Fort Pitt Provincial Park

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Fort Pitt
Nêhiyawêwin: Waskahikansis (little fort)
Blackfoot: Itakapioxis (circle of houses)[1]
Battle of Fort Pitt.jpg
Battle of Fort Pitt
LocationSaskatchewan, Canada
Governing bodyParks Canada
WebsiteParks Canada
Fort Pitt
North Saskatchewan River, Saskatchewan, Canada
Fort Pitt is located in Saskatchewan
Fort Pitt
Fort Pitt
Coordinates53°34′19″N 109°47′31″W / 53.572°N 109.792°W / 53.572; -109.792
Site information
Controlled byKing George III/Queen Victoria
Site history
Built1830
In use1830-1870's
Battles/warsBattle of Fort Pitt

Fort Pitt was a fort built in 1830 by the Hudson's Bay Company that also served as a trading post on the North Saskatchewan River in Canada. It was built at the direction of Chief Factor John Rowand, previously of Fort Edmonton, in order to trade for bison hides, meat and pemmican. Pemmican, dried buffalo meat, was required as provisions for HBC's northern trading posts.

In the 1870s the abundance of buffalo in the area had been severely diminished through the overhunting necessary to meet the growing demand from the Hudson Bay Company for both furs and pemmican. One academic journal states "with the disappearance of the buffalo, pork had replaced pemmican altogether"[2] Showing the drastic effects of the Hudson Bay Company on the local buffalo population.

Fort Pitt was built where the territories of the Cree, Assiniboine and Blackfoot converged. It was located on a large bend in the river just east of the present day Alberta-Saskatchewan border and was the major post between Fort Edmonton and Fort Carlton. In 1876, it was one of the locations for signing Treaty 6. It was the scene of the Battle of Fort Pitt during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.

The site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1954.[3] It is now operated as the Fort Pitt Provincial Park.[4]

History[edit]

Fort Pitt (1829–1890) was a prairie trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company on the North Saskatchewan River about 10 miles east of the Alberta border. It was on the north bank of the river on a flat above a bluff. It traded mainly in pemmican and buffalo robes with the Blackfoot, Cree and some Métis. There was a fair amount of agriculture and horse-rearing. It was named after Thomas Pitt, a member of the HBC governing board from 1810 to 1832.

Bison and the establishment of Fort Pitt[edit]

bison

In 1690, Kelsey Henry from the Hudson Bay Company became the first newcomer to North America to walk the prairies of Western Canada and see the abundance of bison. For thousands of years dating back to the Western Archaic and the Avonlea Periods, First Nations Peoples have stalked hunted and followed the migration of bison along the Prairies.[5] Prior to European contact on North America, the bison was the most numerous of all grazing animals. Estimates of their numbers are only speculative, but may have ranged from 30,000,000 to 75,000,000.[6] By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the production of pemmican on the plains had become an industrial-scale operation.[5] For many years, prairie bison also provided Saskatchewan with pelts, hides, and other food. In the early 1800s, various fur-trading companies began strategically placing numerous trading posts on the maze of northern waterways. The Saskatchewan River provided access to the South-eastern area of the North and to the Sturgeon Weir River, which led to the Churchill River. These vast water highways spanned the province from East to West.[7] In 1830, Fort Pitt was established on the North Saskatchewan River by the Hudson Bay Company in what was at its time known as the heart of buffalo country. The fort was built by Chief John Rowand in order to meet the provisions necessary for the Hudson's Bay Company, such as buffalo meat, hides and pemmican.[8]

The fort was established in September 1829 by HBC company clerk, Patrick Small, the son of North West Company partner, Patrick Small, the brother-in-law of David Thompson and John MacDonald and the son-in-law of David Hughes.[9][10] During the first winter Small and his men had to live in tents, and building was not completed until the spring of 1831. It was closed in 1832 for fear of attack by surrounding Cree and Blackfoot, though it reopened in the fall of 1833.[citation needed]

In 1843, John Rowand, the son of John Rowand of Fort Edmonton, became master. In 1854, the elder Rowand, on his way to retirement, visited his son. While attempting to break up a fight between two voyageurs, he had a heart attack and died.[citation needed] Artist Paul Kane visited the fort in 1848.

Depletion Of Bison[edit]

In 1873, the bison market came to an abrupt end when Fort Pitt, once one of the most reliable sources of provisions in the Saskatchewan District, all but collapsed. Between the years of 1868 and 1881 an estimated 31,000,000 bison were killed as a result of the trade.[6] The demands of numerous HBC and NWC trading companies along Saskatchewan waterways in the 1800s quickly depleted the once well established bison population. Despite every exertion being made by the officer in charge of the post, who sent staff to follow up and traffic wherever Indians or Buffalo could be found, parties returned from the South Branch territories empty handed". After the bison were gone, almost five-sixths of the provisions brought to the post had to come from the hands of independent parties who were forced to travel staggering distances to obtain such resources. Purchases of these crucial resources soon became "a heavy expense" on the post. Meanwhile, the rest of the upper Saskatchewan posts were still able to meet the demands of the HBC.[11] The economic and social impact the depletion of bison left on indigenous tribes was devastating. As food supplies and resources dwindled, many of the HBC leaders adapted a "submit or starve" technique as an attempt to force indigenous peoples into signing treaties that heavily favoured the Hudson Bay Company.

Indigenous Peoples - Bison Depletion Impact[edit]

After the disappearance of bison in the lands surrounding Fort Pitt, Indigenous Peoples attempted agriculture to provide food for their families. Unfortunately, their initial farming attempts failed because when choosing reserve land, chiefs had shown a decided preference for rolling, heavily wooded terrain that was better suited for traditional pursuits such as hunting and gathering than raising crops. Government authorities attributed this sorry outcome to Indian idleness rather than environmental circumstance. The agricultural aid promised previous treaties such as implements, animals, and seeds was also slow in coming and inadequate. Ottawa expected the Indian adoption of agriculture to be an overnight success on the reserves and was more concerned with saving money than providing necessary assistance as the trade and resources dwindled surrounding Fort Pitt, the federal government came to resent its existing treaty obligations. In particular, they came to resent the cost of feeding starving Indians and balked at assuming additional duties. Many even questioned why money should be spent on keeping a dying race alive.[12] As a result, the Hudson Bay Company leaders soon adapted a "submit or starve" technique as an attempt to force indigenous people into forfeiting rights and signing treaties that heavily favoured the Hudson Bay Company. This caused great animosity between Fort Pitt and indigenous leaders such as Big Bear.

Smallpox[edit]

The emergence of smallpox had devastating consequences on Fort Pitt and the surrounding area. The plague of illness further taxed the already diminished recourses at Fort Pitt. The depletion of the buffalo, a fundamental food source, paired with lack of knowledge surrounding the smallpox virus would directly correlate to the 100 Cree lives lost in 1869- 1870. The 100 dead Cree was the second highest death toll due to smallpox of any recorded Cree population during this time. While these are recorded numbers some estimates are provided that the smallpox virus may have claimed the lives of half of all Cree. Some sources estimating upwards of 10,000 deaths were caused by the virus.[13]"More than 100 infected Cree forbidden from entering the for, died outside the stockade. The dead laid for days until hungry wolves came from the forest and fought over the rotting bodies. Some sick Natives thought that If they could give the sickness back to the Canadians at Fort Pitt – where it had come from – they could stop the suffering themselves. So they hung around the fort, put their scarred faces against the pump handles and spat on the door knobs.[14]

While smallpox had devastating effects on the population surrounding Fort Pitt its effects failed to penetrate the walls of the fort to any great extent. The Journal of American Medical Association states that as few as three people were infected inside the fort itself. The author of the article states " I can only attribute this to the fact that Mr. John Sinclair had taken precaution early in the previous summer to vaccinate all of the persons residing there." [15]

Fort Pitt provided hope to the many infected making the journey to seek aid at the fort. Many Cree set up temporary settlements in the surrounding area in hopes that the fort would be able to provide aid to the ill. The large congregation of Cree surrounding Fort Pitt may have been one of the reasons that accounts of death due to smallpox where so high in the areas surrounding. When it became clear that the fort either could not or, would not provide medicine to the sick Cree ,the Cree changed their approach. There are many accounts of the Cree attempting to "give the illness back" feeling that if they could return the illness to the fort they would be free of its effects.

Tension with the Blackfoot[edit]

As the relationship between Fort Pitt and the Cree began to grow so did the tension between the Members of Fort Pitt and the Blackfoot. The Blackfoot’s deemed any allies of the Cree to be enemies of the Blackfoot and thus open to exploitation and attack. "The Blackfoot considered the Hudson Bay Company to be in league with the Cree, so their relationship with the traders became tenuous. In 1863 the Blackfoot began to raid Fort Pitt itself"[16] The fact that " Many Cree’s had intermarried with Hudson Bay Company employees and were so friendly with them that the Black foot began to see the traders as their enemies as well"[17] Increased trading with the woods and Plains Cree created fear amongst the Hudson Bay traders at Fort Pitt. The Hudson Bay Company worried that trading with the Cree would open the Cree as well as Fort Pitt itself up to raids by the Black foot "The arrival of the Cree caused fear at the post that they would attract Blackfoot raiders and a possible attack on the post. Fort Pitt at the time was understaffed, both staff and the local Metis being away hunting on the plains or with the boat brigade[18] The Blackfoot made many attempts to intercept trading parties en route to the fort, as well as making raid attempts on the fort itself.

Big Bear[edit]

Big Bear at Fort Pitt Saskatchewan

Big Bear's presence and position within the plains Cree was a defining factor in the relationship that Fort Pitt shared with the Cree nation. Big Bear was often described as an advocate for the peaceful negotiations between the indigenous population and the European settlers. Big Bear’s presence in the area would have helped facilitate a less hostile environment, and would have been a significant factor in how the Plains Cree acted during the rebellion of 1885."Despite their impoverished state and stinging sense of disillusionment and betrayal, Indians had made a solemn vow during the treaty negotiations to live in peace and where not prepared to break this pledge and plunge the region into war. Instead Big Bear and other senior Cree chiefs patiently sought a peaceful resolution to their grievances."[12] The compassion that Big Bear showed for the value of human life is made evident by treatment of the Hudson Bay Company members at Fort Pitt during the Cree takeover in 1885. "the absorption of the people of Fort Pitt into the camp, and of other people gathered from the surrounding country side suggest that Big Bear and the other Woods Cree leaders saw this as essential in order to protect those whose lives might be in danger. Their goal was to keep them out of harms way, not do harm to them. The great number of "captives" or "prisoners" had opted for the protection of the Cree camp upon the advice of aboriginal friends or leaders. This was difficult for the general non-Aboriginal public to comprehend"[19] Many Fort Pitt inhabitants were so comfortable with the relationship between them and the Cree they would walk uncontested into the Cree camps even after the hostilities that took place at the fort.

Big Bear and 14 of band members would stand trial in Regina for their participation in the events of 1885 including the capturing of Fort Pitt. Even though Big Bear not only did not participate in the violence but was an advocate against it he was still accused of treason for not abandoning the Plains Cree at the onset of the violence. He would ultimately be convicted of treason and serve three years at the Stoney Mountain Penitentiary.

Chief Sweet Grass[edit]

Chief Sweet Grass Even though Big Bear was a more powerful and recognized leader within the Cree’s and Saskatchewan area, Chief Sweet Grass played a large role in the securing of Treaty 6, as well as a leading role in dealing with the government. Due to Big Bears predisposed bad reputation with McDougall, Alexander Morris had arrived to begin negotiations with a predetermined favouritism towards Chief Sweet Grass. Despite Chief Sweet Grass only held 25 lodges compared to Big Bear’s 65, Sweet Grass was still seen as desirable because of the Government belief in his ability to sway his fellow council members into signing.[20] In order to try to secure his people’s safety and well-being moving forward with the treaty, Chief Sweet Grass addressed the governors present as such:

"When I hold your hand and touch your heart, let us be as one; use your utmost to help me and help my children so that they may prosper. It is for that reason I give you my hand."[21]

Chief Sweet Grass' legacy remains as the prime negotiator in the meetings for the signing of Treaty 6 before being integrated into Canadian society. Sweet Grass converted to Christianity in 1870,[22] being baptized into Catholicism with the name Abraham.[23] He later died as a result of being shot by his brother, by the pistol given to him for signing the treaty.[24] His legacy lived on to current day, where Sweet Grass reserve is established in Battleford Saskatchewan.

Fort Pitt and Treaty 6[edit]

Before the introduction of Treaty 6 into land stretching between Saskatchewan and Alberta, several numbered treaties had begun to appear as the Canadian government pushed West to inhabit the land. Due to a lack of provincial boundaries set in place before several of the numbered treaties existing, there has been an overlap in treaty/provincial lines.[25] As situations got worse in Manitoba for the Metis and other Indigenous populations, they headed further west in order to salvage what they could of the diminishing buffalo population. In turn, as they had settled near Red River territory in Saskatchewan, it put even greater pressure on the population there.Therefore, this would leave the Indigenous people of Fort Pitt and other surrounding areas no other options other than to seek an agreement with the Canadian government, in form of a treaty, to protect their interests.[26] The main inhabitants of the land at the time consisted of Cree, with some Assiniboine, Saulteaux, and Chipewyan, although the main intention of the treaty was focused on the Cree people.

Treaty 6 was noted as one of the only treaties in which provisions such as medical treatment as well as relief in case of national disease or famine.[27] Despite Chief Big Bears resentment towards the signing of the treaty, due to his belief that it was unfair towards its people, it went on to be signed without him. The negotiations began on the fifth of September 1876. In exchange for their land, they were given horses, wagons, farming equipment as well as the promise of aid mentioned above.[8] During the initial negotiations, Morris and company had declared that the people of Fort Pitt will be given the same treaty terms presented at Fort Carlton. After morris was given permission to establish the terms of the treaty to the Indigenous council, they met in council to debate and discuss the rest of the day. Days after initial negotiations had begun, the commissioners arrived to gather the final decision.[28] Cree Chief Sweetgrass came forward from the council to accept the terms given to them by the government, but also a plea to keep the Indigenous population alive and prosperous, stating "When I hold your hand and touch your heart, let us be as one; use your utmost to help me and help my children so that they may prosper"(Ibid., 1873, No. 23, Morris to Howe, December 13, 1872). The treaty had consisted of annual cash payments to chiefs and their band members, ranging from $5 to $25, reserve lands, schools on the reserves, as well as farming equipment and tools such as wagons, horses, livestock, twine and ammunition.[29]

Wandering Spirit[edit]

Wandering Spirit was a "war Chief" in the Plains Cree under the leadership of Big Bear. Wandering Spirit's personality and ideals varied from Big Bear in many ways, he was more susceptible to the use of violence instead of the peaceful negotiations preferred by Big Bear. Wandering Spirit "had initiated the killing of nine White and half-breed men on 2 April at Frog Lake." this act of defiance against Big Bear and his peaceful negotiations would be a turing point in the Plains Cree's history. The war chiefs would soon take control of the Plains Cree "ending Big Bear’s peaceful ten year struggle to obtain better conditions for his people."[30] One of Wandering Spirit's first movements after the "massacre at Frog Lake" was to proceed south east to the Hudson Bay trading post at Fort Pitt, where Wandering Spirit demanded the post be surrendered by the Mounted police guarding it. In return for a peaceful surrender the Mounted Police were allowed to leave unharmed. Wandering Spirit gave the employees of Hudson Bay company and their families the choice of leaving with the police or surrendering to the Cree. All of the Hudson Bay company employees chose to surrender instead of leave Fort Pitt with the police. Wandering Spirit ordered his men to raid the fort filling wagons full of food clothes and supplies. The Cree then returned to Frog Lake with 44 hostages from Fort Pitt, most of the hostages were placed under the control of the Woods Cree at Frog Lake.[30]

In May 1885, Fort Pitt would once again be visited by Wandering Spirit and Big Bear's Cree. By this time, the Cree Camp had grown to an estimated 300 men, 700 women and children, as well as containing hostages, dogs, and horses. The Cree would once again take the recourses form the fort this time departing to Frenchman's Butte. Upon the departure the Cree would set fire to many of the buildings at Fort Pitt, this would be one of the most aggressive and destructive actions that were directed directly at Fort Pitt itself.[30]

While Wandering Spirit showed more aggression than Big Bear he often still tried to avoid violence. The fact that he gave the option of surrender and departure to the Mounted Police at Fort Pitt emphasised that while he was not opposed to violence it was not his desired outcome. There is some debate about whether the release of the Mounted Police was Wandering spirits idea or due to the intervention of Big Bear.

Wandering Spirit was not opposed to the presence of the Hudson Bay Company in the Northwest Territories, however, he strongly opposed the Government. The police force at Fort Pitt was his target in May 1885 not the many traders and their families who worked for the Hudson Bay Company. Hostilities were never expressed towards the traders or their families and they would be welcomed into the Cree camps with open arms.[19][31]

Wandering Spirit would eventually surrender with other members of the Cree at Fort Pitt where he and other Cree would be accused of their crimes and involvement in the violence that occurred in 1885.

Francis Jeffery Dickens[edit]

In 1883, 25 North-West Mounted Police were sent to Fort Pitt under the command of Francis Dickens, the son of the novelist Charles Dickens. Dickens arrived "Several days late and was met by a large camp of Indians, many of them dissatisfied because they had not received their promised agriculture equipment" [16] At this time, Fort Pitt was seeing an increase in the number of dissatisfied Plains Cree in the surrounding area. The lack of recourses and growing tensions throughout the prairies would be influential factors in the 1885 rebellion. Soon after the violence broke out at Duck Lake John Rae would request that Dickens track and ensure that Big Bear's Cree had remained in the Fort Pitt area. There was a growing fear that an increasing number of Cree would join the Metis and pose an even greater threat.[32][33]

After failing to maintain control of Fort Pitt Dickens and his men would retreat to the safety Battleford effectively ending Dickens active duty with the Mounted Police. Dickens would be employed as a justice of the peace and preside over some of the preliminary hearings for the rebels. In 1886, he would leave the employment of government and move to the United States with the intentions of completing a lecture tour. Dickens would die on June 11 of a suspected heart attack before the tour began.

W.J McLean - Fort Pitt Supervisor During Uprising[edit]

W.J. McLean was a Chief Trader who was responsible for the supervision of Fort Pitt beginning in 1884. He had previously served twenty years with the company at various locations. His wife Helen was born at Fort Dunvegan and was partly of aboriginal ancestry. There were eight McLean children, and in the spring of 1885 Helen McLean was expecting another child. The three eldest McLean sisters Ameilia, Eliza and Kitty were all well educated, having attended school at Red River, but they could also ride, shoot, and were fluent in Cree and Saulteaux. Following the Massacre at Frog Lake, Fort Pitt's population dramatically increased as people from surrounding districts sought protection there, some with the assistance of Aboriginal associates. There were twenty-three NWMP stationed at the fort under the command of Francis Dickens (the son of the famous novelist Charles Dickens). These included many police members who were evacuated from Frog Lake. On April 14 when Big Bear and his Plains Cree party assembled on the banks overlooking the Fort, they specifically asked to speak to McLean who was on friendly terms with these people and believed that he did not have to fear for himself or his family. Lengthy discussions lasted 2 days however a violent encounter broke out when the Cree thought themselves to be under attack. In statements made later, McLean never hesitated to lay the blame for this on the poor judgment of Inspector Dickens, who, the day before, sent out two NWMP and one civilian to gather information on the whereabouts of Aboriginal groups. Their sudden appearance led the Cree to believe that they were under attack. Three Cree members were killed during the confrontation along with one of the NWMP members. During this event, all of the inhabitants of Fort Pitt except the remaining NWMP, agreed to evacuate the fort, and become part of Big Bear's camp.[34]

Battle of Fort Pitt and the 1885 Rebellion[edit]

There was a great deal of unease surrounding the European settlers and the indigenous population during the mid-1880s. Fort Pitt was no exception however, there are examples given that suggest that the relationship between the European settlers, and the Cree were different than the relations of the time in other areas. There was great deal of violence in the areas surrounding Fort Pitt however, this was not necessarily the case within the fort itself. Many accounts of the violence state that it was a "settling of personal scores" and many of the land owners in the surrounding area were targeted due to their past relationships with the indigenous population. This resentment and anger was not directed at the European settlers as a whole but, rather specific members of the population, as well as government. Some historians state that "many of the killings were the settling of personal scores." [35] they also reference situations such as Bill Waiser In his book "A World We Have Lost Saskatchewan Before 1905". Waiser provides some insight into the events at Fort Pitt the author provides evidence supporting the theory that relationship between The Mounted Police force at Fort Pitt and the Cree we not as hostile as often thought. "Had the plains Cree been truly hostile and intended on waging war, they would have attacked the fort almost immediately and not given the police any time to try and fortify their position. That they waited several days confirmed that the murders were unpremeditated and that this new action was largely motivated by the need for food and previsions for their large camp." [36] Daschuk also states that "police officers at Fort Pitt we spared in recognition of their humanity" further suggesting that the relationships may not have been as resentful as other areas.[35]

1885 Rebellion

The only loss of European life at the hands of the Cree during the capture of Fort Pitt came when the search party sent out by Dickens accidentally rode their horses through a Cree camp. The surprised Cree engaged in a brief fire fight fearing that this was an offensive attack on behalf of the mounted police. In the attack, David Cowan was fatally wounded, and Constable Lawrence Loasby was wounded but managed to escape only to be captured a short time later. A third Mounted Police officer was captured but not injured. This is one of the events that influenced Dickens to initiate his retreat leaving the fort vacant of mounted police and surrendering to the Cree's occupation of the fort with minimal resistance.[37][35] There were also three Cree who lost their lives in this brief battle[19][38]

Dickens was also persuaded by the threat that the Cree may simply set the fort on fire instead of attack it. "The indians told Mclean they wouldnt even need to attack the fort. They had brought 40 gallons of coal oil from Frog lake more than enough to set the small stockade and the building it contained ablaze"[38]

On April 17, 1885 the members of the Mistahimaskwa Cree Nation effectively take control of Fort Pitt and successfully negotiate the evacuation of the North West Mounted police. The members of the Mistahimaskwa Cree Nation successfully maintained control of Fort Pitt until July 2, 1885 when they surrendered to the North West Mounted police.[39]

After the police force was dispatched from the fort the reaming men, women, and children were given the choice to either leave the fort or stay as "hostages" the majority chose to stay. By most recorded accounts, they were treated with relative dignity and respect. This further promotes the idea put forth by Waiser that this movement on Fort Pitt was not intended as an act of pure aggression, but one created out of the necessity to feed themselves and gain adequate supplies.[12]

During the second sacking of Fort Pitt on April the 9th the Cree under the orders of Wandering Spirit would raid the reaming resources and set fire to the fort Destroying all but one of the service buildings.[40]

On May the 26th a mounted column would arrive at Fort Pitt to see the remains still smouldering in the aftermath of the cree raid. The members of the column were" sobered by the discovery of the body of Constable David Cowan, His heart removed and placed on a nearby pole"[41] Fort Pitts location and the fact that it was situated at the divergence of many trails lead the column to reclaiming it setting up headquarters.[41][30]

The actions of the Cree worriers at Fort Pitt as well as other locations such as Frog lake during the Rebellion of 1885 would be contributing factors in the governments creation of the Alberta Field Force on April 20th 1885. The Alberta Field Force consisted of one thousand men, and was tasked with ending the rebellion and returning peace to the land. They marched unimpeded from Calgary east meeting their first significant resistance upon arrival in the Fort Pitt region. The Alberta Field Force encountered and interrupted a group of Cree performing a "thirst dance" in which the Cree were searching for spiritual guidance. This was happening at the base of Frenchman's Butte. This encounter and the violent outbreak afterwards would be described as "one of the most indecisive skirmishes during the tragedy of 1885"[30]

Frenchman's Butte[edit]

Frenchman's Butte is located 18 km Northwest of Fort Pitt and it is a significant historical site for the role it played in the Battle of Batoche. It was at this location that the Alberta field Force marched upon the some of Big Bear's Cree while they were participating in a Thirst dance after leaving Fort Pitt. The Alberta Field Forces interruption of the Thirst dance lead to the retreat of the Cree to the rifle pits throughout the plains "Big bears soldiers installed themselves in deep rifle pits above the surrounding plains" [42] A short battle occurred but soon after it began the Canadian military realized that Big Bear's men had superior tactical position and they were forced to retreat to the safety of Fort Pitt, While Big Bear's men retreated in the opposite direction startled by the fire power of the Alberta Field Force.[42]

Closure[edit]

The next September, the fort was rebuilt by Angus McKay. In 1887, a branch post was built at Onion Lake about 20 mi (32 km) to the northwest. In 1890, everything was moved to Onion Lake, and Fort Pitt was closed.

Fort Pitt after the Hudson Bay Company[edit]

In 1944, Fort Pitt was sold to Robert Hougham with the intent to cultivate the land for agricultural purposes. On the commencement of land cultivation Houghman discovered shallow graves located in close proximity to the remains of the original fort. It is unknown at this time the specifics surrounding the remains. Many of the tombstones and other identifying tools were destroyed during the fires and rebellion in 1885. Houghman worked the land for 16 years until his death in 1960. Robert Hougham would be buried on the property in 1960.[43]

Fort Pitt Current day[edit]

In 1954, Fort Pitt was designated a "National historical site" by the government of Canada. According to the Parks Canada Directory of Federal Heritage Designations the significance of Fort Pitt to Canadian Heritage come from; "The Hudson Bay Company built the post to trade in buffalo hides, meat and pemmican; It was the site if the signing of Treaty No. 6 in 1876; and, it was burned during the 1885 rebellion by Big Bears followers after the police had withdrawn to Battleford."

The remains of Fort Pitt are located in Fort Pitt Provincial Park located roughly 5 km Northwest of Hewitt Landing in Western Saskatchewan. The Historical site itself consists of the architectural remains of two of the forts that were located in the area, they have been partially excavated and presented for interpretive purposes. The outlines of the First two forts are also visible, as well as one reconstructed building designed in accordance with the second fort.[44]

It is a free to enter the park that has a picnic area as well as a pit toilet for the convenience of tourists. It also features geotracking as a recreational activity for guests. It is affiliated with RCMP, NWMP, Natural history, and Natural sciences, Settlement History, Provincial historical park, Roadside monument. Its certifications and affiliations include being a museum association of Saskatchewan member, and a provincial Heritage Property Designation.[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Elizabeth Browne Losey, "Let Them be Remembered: The Story of the Fur Trade Forts". 1999
  1. ^ Fromhold, Joachim (2001). 2001 Indian Place Names of the West - Part 1. Calgary: Lulu. pp. FFF. ISBN 9780557438365.
  2. ^ Dobak, William (Spring 1996). "Killing the Canadian Buffalo". Western Historical Quarterly. 27 (1): 33–52. doi:10.2307/969920. JSTOR 969920.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Fort Pitt. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  4. ^ Bob Beal. "Fort Pitt". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Waiser, Bill (2016). A World We Have lost. Markham Ontario: Fifth House. pp. 67, 279. ISBN 978-1-927083-39-0.
  6. ^ a b Arthun, Dave (1982). "The North American Bison". Rangelands. 4 (3): 123–125. JSTOR 3900451.
  7. ^ Waiser, Bill (2005). Saskatchewan A New History. Calgary Alberta: Fifth House. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-894856-43-0.
  8. ^ a b Pateman, John (2014). Fort Pitt to Fort William. Pateran Press. p. 74.
  9. ^ Fromhold, Joachim (2012). Alberta History Jasper National Park: 10,000 Years of Indian History Part 2 – 1750 to 1850. lulu.com. p. 175. ISBN 9781105144004. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  10. ^ Brown, Wayne (2013). Sam Steele and the Northwest Rebellion the trail of 1885. Victoria, BC: Heritage House. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-927527-24-5. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  11. ^ Colpitts, George (2012). "Provisioning the HBC: Market Economies in the British Buffalo Commons in the Early Nineteenth Century". Western Historical Quarterly. 43 (2): 179–203. doi:10.2307/westhistquar.43.2.0179. JSTOR westhistquar.43.2.0179.
  12. ^ a b c Waiser, Bill (2006). Saskatchewan A New History. Calgary Alberta: Fifth House. pp. 165, 166. ISBN 978-1-894856-43-0.
  13. ^ Nix, James (1960). Mission Among the Buffalo. The Ryerson Press; First edition.
  14. ^ Patemen, John (2013). Fort Pitt to Fort William. Thunder Bay, Ontario: Pateran Press. p. 16.
  15. ^ Hamilton M.D., LL.D., John (January–June 1897). "Smallpox Among the unprotected Aborigines of Canada". The Journal of the American Medical Association. 28: 922.
  16. ^ a b Dempsey, Hugh (2006). Big Bear the End of Freedom. Regina Saskatchewan: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd. pp. 26, 79.
  17. ^ Dempsey, Hugh (2006). Big Bear The End Of Freedom. Regina Saskatchewan: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd. p. 68.
  18. ^ Fromhold, Joachim (1860). The Western Cree Maski Pitons Band (Maskeptoon, Broken arm) Of the Plains Cree. Canada: First Nations Publishing. p. 428.
  19. ^ a b c Felske, Rasporich, Lorry, Beverly (2004). Challenging Frontiers the Canadian West. Calgary Alberta: University of Calgary Press. pp. 78, 79, 80. ISBN 978-1-55238-140-3.
  20. ^ Quan, Holly (2009). Native chiefs and famous Métis: Leadership and bravery in the Canadian West. Surrey, BC.: Heritage House.
  21. ^ Branch, Government of Canada; Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada; Communications (2008-11-03). "Treaty Research Report - Treaty 6 (1876)". Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
  22. ^ Milloy, John (1988). The Plains Cree: Trade, Diplomacy, and, War, 1790-1870. University of Manitoba Pres. p. 116.
  23. ^ Turner, Allan. "WIKASKOKISEYIN, ABRAHAM". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. University of Toronto.
  24. ^ Cuthand, Doug (2007). Askiwina: A Cree World. Coteau Books. p. 43.
  25. ^ Frideres, J.S. (1993). Native People's in Canada: Contemporary Conflicts. Prentice-Hall Canada. p. 69.
  26. ^ Branch, Government of Canada; Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada; Communications (2008-11-03). "Treaty Research Report - Treaty 6 (1876)". Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
  27. ^ Frideres, J.S. (1993). Native Peoples in Canada: Contemporary Conflicts. Prentice Hall Canada. p. 72.
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