Written by girlfromals on 18 Jul, 2002
This national historic site was home to the Metis people of Saskatchewan and the final and decisive battle of the Northwest Rebellion in 1885. The Metis people, descendants of First Nations (women usually) and French or Scottish traders, led by Louis Riel, set up…Read More
This national historic site was home to the Metis people of Saskatchewan and the final and decisive battle of the Northwest Rebellion in 1885. The Metis people, descendants of First Nations (women usually) and French or Scottish traders, led by Louis Riel, set up a provisional government. The federal government in Ottawa was not amused, to say the least. It sent Canadian forces and the RCMP in to put down the 'upstarts.' The resulting battles and eventual loss at Batoche to the Canadian forces set the less-than-productive tone for relations between the Canadian government and the First Nations and Metis peoples. In fact, it was only in 2002 that the Saskatchewan government recognized some of the inherent rights of the Metis people.
Batoche is a national historic park, therefore it has a fantastic interpretive center with everything in French and English. Arriving at the center, it doesn't appear that there is very much to see. The site is actually very large. You can visit the Canadian forces encampment site, the old town site, the graveyard, and the original church, which still bears bullet holes from 1885.
Before heading outside, make sure you take in the award-winning multimedia presentation. Growing up in Saskatchewan, I learned all about Batoche, so I am not the best judge of the presentation. I rely on the opinions of my Danish host parents, whom I took up to Batoche. They thought the half-hour presentation was stunning. It described the history so anyone could understand and really gave the viewer the feeling that you were there on the battlefield (good sound effects!).
It is a good walk down to the church and old schoolhouse. Guides in period costume will show you around the original church and take you inside the schoolhouse that also served as the post office and home to the parish priest. If your guide happens to be a man, be sure to ask him about the distinctive and traditional sash he is wearing! The day that we went to Batoche, it was absolutely sweltering outside - later that evening there were a few funnel clouds! The church and schoolhouse provide a great place to duck out of the sun and heat. They are very cool inside.
A trip to Batoche will not be complete without a trip to the graveyard. This cemetery contains the graves of local residents past and present, as well as the graves of those who died in the fighting in 1885. Note the wooden crosses enclosed by a worn wooden fence - this is the mass grave of the Metis. An interesting note: there is a white stone grave with a number of hearts carved into it. This grave is for the six children of a local family who died in a house fire. A very sad memorial.
If you are adventurous, you can head down to the encampment or old town site areas. It is quite a hike! Be sure to bring along water. We decided not to head out, as it was far too hot to do so. But we did take a look at the river upon whose banks Batoche was built. The North Saskatchewan River was an active part of the Battle of Batoche. Canadian troops used the river to bring in supplies and reinforcements from North Battleford and to ferry the injured down the river to Saskatoon. The Metis decided to stop the shipments, stringing a line across the river, taking the smokestacks off the next ship to come down the river and stranding it there.
Louis Riel, the leader of the Metis at Batoche, was captured and was taken to Regina and tried as a traitor. He was convicted and hanged. A popular play, the second longest continuously running stage production in Canada, is performed in Regina every summer - "The Trial of Louis Riel." Recently, moves have been made to repair the reputation of Riel. One of the major highways in Saskatchewan has been renamed the Louis Riel Trail. If you travel on Highway 11, you will see the signs on the side of the road with the distinctive Red River cart created by the Metis. Moves have also been made to declare that Riel was not a traitor and was in fact one of the Fathers of Confederation.
Batoche is open all summer. Day passes are available: Adults $5, kids 6-16 $2.50, and kids under 6 are free. For more information, check the website or phone (306) 423-6227. The website also gives very good directions on how to get to Batoche as well as information on special events held at the park.
I highly recommend a visit to Batoche, one of only a handful of battlefield sites in Canada. It will take you back in time to a decisive period in Canada's history.
Written by girlfromals on 13 Aug, 2002
Unfortunately there was not enough time in one day to take in all of the sites and activities in this region. Here are a couple more ideas for those who want to explore this area in full.Jack Pine StablesIf you are looking to experience…Read More
Unfortunately there was not enough time in one day to take in all of the sites and activities in this region. Here are a couple more ideas for those who want to explore this area in full.
Jack Pine Stables
If you are looking to experience nature and get away from it all, Jack Pine Stables offers exactly what you are looking for. Jack Pine Stables is a Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Guest Ranch situated along the border of the provincially protected Nisbet forest. This ranch offers over 160 acres of fresh country air, wilderness forests, with miles of marked trails for hiking, trail riding, nature walks and bird-watching. In winter, the ranch offers snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. You can also enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides in the summer and sleigh rides along the scenic wilderness trails in the winter. As this is an operating ranch, visitors have the opportunity to learn about horse breeding during their stay.
The Guest Ranch offers three types of accommodation: a 3 bedroom country bed and breakfast; a 4 bedroom rustic lodge with modern facilities which is open year round; and the tipi camp where visitors can experience some of the local Aboriginal and Metis culture.
The highlight of a stay here will be a guided horseback ride in the forest. Don’t worry if you’ve never ridden before. The ranch offers riding lessons!
If you are interested in experiencing a little bit of what Saskatchewan nature has to offer, check the website for contact information. The owners of the Guest Ranch will customize packages to suit visitor’s needs.
Seager Wheeler Farm
If you are a farmer or were raised on a farm then a visit to Seager Wheeler Farm is a must. Seager Wheeler Maple Grove Farm has been designated by the Government of Canada as a place of national historic significance. Seager Wheeler (1868-1961) was probably the most famous farmer in the history of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. He was best known as an international prizewinner in wheat competitions and author of numerous publications on progressive farming techniques. He was also a part-time inventor of farm implements and developer of new grain and horticultural varieties. He developed three new strains of wheat, as well as Victory Oats and 2 types of barley. He also introduced a number of trees to the area.
Today’s farm has been restored to its condition in 1919. You can visit the restored seed cleaning plant, learn about soil conservation techniques, and visit the vast flower gardens and orchards. The visitor’s center offers a gift shop, restaurant, and interpretive displays. Seager Wheeler Farm is the site of a number of special events throughout the year. Check the website for the dates of special events as well as its regular summer opening hours. A visit to this farm will be like a trip back in time!
Written by Bob Nicholls on 03 Sep, 2000
Imagine an oasis in the middle of a city, and you have just described Wascana Centre, a huge and wonderful park in the midst of Regina, capital of Saskatchewan. Most cities are not so lucky, and perhaps this is why the park has even…Read More
Imagine an oasis in the middle of a city, and you have just described Wascana Centre, a huge and wonderful park in the midst of Regina, capital of Saskatchewan. Most cities are not so lucky, and perhaps this is why the park has even been compared to Vancouver's Stanley Park, though they are quite different.
If visiting Regina, the park is a must-see. If you wish to walk, jog or bike,or find a pleasant place for a picnic, this is the place to be, with the added bonus that it doesn't take too long to get there from anywhere in the city.
There are beautiful flowers and fountains, monuments, a swimming pool and children's play area, the Saskatchewan Science Centre and IMAX Theatre, and Saskatchewan's monumental Legislative Building.
Wascana Lake is the centerpiece of the park, where one can see rowers straining their muscles, canoes gliding across the lake, or hear music wafting across the lake from the bandshell located adjacent to the shore. Various lookouts provide great views and a walkway around the lake makes for easy walking and jogging. As the summer ends, Dragon Boat races can also be seen, and heard.
Another special end-of-summer feature is Globe Theatre's "Lanterns on the Lake," a popular (and free) night-time spectacle of home-made lanterns of all shapes and sizes. Picture the parade of shimmering lanterns, some simple and others extremely complex, moving along the lakeside,led by dancers from New Dance Horizons, and accompanied by musicians from the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
The park also contains track and field facilities, open spaces for sports of all sorts, a quality restaurant at a small marina, barbeque sites galore and even a man-made hill where children can be seen tobogganing in the winter. A wildlife sancutary provides an opportunity to view some of nature, with many birds, Canada geese and other wildfowl, some that stay here year round (just be careful where you step!).
Throw in the University of Regina, Royal Saskatchewan Museum (mainly of natural history),the Conservatory of Performing Arts, and the Centre of the Arts, and you can see why the park is such a valued part of Regina.
While visiting, keep in mind that virtually all the trees in the park (and the city in fact) have been planted by hand at some point, quite an astounding feat for an astounding park!
When one thinks of the Canadian and American prairies, what often comes to mind is one word - flat. If you are taking the Trans Canada highway, much of the same exists from Winnipeg all the way to Calgary, quite a distance! For people…Read More
When one thinks of the Canadian and American prairies, what often comes to mind is one word - flat. If you are taking the Trans Canada highway, much of the same exists from Winnipeg all the way to Calgary, quite a distance! For people who have never travelled in this area, with Regina smack in the middle, it really is quite flat, and for miles in all directions. From above,the typical description is that the land looks like a patchwork quilt. As cliche as that may be, it is true, with the many beautiful shades of gold, green, yellow, purple and other hues less expected on the Prairies. Though visitors are always astounded by the beauty of mountains, the Prairies have their special beauty too. Not only are the colours wonderful as the seasons progress, but the feeling of unending space is something to experience. And sometimes, the vistas offer wonderful surprises.
With little to 'block the view,' the sky with its floating clouds is a wonder to behold, and the night sky is a stargazer's dream. Within a few minutes, you can be outside the city and enjoying the peace, quiet and wonderful views at any time of day or night. If caught in a rain storm, views of lighting crossing the prairie skies can be illuminating and a bonus to those interested in photography. But, hope for less rain and keep in mind that Saskatchewan has the most sunlight of any province in Canada, including the winter months.
Surprisingly to some, there are valleys and hills which seemingly pop out of nowhere within a short drive from Regina and across the prairies, giving the traveller even more to explore. Try the Qu'Appelle Valley not far from Regina, with its many lakes, market gardens and scenic drives, the highly unique Sand Hills in the West of Saskatchewan, or unearthed dinosaur bones and Cypress Hills (the highest point in Canada between Ontario and the Rocky Mountains)in Saskatchewan's southwest corner.
You might even be in Regina when the appropriately-named "Flatland Music Festival" is being held. Whether you believe the world is round or flat, there is much indeed to catch your interest in the area and the hospitality of the citizens is sure to please you and make your stay enjoyable. So, don't be afriad to head a bit off the beaten tourist path - you will flat out enjoy yourself!
Written by brmcga on 03 Apr, 2005
We took a day and drove down to Regina. So, what to you do in Regina? Well, you could go to the casino, tour the legislature (great architecture, inside and out), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Museum, and the first lieutenant governor's home…Read More
We took a day and drove down to Regina. So, what to you do in Regina? Well, you could go to the casino, tour the legislature (great architecture, inside and out), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Museum, and the first lieutenant governor's home - all in one day! And all are worth seeing. Close
Written by patrickrollin on 10 Jun, 2002
On your way across Saskatchewan, you need to visit the small community of Val Marie where Lise Perrault would be glad to show you around her museum and her town. Located next to the Grasslands National Park, Lise would also be glad to show…Read More
On your way across Saskatchewan, you need to visit the small community of Val Marie where Lise Perrault would be glad to show you around her museum and her town. Located next to the Grasslands National Park, Lise would also be glad to show you around few rattlesnakes living near by the park.
I would suggest you to fill up your car in the town of Cadillac or Malta, Montana, since there is no gas station open at this time. Close