Little) were first recognized in the 1970s as one of North America's most important staging areas for shorebirds and waterfowl. Wadena has developed a marsh area of Little Quill Lake with observation towers and hiking trails. Wadena is the hometown of television newscaster and journalist Pamela WALLIN.