Metis Nation Saskatchewan Election May 29th, 2021
Fort Qu'Appelle is a town in Southern Saskatchewan, Canada located in the Qu'Appelle Valley. It was originally established in 1864 as a Hudson's Bay Company trading post.
There are many interesting legends surrounding the naming of the valley. Pauline Johnson in her hauntingly beautiful poem "The Legend of the Qu'Appelle" tells the Legend of how the valley got its name. The name likely derived from the Cree name "Kahtapwao" which means 'What is calling?" The First Nations gave the name to the last in the chain of four lakes (now known as Lake Katepwa) for tradition had it that spirits inhabited the shores of the lake and old time First Nations heard voices while paddling their canoes - the only other sound being the dip of the paddles. French was the language of the North-West Company and the translation of 'Kahtapwao'' to "Qu'Appelle'' became permanent.
In 1864 the Hudson's Bay Company built a post on the site of the present Fort Qu'Appelle . Early maps show Fort Qu'Appelle at the centre of the hub trails. Trails to the east led to Fort Ellice (St. Lazare, Manitoba); to the west to Chesterfield House on the South Saskatchewan River near the Alberta border; trails to the north through the Touchwood Hills Post to Fort Carlton and branching from Fort Carlton to the Green Lake trail to Ile a Ia Crosse, to the Old Fort (Battleford) and Fort Pitt to the west and Fort a la Come and Cuumberland House to the east. Trails also led from Fort Qu'Appelle to Wood Mountarn and Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills. Trails and commerce of the day all passed through Fort Qu'Appelle in serving the southern half of the territory.
One can imagine the adventure, hustle and bustle, and excitement in the Fort on the arrival of the Red River Cart brigade with its supplies or loads of meat and furs, or the occasion of visits from hunters, traders, missionaries and company oflicials. These were welcorne interruptions in the normal pattern of life at the Fort and the work of processing supplies, packing, storing and shipping.
With the arrival of settlers and the passing of the buffalo from the scene, the Hudson Bay Company changed its direction from the supply and fur trade to real estate and stores, and in 1897 went outside the fort to build a general store in Fort Qu'Appelle. This stone building still stands at the corner of Broadway Street and Company Avenue.
The fourth, and the most important of the ten First Nation treaties, was signed at Fort Qu'Appelle in 1874 when the Cree and Saulteaux signed away their right to 75,000 sections of South Saskatchewan. Lieutenant Governor Morris of Manitoba and the North West Territories, assisted by Hon. David Laird, Minister of the Interior, and Hon. W. J. Christie, a former Chief Factor of the Hudson Bay Company, were the officials representing the government, escorted by a hundred red-coated militiamen from Fort Garry. Days before the parlaying, the Cree, Assiniboine and Saulteaux were setting up their camps in the flats and coulees. They pow-wow'd for days before the ceremony. Between two and three thousand Indians had gathered for the occasion.
Fort Qu'Appelle was chosen by General Middleton of the NWMPas temporary headquarters and base of operations for his troops on their way to Batoche in 1885. The General had brought his troops from Winnipeg by rail to Troy, which he considered to be the nearest spot on the CPR from which a trail led to Batoche, Riel's headquarters in the Metis uprising. On April 6, 1885, General Middleton and his force of 402 (including scouts) and 120 wagons left Fort Qu'Appelle on their trip north to Batoche up telegraph hill on the Carlton Trail.
Fort Qu'Appelle SK
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