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Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada

Central Ave. - PO Box 70, Battleford, Saskatchewan, S0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1923/05/25

General view of the Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada, 1995.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1995.
General view
General view of the main entrance to Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada showing the Historical Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque and depicting the fort in the background, 1991.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, D. McArthur, 1991.
General view
General view of the Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada walls showing one of the viewscapes of the site, 2002.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Muir, 2002.
General view

Other Name(s)

Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Battleford
Fort Battleford
Northwest Rebellion
L'insurrectrion du nord-ouest

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1876/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/06/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Fort Battleford is an early North West Mounted Police post located on the edge of the town of Battleford at the junction of the Battle and North Saskatchewan rivers. The designation refers to the site and its historic resources, which extends in a diamond shape from the river terrace above the junction of the rivers. Built resources include several small wooden buildings within a stockade.

Heritage Value

Fort Battleford was declared a national historic site in 1951 to commemorate:
- the role of the North West Mounted Police at the fort from 1876 to 1885 in extending the Canadian government’s interests in the west;
- the role of the fort during the Northwest Rebellion / Resistance of 1885, including its role in the “seige” of Battleford, as a base for the military operations at Cut Knife Hill, Fort Pitt and the search for Mistahimaskwa (Big Bear), and as the site of the surrender of Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker) to General Middleton’s forces on 26 May 1885.

The heritage value of Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada lies in its historical associations with the NWMP presence in what was then the North West Territories, 1876-1885, as illustrated by the site and its surviving resources. Fort Battleford was established by the North West Mounted Police in 1876 and closed in 1924. At the time it was built, Battleford was capital of Canada’s newly acquired North West Territories. The site is now operated by Parks Canada and is open to the public.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1953; Commemorative Integrity Statement, 1997.

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:

- the setting of the fort between two major water routes;
- the size and diamond shape of the fort’s grounds;
- the original spatial relationship of above and below-ground surviving buildings and remains;
- the buildings surviving from the 1876-1885 period (the Commanding Officer’s Residence, and the Officer’s Quarters) in their rectangular massing, pitched roofs, the regularly spaced apertures, local construction materials (plaster-coated wood walls, wood-shingle roofs), construction technology (Red River frame for the Commanding Officer’s Residence, log construction for officers’ quarters), surviving original interior layouts and finishes;
- the footprints, materials, and other archaeological remains of all structures no longer standing (including buildings, bastions, and other structures associated with the 1876-1885 period both inside and outside the stockade);
- the remains of earthen fortifications constructed adjacent to the stockade in 1885;
- vestiges of a network of historic trails around the fort;
- archaeological evidence of NWMP life and experience (both in ground and above), including those remains removed from the site and placed in storage by Parks Canada;
- viewscapes along both the Battle and North Saskatchewan rivers, across the Battle River to the former Government House, to the vestiges of historic trails that linked Fort Battleford to its outpost, to the historic townsite of Battleford,
- viewscape to the site from the former Government House.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1923/05/25

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1876/01/01 to 1885/01/01
1876/01/01 to 1924/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Security and Law

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Historic or Interpretive Site

Historic

Defence
Military Defence Installation

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

733

Status

Published

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General view

Commanding Officer's Residence

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