Saturday, February 15, 2014

Batoche - A national Historic Site

Batoche if you don't know is a historic site in Saskatchewan. A beautiful, scenic and historic location. If you live in the Saskatoon area then you have probably been taken there on a field trip or two along with its neighbor Fort Carlton. However if you haven't heard its also apparently the site of a ghost or two.

Some history on batoche:

"In 1870, The Northwest was brought into Canada as a new territory. The Métis people were a half native, half French group of people who lived in these lands with no formal government or laws. They immediately reacted to the arrival of Canadian authority by challenging that authority and declaring that they should only be brought into Confederation as a province with recognized authority and representation. Louis Riel led this movement and the birth of the Province of Manitoba was the result.

The Métis did not end up with the retention of the freedoms they valued and many moved further west into the Saskatchewan areas as Manitoba was populated by new immigrants from Ontario and the Buffalo, which were the lifeblood of the Métis life style, were killed off.

By 1884 the railway had pushed further west n the new Métis areas and an armed uprising led by Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel erupted. Many local native bands joined in the uprising and violence flared throughout the area. John A Macdonald reacted by dispatching an armed force under General Middleton to suppress the uprising. The rode the train, marched across the land were shipped on boats and made their way west. In April of 1885 they arrived in the Saskatchewan area and sought the Métis forces in order to engage and defeat them in battle.
The Battle of Batoche, which was fought from May 9-12, 1885, was the last stand of  Louis Riel and the Métis. Their defeat by the Canadian Government forces marked the end of the Northwest Rebellion. This site is a National Historic Site and presents restored buildings from the period and the land that this last great battle was fought on.

The site also represents the settlement of the area by the Métis and examples of lot settlement as well as information about the native groups that participated in the rebellion."

So from what I can gather from all this history is there must be some hauntings right? Beautiful batoche is a site that you can visit during the summer. Some old buildings remain and you can read about the history. I am told that the most haunted building in batoche is the church.

I remember going to this place for field trips as a kid and I was never comfortable. I love old buildings, historic locations and beautiful scenery but there is something about this place where history almost comes alive. So why not take a visit and see for yourself?

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