Archives, Our Stories

Ancient Trail Mapped

FROM EAGLE HILLS TO MANITOU LAKE

manitou lake battleford trail by lloyd how
By Lloyd How

Lloyd How’s interest in local history and archaeology is reflected in a new acquisition to our archives.

Ancient trails crisscrossed this country mapping the routes that were used by the First Nations, the European explorers, the North West Mounted Police and then the immigrants that followed. One such trail crossed the lands that Lloyd and his wife, Noreen, lived on before they retired to the town of Cut Knife. They both grew up seeing the evidence of the trail as indentations in the prairie soil and recognizing that it is disappearing.

This ancient trail was used by the local River Cree as they traveled from the area where the Battle and Saskatchewan Rivers joined at the Eagle Hills (Battleford) to Manitou Lake, Sounding Lake and further into Alberta. These lakes are considered sacred by the First Nations and were often visited via the trail.

Anthony Henday used this trail in 1745 as he made his way through what is now Western Canada.

Along the trail are many areas that were used for centuries for camping, hunting and trapping. Lloyd consulted local Cree elder, Wally Simaganis, written historical accounts, and locals who remembered seeing the trail. Then he spent countless hours exploring and mapping.

Thank you, Lloyd and Wally, for all of your work in the mapping of this ancient trail to keep alive stories of this corridor and the fading memories of those who walked or rode along it.

~ Lucille B.

Our Stories

Cultural Perspective Workshop

PROJECTILE POINTS

It was an interesting day of exploring new perspectives on the topic of Projectile Points.

The points in our museum’s collection were somewhat overlooked in the past, positioned on a board in a pretty pattern reminiscent of mosaic tiling and not revealing much of their past.

Workshop leader, Audrey Drever, inspired us to use them as the beginning of relationships, storytelling, programming and exhibits that will educate and illuminate.

Those little pieces of stone are not destined to be mosaic pieces much longer.

~ Lucille B.

Our Stories

Sites Mapping Adventure

empty cuppola on former one-room-schoolhouse
Former one-room school house

One of my projects for the upcoming Cut Knife Centennial Celebration in 2012 is a map and GPS locations of the one room school sites and other landmarks in the area.

The day before yesterday, Bonnie Ramsay, Noreen Bullerwell and I went on a 200 mile journey armed with history books, maps, camera, a Garmin, and a little patience.

We headed to Rockhaven first, such a pretty little village. From there we headed east, north, west, south, and then back north and east again. 36 sites later, interspersed with lunch paid by a nephew (who called us ‘the old girls’- not funny), a coffee stop in the Baldwinton area (because our union insists upon coffee breaks), a ‘gopher’ job for our harvesters (who mistakenly thought that we were were bringing liquid refreshments – sorry!), and a couple of encounters with dogs, we arrived back in Cut Knife, tired but satisfied with the day’s efforts. There are several more sites to finish the project off but they won’t take too long to do, if someone can tell us exactly where Madawaska school was located.

Now I will add old photos and the new ones that I took and we will have identified these sites for those who can read a map or a GPS device.

There were a few times when we were almost stumped but Bonnie said to look for the caragana trees and sure enough, there was the site. Most school sites had caraganas planted around the yard.

We also had to backtrack from a northerly trail as it changed from a trail to a track through tall grass out in the Baldwinton hills.

Great adventure!

Will post the file on the website when I am finished.

~ Lucille B.

October 2, 2011 update to this blog: Don Paziuk helped me find the Triple Lakes School site to add to our list. That was a long trek past Atton’s Lake, through the community pasture, and even further. There is only a foundation left to mark the spot. The signage was vandalized a few years ago.