The community of Duck Lake is situated in the heart of the historic Batoche area along highway 11 south of Prince Albert. The Duck Lake Regional Interpretive Centre continues the history lesson begun at Fort Carlton and Batoche. The focus of the museum’s collection, begun by local Fred Anderson, is the aftermath of the Metis resistance, the impact of the near extinction of the buffalo on First Nations, and the pioneers who settled the area. This museum has, surprisingly, an excellent collection of artifacts and a fantastic display despite the small size of Duck Lake. The museum has definitely taken advantage of the history of the area!
The museum houses a collection of artifacts relating to First Nations, Métis and pioneer history from 1870 to 1905 with exhibits and information on the Riel Rebellion of 1885. The history, culture and traditions of these peoples are portrayed through a number of themes, including religion, education, law, and commerce. The museum hosts a good collection of religious artifacts relating to the history and involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in the area. One artifact which my Danish host mother found particularly interesting as a pediatric nurse was a glass baby bottle from the 19th century.
Another feature of this museum is its gallery, which features works of art including sculptures, paintings, and photographs by Saskatchewan artists. If you are looking for a unique piece of Saskatchewan handicraft or artwork, you must stop at the museum gift shop with artwork by more than 50 artisans.
If you have the stomach for heights (a rarity in Saskatchewan – the heights, not stomachs), climb the many floors of stairs to the tower lookout. There are four glass portals, each facing true north, west, south, and east. This provided me and my Danish host parents an excellent view of the surrounding countryside. It certainly allows one a chance to ponder over the historical significance of the events in the area.
The museum is open from mid-May to the Labour Day long weekend in August, from 10am to 5:30pm, seven days a week. If you visit in the off-season, call ahead at (306) 467-2057 or toll free at 1-866-467-2057. Admission: Adults $4.00, Students $2.00, Seniors $3.00, Family Rate $10.00. For directions to the museum and other attractions in the area I have not visited, please visit the museum website.