Battle of Seven Oaks National Historic Site of Canada
Battle of Seven Oaks
Bataille de Seven Oaks
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Battle of Seven Oaks National Historic Site of Canada is located in the urban setting of Winnipeg Manitoba, at the intersection of Main Street and Rupert’s Land Boulevard. The Battle of Seven Oaks occured near this location, on June 19 1816, between a group of Métis and a group of Red River Settlers. There are no known extant remains of the battle; however, in 1951, a plaque was put by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada on the monument erected by the Manitoba Historical Society near the 1816 site. The designation refers to the plot of land, located on the northeast corner of Main Street and Rupert’s Land Boulevard in the City of Winnipeg.
The site of the Battle of Seven Oaks was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1920 because:
- on 19 June 1816, Robert Semple, Governor of the Red River colony, and about 26 men confronted a North West Company brigade, led by Cuthbert Grant. Semple and 20 of his men were killed;
- the Battle of Seven Oaks represents conflict between two different ways of life, that of the Métis and the Red River Settlers, in the history of the settlement of the Canadian west.
The Battle of Seven Oaks took place on June 19, 1816 north of the forks of the Red and the Assiniboine Rivers. It was a violent encounter between a party of Métis led by Cuthbert Grant and a group of Hudson’s Bay Company men and Selkirk settlers led by Governor Robert Semple. This battle was the culmination of a conflict between the Montréal-based North West Company and the London-based Hudson’s Bay Company, for control of the fur trade in the Northwest. Furthering the conflict was Lord Selkirk’s attempt to establish an agricultural colony at Red River, which the Métis saw as a threat to their traditional way of life. The battle began after negotiations over the pemmican supply failed, resulting in the deaths of Semple and 20 of his men. Grant, having suffered only one casualty, went on to take Fort Douglas and to expel the settlers from the region. Although the opposing companies would eventually merge, this event helped create a national consciousness for the Métis.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes 1920, 2009.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its urban setting, located within the city of Winnipeg north of the forks of the Red River and the Assiniboine River;
- its siting, on the northeast corner of Main Street and Rupert’s Land Boulevard, encompassing the monument constructed by the Manitoba Historical Society which bears the Historic Sites and Monuments Board plaque;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent;
- the viewscapes from the site across the Red River.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1816/01/01 to 1816/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Military and Defence
Function - Category and Type
- Commemorative Monument
- Battle Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection