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Fort Battleford Site

Fort Battleford showcases the role of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) in the Canadian West. The Fort was established in 1876 and abandoned in 1924. It has five original buildings, four furnished with period pieces.

 

Fort Battleford presided over some of the most pivotal moments in the history of Canada. The NWMP at Fort Battleford established the rule of Canadian law and order while the community of Battleford, the first seat of government for the North-West Territories, grew into a thriving community. They supervised the early settlement of the area, and even provided settlers from among their own retired members.

 

The NWMP were also charged with looking to the welfare of the local First Nations. During the conflicts which arose in 1885, when it appeared that citizens of the West might rise in open revolt, the NWMP at Fort Battleford provided a steadying influence and served as a refuge for area residents who feared a general outbreak of violence.

 

When news of the Métis success at Duck Lake reached Poundmaker in March 1885, he decided to utilize the unrest and fears of government agents to negotiate necessary supplies. Joined by the Assiniboine, the Cree went to Battleford. Some of the Assiniboine had killed two men on their way to join Poundmaker. Having heard the news of these murders, of the Métis victory at Duck Lake, and rumors of the approaching Cree, the citizens of the town of Battleford took refuge  inside the walls of Fort Battleford.  Thus, the "Siege" of Battleford began.

 

Those deemed responsible for murder and inciting conflict during the North-West Resistance were put on trial and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Louis Riel was charged with treason and tried in Regina. He refused to make use of the insanity defense his lawyers advised, but tried instead to justify his actions and his beliefs before the court. He was found guilty, and on November 16, 1885, was hanged.

 

Fort Battleford is open from Victoria Day long weekend until Labour Day long weekend, 9:00am to 5:00pm daily.

 

Battleford SK.
Ph: (306) 937-2621
Adults $7.80, Seniors $6.55, Youth $3.90

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