STREET LIFE: DUCK LAKE & BATOCHE, SASKATCHEWAN

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: A place reveals itself on its streets…

In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that brings a street to life…” Cheri Lucas

 

Commentary from WIKIPEDIA ~ Photos by Bruce

Duck Lake was one of the Saskatchewan settlements settled by French speaking Métis from Manitoba in the 1860s and 1870s.

On March 26,1885, it was the site of the Battle of Duck Lake, a conflict between Métis warriors and the Government of Canada, at the start of the Northwest Rebellion. The skirmish lasted approximately 30 minutes. Five Métis warriors were killed in the skirmish, including Gabriel Dumont’s brother. The battle toll was high for the government forces. Twelve men were killed, and eleven men seriously injured.

Mural of John A. McDonald. Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel

This mural above depicts Canadian Prime Minister John A. MacDonald (left), with Métis Leaders Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel (holding the cross).

On May 12, 1885 the Métis were defeated at the Battle of Batoche. Louis Riel was later tried for treason and sentenced to death.

Gabriel Dumont made his way to Montana where he surrendered to the US Calvary. The United States government determined that he was a political refugee and shortly released him. Dumont joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West where he received top billing as a rebel leader.

The Canadian government granted a general amnesty in the summer of 1886. Gabriel Dumont retired to Batoche, Saskatchewan in 1893 eventually obtaining title to the lands he had settled in 1872.

Duck Lake and a Broken Treaty

 

 

Broken Treaty

 

 

Duck Lake, Saskatchewan

 

Wapiti Regional Library

The Métis are one of the recognized Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Over the past century, countless Métis are thought to have been absorbed and assimilated into European Canadian populations, making Métis heritage (and thereby aboriginal ancestry) more common than is generally realized. Geneticists estimate that 50 percent of today’s population in Western Canada have Aboriginal blood.

 

“Let us be English or let us be French… but above all let us be Canadians.” – Sir John A. MacDonald

 

Batoche, Sakatchewan - Loius Riel Memorial

BATOCHE, SASKATCHEWAN – SACRED PLACE OF THE METIS

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6 thoughts on “STREET LIFE: DUCK LAKE & BATOCHE, SASKATCHEWAN

  1. This is so interesting. I was taken with the bit of history tying Dumont to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. I would love to know more about the Métis, but in truth, I’m studying, informally but with avid interest, Native American history and I’m typically in deep water just trying to absorb the complexities. I appreciate the opportunity to learn some very interesting stories tied to events in Canadian history through what you share so well. Thank you.

    • Thanks Debra. I too, love Native American and First Nations history, as we say in Canada. As a youth I read Bury My Heat at Wounded Knee, and since then I’ve always tried to travel and learn more. For example, the Story of Ishi from your California state.

      About more contemporary issues and on a personal level, I was deeply saddened that Bill Clinton did not grant clemency to Leonard Peltier who is serving two consecutive life sentences, even though evidence against him was perjured by the FBI. Maybe somewhat like Louis Riel, the saga of injustice continues…

  2. Bruce, you’re a natural storyteller through your words and images. I always learn something when I visit your blog.

    • Thanks Jeff. If I could enhance the story with music I’d do that too – maybe a tune by Robbie Robertson or Bruce Cockburn… like Stolen Land. That would work, wouldn’t it…

  3. How fascinating is that? Excellent piece of social history. I love the way cultures from Europe and elsewhere have become embedded in various places in the Americas. The Welsh in Patagonia for example. I didn’t know until yesterday that the Cajun are basically the descendants of French settlers driven from Newfoundland and thereabouts. Thanks for the insight Bruce.

    • On the east coast of Canada indeed we still have Acadians, relatives to the Cajun, who managed to survive the expulsion. But wow … how in the world and when would the Welsh end up in Patagonia? Amazing migrations and mixtures of people throughout the world.

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