Journey back in time to talk with a 19th century Métis settler about life on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. Imagine the shocking changes as the troops and warriors gathered and battle began to rage. Witness the bullet holes at the final battlefield of the Northwest Resistance of 1885 and learn more about how a traditional way of life changed forever as a new country began to form.
Fighting to protect their land rights and preserve a traditional way of life, understand the plight of the Métis resistance and their First Nations allies battling against the might of the Northwest Field Force in 1885. Imagine the sound of cannons as you explore the area that was once Tourond’s homestead. Picture the short-lived triumph of the Métis as they bested General Middleton’s men in the final victory of the Northwest Resistance.
Cypress Hills Massacre National Historic Site
1873 attack on Assiniboines by wolf hunters, North West Mounted Police restored order
Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan
With your family and friends, uncover the central but little-known role of Fort Battleford in the Conflict of 1885. Discover the stories of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), First Nations people, settlers and Métis people in these difficult times. Learn of the arrival of the Canadian Militia and understand the confusion and fear that was prevalent in the spring of 1885. Explore five original NWMP buildings and discover the role the Mounties played in the early years of settlement.
Stroll the picturesque banks of the Qu’Appelle River and walk around the stone monuments marking the spot where Fort Espérance, the North West Company’s oldest pemmican depot, once stood. Imagine the bustling scene of the company men and Indigenous tradespeople preparing the pemmican and buffalo hides, before heading two days march away to the junction of the Assiniboine River, the gateway to the prized Athabasca region.
Explore the site of what was once the first capitol of the North West Territories and the inaugural headquarters of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP). Tread carefully on the rocky ground, avoiding the red-sided garter snakes which thrive on this barren land and imagine the desolation felt by the first troops of the NWMP as they marched here under Commander French to bring Canadian law to the prairies.
Explore the site of this once-bustling Hudson’s Bay Company fort, a hive of activity from the men working in the fields to provide food, to the steady stream of First Nations fur trappers, and Métis pemmican providers. Discover the last traces of a once-grand fort, find the chimney stack remains and see the last of the cellar foundations.
Step back in time to the 1870s and discover what life was like on a working fort in the lawless time of rotgut whiskey runners. Imagine the scarlet serge-clad NWMP marching on parade, hear Métis legends handed down through generations and learn traditional crafts and skills. Uncover the history of Canada’s part in the aftermath of the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Starved out by government agents and forced to pillage to survive, an old way of life gave way to the start of a new one in the Dominion of Canada for the First Nations. Explore the site of Frenchman Butte where Plains Cree engaged in battle with Canadian Militia troops. See the rifle pits dug by the Cree and picture the hundreds who sheltered within them.
As the 19th century closes, a stream of pioneer-farmers move west from Ontario, seeking a new life on the prairies. Early Saskatchewan settler, W.R. Motherwell became a community leader whose passion for scientific farming methods took him all the way to parliament as Minister of Agriculture. Live a day in the life of a prairie farmer in the 1900s on W.R. Motherwell’s historic homestead, Lanark Place.