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First Homestead in Western Canada National Historic Site of Canada

Highway 240, 1 mile north of Hwy 249 junction, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, R1N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1945/05/16

Detail view of First Homestead in Western Canada, showing the HSMBC plaque and cairn.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.
Detail view
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Other Name(s)

First Homestead in Western Canada National Historic Site of Canada
First Homestead in Western Canada
Premier homestead de l'Ouest Canadien

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1872/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/07/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

First Homestead in Western Canada National Historic Site of Canada is located on a flat parcel of land north of Portage La Prairie near Oakland, Manitoba. The site consists of the first homestead in western Canada, established under the Dominion government’s new survey system adopted in 1871. There are no visible remains of the original homestead, which was first owned by John Sutherland Sanderson. In 1976, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada erected a plaque on a grey tyndall stone block cairn to commemorate the site. Official recognition refers to the plot of land within the northeast quarter of section 35, township 12, range 7 near Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

Heritage Value

First Homestead in Western Canada was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1945 because:
- it was the site of the first homestead in the West granted under the Dominion Government’s Homestead Regulations.

The heritage value of First Homestead in Western Canada resides in its historical associations with the Dominion Government’s Homestead Regulations in western Canada. Following the adoption of a new survey system in 1871, the Canadian government inaugurated its homestead policy under the Dominion Lands Act of 1872. This policy attracted immigrants from all parts of the world to establish settlements in western Canada. The first homestead entry in the west was filed by John Sutherland Sanderson, a Scotsman from the Lothians whose application was filed on July 2, 1872 and numbered “1”.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, May 1945; Plaque Text, 1955.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements relating to the heritage value of the site include:
- its location north of Portage La Prairie near Oakland, Manitoba;
- its siting on a flat parcel of agricultural land in the northeast quarter of section 35, township 12, range 7, west of the Principal Meridian;
- 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 plaque and grey tyndall stone block cairn erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to commemorate the site;
- viewscapes from the site across the neighbouring fields.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1945/05/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Settlement
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type

Current

Community
Commemorative Monument

Historic

Food Supply
Farm or Ranch

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

121

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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