From the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan (http://esak.uregina.ca):
"Rapid population growth resulting from the influx of pioneers transformed virtually all aspects of Saskatchewan society and intensified the demand for political control over local matters. Although too slow to satisfy local ambitions, political change actually came relatively quickly. Governed directly from Ottawa with an appointed council under the 1875 North-West Territories Act, the West was granted a Territorial Assembly in 1888, and this body secured responsible government in 1897. Westerners, however, were determined that their region should assume its rightful provincial status within Confederation, and in the early 1900s intense negotiations developed around what shape that would assume. The final decision to create two new provinces under the Autonomy Bills of 1905 was dictated by Ottawa; it reflected the fears of federal politicians that a single western province would upset the equilibrium of Confederation by conferring too much power on the West."