Batoche National Historic Site

Top choice in Saskatchewan

A virtual civil war was fought here in what is known as the Northwest Resistance of 1885, when Louis Riel led the Métis in defending their land from the government. Once-prosperous Batoche was devastated and within a few years almost nothing was left except for the church you see today. This historic site is an auspicious place to contemplate the events of 1885, as silent waves of prairie grass bend in the wind. Batoche is 70km north of Saskatoon, east of Hwy 11.

The children of French fur traders and indigenous mothers, the Métis were forced from Manitoba in the mid-1800s and many made their home in Batoche. Frustrated by the government's continual betrayal of treaties, the Métis and a number of Cree declared their independence from Canada: an announcement met by military force, led by Major General Frederick Middleton. Although outnumbered by 800 to 200, the Métis fought for four days and almost won, but Riel was captured (and later hanged for treason).

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