Culture and history

Fort Livingstone National Historic Site


Fort Livingstone is a member of the family of almost 900 National Historic Sites across Canada.

Fort Livingstone is of national significance because:

  • It was the first capital of the North-West Territories, 1876-1877; and 
  • It was the original headquarters and the first post built specifically for the North-West Mounted Police.

Fort Livingstone is located approximately 7.3 kilometres northwest of Pelly, Saskatchewan near the junction of the Snake Creek and Swan River. Built in 1874, it was the first post built for the newly-formed North-West Mounted Police and it served as its headquarters until 1876. From November 1876 to February 1878 it also served as the temporary seat of government of the North-West Territories while the new government buildings in Battleford were being constructed.

Forty-eight and a half hectares in size, it encompasses all the area originally occupied by the fort. The landscape is characterized by rocky ground interspersed by copses of poplar and hawthorn trees. Although part of the property is actively used for grazing, its isolated setting and natural environment preserves a landscape that is relatively unchanged since the 1870s. In addition to the natural landscape features, the site is also home to a garter snake hibernaculum which was present at the time the fort was established.

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