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Fort Pitt National Historic Site of Canada

Fort Pitt Provincial Park, Saskatchewan, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1954/06/07

Misto-ha-a-Musqua (Big Bear), pictured in the centre, trading at Fort Pitt; Unknown photographer | Photographe inconnu / Library and Archives Canada | Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / Ernest Brown fonds / e011303100-020_s1
Big Bear and men at Fort Pitt, 1885
The Fort Pitt plaque erected by the Province of Saskatchewan in 1973 showing the reconstructed factor’s house in background; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada,
Plaque location
View of the HSMBC plaque; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, 1989
HSMBC plaque

Other Name(s)

Fort Pitt National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Pitt
Fort Pitt

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1829/01/01 to 1830/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/07/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Fort Pitt National Historic Site of Canada is located in Fort Pitt Provincial Park, approximately 5km north east of Hewitt Landing in western Saskatchewan. The site consists of a field located on the North Saskatchewan River. Archaeological remains of two forts on the site have been located, partially excavated and presented for interpretive purposes. As a result of these excavations the outline of all buildings and of the palisade is visible. A reconstructed building from the second fort can also be seen.
There is an HSMBC cairn in addition to two plaques commemorating Fort Pitt and Big Bear. Official recognition refers to two polygons surrounding the remains of each of the two forts that bore the name ‘Fort Pitt’ with a 30 metre radius extending from the limit of the known resources.

Heritage Value

Fort Pitt was designated a national historic site because:
- the Hudson’s Bay Company built this post to trade in buffalo hides, meat and pemmican;
- it was a site of the signing of Treaty No. 6 in 1876; and,
- it was burned during the 1885 rebellion by Big Bear’s followers after the police had withdrawn to

In the winter of 1829-30 Chief Factor John Rowand of the Hudson's Bay Company established Fort Pitt as a provision post for travellers. Fort Pitt also served as a trading post for the local Cree, Assiniboine and Blackfoot. In 1873 a new post was established approximately 100 metres southwest of the original site which was subsequently abandoned. In 1876 Fort Pitt was the site of the signing of Treaty No. 6 and that same year a North West Mounted Police base was established on the site. As a result of several skirmishes during the 1885 rebellion Big Bear’s followers burned several of the fort’s buildings to the ground after the police had withdrawn. The Hudson’s Bay Company rebuilt some of the buildings but the area was no longer profitable so they abandoned the fort by 1890.

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include: - its location in a field on the North Saskatchewan River; - the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains relating to the fort, which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent; - the retention of the knowledge associated with all period artifacts associated with the site; - the unimpeded viewscapes to and from the site in its rural setting.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1829/01/01 to 1890/01/01
1876/01/01 to 1876/01/01
1885/01/01 to 1885/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Peopling the Land
Canada's Earliest Inhabitants

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Trading Post
Police Station

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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