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Flee Island Dakota Entrenchment

Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, R0H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1954/12/07

Contextual view in which poplar trees mark the location of part of the Flee Island Dakota Entrenchment, Portage la Prairie area, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Contextual View
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Other Name(s)

Borden Number EaLm-2
Numero Borden EaLm-2
Flee Island Dakota Entrenchment

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/04/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Flee Island Dakota Entrenchment is located within a small stand of aspen trees, surrounded by an open grassland pasture. Shallow pits and trenches, scattered stones and uneven ground are the barely visible remains of the historic site. The provincial designation applies to the approximately 10,000 square metre area that contains the site.

Heritage Value

Flee Island Dakota Entrenchment is one of three 'cunkaské', a rare Manitoba example of a traditional First Nations fortified encampment. The intermittent earthen embankments served as a defensible position that protected an enclosed area against attacks from American bounty hunters in 1862. The numerous deep, circular and linear pits within the enclosure are the remnants of protective trenches that served as defensive positions for the armed Dakota defenders. Historic accounts about this locale suggest that Flee Island was the last battle site of the conflict between the Dakota Sioux and the Americans. The site continues to be culturally significant for First Nations groups, as is demonstrated by the coloured cloth ribbons that are tied to the trees in the small grove of aspens; the colours (white, red, green and black) represent the four directions in First Nations lore.

Sources: Historic Sites Advisory Board Meeting, December 7, 1954

Character-Defining Elements

The features that define the heritage character of Flee Island Dakota Entrenchment include:
- the small grove of aspen trees surrounded by an open grassland pasture
- a discontinuous earthen embankment feature that is approximately circular in shape with a height that varies from 0.3 to 1 metres
- the area surrounding the embankment, which is a gently rolling landscape, and which is within the view-shed of the site
- the numerous shallow pits located within the embankment

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Manitoba

Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date

1954/12/07

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1862/01/01 to 1862/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Settlement

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Park

Historic

Defence
Battle Site
Community
Settlement

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

P003

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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