Alternative History
Confederation of Athabasca
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Northern Alberta
Flag Coat of Arms
Flag Coat of Arms
Location of Athabasca
Location of Athabasca
Fortis et liber (Latin)
("Strong and free")
(and largest city)
Grande Prairie
Language English, French
Demonym Athabascan
Consul Bill Given
Area approx. 185,832 km²
Population 300,000 (2023) 
Independence from Canada
  declared May 27th, 1985
  recognized 1990
Currency Athabascan Dollar, Buffalo Dollar

The Confederation of Athabasca is a nation in the northern part of the former Canadian province of Alberta. It is named after the District of Athabasca that existed prior to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan being created. Long a staunchly-independent state buffered by the isolation of the far North, joining the North American Union has brought it wealth and attention from near and far to its wealth in oil sands, earning it the moniker "the Texas of the North".


The pristine Athabascan wilderness, untouched by the horrors of Doomsday



In 1971, Peter Lougheed's Conservatives put an end to the long rule of the Social Credit Party as the Progressive Conservative Party came to power. They remain in power to this day, coming up on 38 years of majority governments. Many experts maintain that the large-scale social change that occurred in the province as a result of the postwar oil boom was responsible for this important change of government. Urbanization, in particular the expansion of the urban middle classes, secularization and increasing wealth are often cited as the primary causes of Social Credit's downfall. 


Grande Prairie, the current capital of Athabasca was not hit by any form of ballistic missile on doomsday, though its urban neighbour, Edmonton was hit by a nuclear weapon, effectively cutting it off from the southern half of Alberta. As a result, Doomsday had the effect of sending the region into chaos. Most communities in the region went their own separate ways. In 1985, the proclaimed city-state of Grande Prairie realized that they were truly on their own. The mayor of Grande Prairie at the time called a meeting of representatives of the city-states in northern Alberta to hammer out an agreement. After weeks of negotiation, they finally agreed to the document. The document was the Constitution for the newly-formed Confederation of Athabasca. On May 27th 1985 the representatives signed the constitution, officially forming the Confederation of Athabasca. In 1988 the Athabascans made contact with the legitimate government of Canada and, after two years of debate, the Canadians reluctantly acknowledged the Athabascan government as legitimate.


First Athabascan Consul Dwight Logan

The Athabascans would not suffer from the horrors that plagued the world beneath it, being hundred of kilometers away from the destroyed cities to the south and the refugee waves that followed. It would miss the Lakotah War entirely, with only those traders which frequented the towns which would become Provisional Canada hearing tales about the ferocious conflict from its wounded.

Peace in Isolation[]

As time went on, Athabascans knew the goings-on of the Provisional Canadians and the North American Union for years. They resisted joining them because most Athabascans maintained that they were doing well enough for themselves. The false public perception of Athabascans towards Provisional Canada was negatively influenced by the view that by participating in the North American Union, Provisional Canada answered to former American entities. As time went on, these attitudes would mellow as trade began to slowly pick up, with the Provisional Canadians modest oil production paling in comparing to what was available to the Athabascans.

More pragmatic Athabascan citizens also nixed rejoining the official Canada based in St John's. However, some believed that this sentiment was due to the massive geographic expanse between Athabasca's territory and the territories of Canada, along with other entities such as Provisional Canada muddling the decision of which Canada to rejoin. As such, the indecision gave way to an identity of its own.


The Athabascan government is a confederal-style body. The leaders of each municipality choose a representative to send to Grande Prairie. These representatives choose the Consul from amongst themselves. The representatives and Consuls last as long as the people that chose them decide they are needed, with an election to replace a Consul being called after a vote of no-confidence by the representatives. There have been a few consuls who lasted but scant months before being voted out, although the last two have had rather popular followings.


The Athabascan Oil Sands, with open-pit mining remaining the main source of extraction for now


The Athabascans have access to a swath of the second largest oil deposit in the world. They have only recently begun to tap the Athabascan Oil Sands with heavy aid from its neighbors. The oil is used thoroughly by the Athabascans to heat homes, keep cities lit and fuel their farming equipment. The main source of income for most average citizens remains, at least for now, agriculture and ranching. The grain shipments to nearby "Provisional Canada" and Assiniboia allow the Athabascans to support a fair standard of living. There have been plans circulating to build an oil pipeline through Provisional Canada neighboring Assiniboia. Construction began in 2015, although it would be further delayed for some time by Athabasca's need to strengthen its oil production and storage facilities before any shipments finally began in 2020. Although Athabascan oil has made a world of difference in the Great Plains, allowing the feasibility of buses, eighteen-wheelers, ambulances and other critical vehicles to return to the fold on more regular basis, its environmental effects have begun to be apparent, with many hills entirely stripped by open-pit mining, and surrounding bodies of water dead from wildlife.

Athabasca retains full backing and printing of its Athabascan Dollar, in spite of its more recent membership to the North American Union. This was due to the Athabascan clauses desiring to have the "final say" in their internal affairs. This has defied other accession members, who has largely given up their own currencies upon membership, with the exception of the Pasco Free State.


Bill Given, Current Consul of Athabasca and one-time Mayor of Grand Prairie


The Athabascans service a small militia for defensive purposes only. It is made up of former Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. However, the Athabascans cannot afford to arm it with anything better than old obsolete military equipment from local armouries and old military bases. On Doomsday, CFB Cold Lake was hit by a ballistic missile and destroyed. However, the Weapons Range to its north, large as it was, was not, with much of it being scavenged by the Athabascans for ammunition, missiles and other leftovers from the bombed-out base. It houses the small Royal Athabascan Air Force, which is made up what few gasoline-powered planes it could gathered, mainly for reconnaissance.

International Relations[]


Grand Prairie Airport shortly after its expansion in 2018.

Athabasca is a member of the North American Union. The delayed and final choice to join was predicated on a middle ground between all parties in the Confederation - bringing it into common borders and closer ties with its fellow Canadian survivors while also preserving its sovereignty and name.

As of 2023, Athabasca has been a hot-spot for curious investors from afar eager to find a way to develop its abundant oil sands. In recent years, it has surprisingly become the North American state with the most contact from the Gulf States Union, with several mining operations being supervised by "handsomely paid" Saudis, in an extremely surprising sight for many isolated North Americans. The airport at Grand Prairie has been greatly expanded. To this end, there has been considerable conflict with the Northwest Alliance for control over these oil sands, with the issue turning armed on more than one occasion.

The Athabascans have long had close relations to the Assiniboians, and many feel that they are kindred nations. There remains a devoted group advocating the joining of Athabasca into Provisional Canada or the legitimate Canadian government at St. John's as a separate entity. However, their membership size has remained in the minority, continually failing to achieve a controlling percentage of the Confederate Assembly.