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Fort Pitt Provincial Park

Founded in 1830, Fort Pitt was the major Hudson’s Bay Company trading post between Fort Edmonton, in present day Alberta, and Fort Carlton, in present day Saskatchewan. Located at a large bend in the North Saskatchewan River just east of provincial border, Fort Pitt was one of two principal points for signing Treaty No 6 in 1876.

 

On April 14 and 15, 1885, during the North West Resistance, Chief Big Bear’s Cree band besieged the fort. After a skirmish in which a policeman was killed, the natives permitted the fort's North-West Mounted Police detachment to flee downriver and then took the civilian occupants prisoner and looted the post.                            

On March 26, 1885, the Métis uprising and victory over government forces at Duck Lake encouraged the Cree in the western region of Saskatchewan to confront the government.

 

On April 2, 1885, Cree warriors of Big Bear’s band, led by Wandering Spirit, killed nine people and took several hostages at Frog Lake. After the massacre, 250 Cree warriors moved from Frog Lake to camp on a hill overlooking Fort Pitt.

 

W.J. McLean, Chief Trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company, met with Big Bear, Imasees and Wandering Spirit to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the siege. McLean and Big Bear were able to convince Wandering Spirit to let the police leave safely if the Hudson’s Bay employees gave themselves up to Big Bear.

 

The three scouts sent out the previous day were returning to the fort when they unexpectedly came upon the Indian camp. The Indians, believing that they were being attacked, opened fire. On May 25, the Alberta Field Force used the fort as the militia’s battle headquarters until the campaign ended in July 1885. Fort Pitt was partially rebuilt in 1886, and then closed in 1890.

 

Fort Pitt is open from Victoria Day long weekend in May until Labour Day long weekend in September.

 

Loon Lake, SK
Ph: (306) 837-2410

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