Prince Albert is the third-largest city in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is situated in the centre of the province on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The city is known as the "Gateway to the North" because it is the last major centre along the route to the resources of northern Saskatchewan. Prince Albert National Park is located just north of the city and contains a huge wealth of lakes, forest, and wildlife. The city itself is located in a transition zone between the aspen parkland and boreal forest biomes. Prince Albert is bordered by the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert No. 461 and the Rural Municipality of Buckland No. 491.
The first white man to travel through the area that is now Prince Albert was Henry Kelsey in 1692. The first establishment in the area, from which it would eventually derive its name, was a trading post set up in 1776 by Peter Pond. James Isbister, an Anglo-Métis employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, settled on the site of the current city in 1862. He farmed there until 1866, and had been joined by a number of families who called the site Isbister's Settlement.
The community was founded in 1866 by Revd James Nisbet, a Canada Presbyterian Church minister who had come to establish a mission for the Cree. Nisbet named the community after Albert, Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria, who had died in 1861. In 1879 the Presbyterian Church brought out Lucy Margaret Baker to run the local mission school. During the same year, the local Freemasons established the first lodge in what is now the province of Saskatchewan: Kinistino Lodge No. 1, which still exists. "The Mission", the settlement centrally located, and "Porter Town", located to the west, were the two communities that would come together to form what is now Prince Albert. The settlement east of Prince Albert was termed Goschen before finally amalgamated, however East Prince Albert still appears on a 1924 map.
In 1884, Honore Jaxon and James Isbister were involved in the movement which brought Louis Riel back to Canada. In 1884, 500 people turned up to hear Riel speak. One month before this speech, he had returned from the United States following a political exile resulting from the Red River Rebellion that had occurred in 1869–1870.
In the Northwest Rebellion of the 1885, Prince Albert Volunteers bore the heaviest casualties of the fighting at the Battle of Duck Lake. Surrounding settlers took refuge with the North-West Mounted Police in a hastily improvised stockade at Prince Albert, fearing an attack by Gabriel Dumont which never came. After the Battle of Batoche, Major General Frederick Middleton marched to Prince Albert to relieve the town. Prince Albert was incorporated the same year under its first mayor, Thomas McKay.
The first recorded stagecoach robbery in what is now Saskatchewan occurred in 1886, when a lone outlaw held up a carriage near Prince Albert.
In 1904, the settlement was incorporated as the City of Prince Albert. Its government is of a council-mayor type.
Prince Albert was the capital of the District of Saskatchewan, a regional administrative division of what then constituted the Northwest Territories. The District of Saskatchewan was formed on May 8, 1882, and retained Prince Albert as the capital. This ended in 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province and Regina was designated the new provincial capital.
Prince Albert was one of the rival candidates to house either the University of Saskatchewan or the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary. The university was built in Saskatoon and the penitentiary was built in Prince Albert in 1911.