Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Mystique of the North-West Rebellion, Part 2

The Mystique of the North-West Rebellion, Part 2

By Furano Yukihira
The Daily Magi
December 11, 2059


In the spring of 2008, Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Christine Tell proclaimed in Duck Lake, that "the 125th commemoration, in 2010, of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion is an excellent opportunity to tell the story of the prairie Métis and First Nations peoples' struggle with Government forces and how it has shaped Canada today."

Batoche, where a Métis Provisional Government had been formed, has been declared a National Historic Site. Batoche marks the site of Gabriel Dumont's grave site, Albert Caron’s House, Batoche school, Batoche cemetery, Letendre store, Dumont's river crossing, Gariépy's crossing, Batoche crossing, St. Antoine de Padoue Church, Métis rifle pits, and RNWMP battle camp.

Fort Carlton Provincial Historic site has been rebuilt as it had been ravaged by three separate fires. Big Bear (Mistahimaskwa) had used the site in his initial negotiations for Treaty Six in about 1884, and finally, the following year he surrendered here after his engagement at Steele Narrows. The Prince Albert blockhouse was employed by the North-West Mounted Police on evacuating from Fort Carlton after the first fire. Duck Lake is home to the Duck Lake Historical Museum and the Duck Lake Regional Interpretive Centre, and murals which reflect the history of the Rebellion in the area. The Battle of Duck Lake, the Duck Lake Massacre, and a buffalo jump are all located here. The "First Shots Cairn" was erected on Saskatchewan Highway 212 as a landmark commemorating the scene of the first shots in the Battle of Duck Lake. The Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine at St. Laurent north of Duck Lake is a local pilgrimage site. The Battle of Fish Creek National Historic Site, the name has been changed to Tourond's Coulee / Fish Creek National Historic Site to preserve the battlefield of April 24, 1885, at la coulée des Tourond , Madame Tourond’s home, early Red River cart Fish Creek Trail and the site of Middleton’s camp and graveyard.

The Marr Residence is a municipal heritage property of Saskatoon which served as a field hospital for wounded soldiers of the rebellion. Fort Otter was constructed at Battleford's government house located at the capital of the North-West Territories. Poundmaker was arrested at Fort Battleford and eight first nation men were hung in the aftermath of the Frog Lake Massacre. Fort Battleford has been declared a National Historic site of Canada to commemorate its role as military base of operations for Cut Knife Hill, Fort Pitt, as a refuge for 500 area settlers and its role in the Siege of Battleford. Fort Pitt, the scene of the Battle of Fort Pitt, is a Provincial Park and National Historic site where a National Historic Sites and Monuments plaque designates where Treaty six was signed. Frog Lake Massacre National Historic Site of Canada, at Frog Lake, Alberta, is the location of the Cree uprising which occurred in the District of Saskatchewan North-west Territories. Frenchman Butte is a National Historic Site of Canada, which locates the theatre of the 1885 battle staged between Cree and Canadian troops.

At Cutknife is the world's largest tomahawk, the Poundmaker Historical Centre and Big Bear monument erected by cairn erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. There is also now, correctly located, a cairn erected upon Cut Knife Hill the look site of the Poundmaker Battle site and Battle River valley. 

The Narrows between Makwa Lake and Sanderson Bay, in the Makwa Lake Provincial Park, was the site of the last engagement of the rebellion. Steele Narrows Provincial Historic Park conserves the lookout point of a Cree burial ground. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police training depot was established in 1874, and still survives. The RCMP chapel frame building was built in 1885 is still standing which was used to jail Indian prisoners. One of three Territorial Government Buildings remains on Dewdney Avenue in the provincial capital city of Regina which was the site of the Trial of Louis Riel, where the drama the Trial of Louis Riel is still performed. Following the May trial, Louis Riel was hang November 16, 1885. The RCMP Heritage Centre, in Regina, opened in May 2007. The Métis brought his body to Saint-Vital, his mother's home, now the Riel House National Historic Site, and then interred at the Saint-Boniface Basilica in Manitoba, his birthplace, for burial. Highway 11, stretching from Regina to just south of Prince Albert, has been named Louis Riel Trail by the province; the roadway passes near locations of the 1885 rebellion.

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