Learn about Indigenous connections

Location: Batoche National Historic Site, Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatchewan
Options for a day trip, overnight stay, or weekend getaway.

Immerse yourself in history and culture exploring the site of a Metis settlement where political resistance leader Louis Riel established the headquarters for the Métis provisional government, visit the surrounding historic sites and discover an important meeting place of the Northern Plains Indigenous Peoples for more than 6,400 years.

A costumed interpreter playing the violin on a terrace among other interpreters at Batoche National Historic Site.

If you’re a day tripper

Your day adventure is focused on Batoche National Historic Site, a storied destination accented by the South Saskatchewan River, beautiful trails, and scenic viewing areas. Most important are the human elements of the site, unveiled within the Caron Home, Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue Roman Catholic Church, the priests’ rectory and the Batoche cemetery. Enjoy scenic views at the East Village, lands carpeted with wild flowers and the trembling aspen forest, and meet historically clothed interpreters who share the stories of Batoche. Following your tour, stop at the Friends of Batoche Gift Shop and visit the Batoche Café for a very unique culinary experience featuring selections such as Hearty Bison Soup, the Bison Burger, and traditional Bannock.

Four visitors looking at a sunset landscape near the river at Batoche National Historic Site.

If you’re an overnighter

Day 1: Begin at Batoche National Historic Site, touring the property, embarking on a series of walking trails, including: the Li pchi shmayna Trail, the Mission Ridge Trail and a 1.4 km section of the 19th-century Carlton Trail, named ‘the Rectory Path’, that once connected Saskatchewan’s Fort Carlton to Winnipeg’s Fort Garry. Picnic at the site, along the trails, or lunch at the Batoche Café.

Travel 44 km north from Batoche to the Duck Lake Regional Interpretive Centre and nearby site of the Battle of Duck Lake where the first shots of the 1885 North West Resistance occurred. The centre interprets the everyday struggles of pioneers, the devastating impact on First Nations Peoples, the near-extinction of the buffalo, and the harsh aftermath of the North West Resistance on the Métis Peoples. The museum features a 24 metre tower that delivers sweeping views of the countryside, a boardwalk replicating early 1900s storefronts, and exhibits. An outdoor gallery of murals depicts key historical people and events of the area and can be viewed at a dozen locations around the community.

Travel 83 south on the Louis Riel Trail (formerly Saskatchewan Highway 11) to overnight in Saskatoon.

Day 2: Travel 15 km north to visit the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, a sacred site and gathering place. A highlight at Wanuskewin is a true Indigenous mystery, one of fewer than 100 known ‘medicine wheels’ on the northern plains, believed to have been created about 1,500 years ago. Set on a ridge that overlooks the South Saskatchewan River with a 360-degree view of the surrounding plains, the wheel consists of a seven-metre-diameter central stone cairn, a 13-metre-wide outer ring of rocks, and other cairn and rock features.

Two adults with a stroller walking along the boardwalk by the church and rectory at Batoche National Historic Site.

If you’re a weekender

Day 1: Enjoy a fully-immersive visit of Batoche National Historic Site. Just 10 km away and a free 10-minute ferry ride across the South Saskatchewan River, it’s also worthwhile to visit Saint-Laurent de Grandin Shrine, an important religious heritage site for Saskatchewan’s Métis and French-speaking community. Overnighting in this area is limited – drive 69 km south on the Louis Riel Trail for accommodations in and around the City of Warman.

Day 2: Head 70 km north on the Louis Riel Trail to Duck Lake to explore its fascinating Regional Interpretive Centre. After your visit, drive 83 km south to Saskatoon to spend the night.

Day 3: Travel just 15 km north from Saskatoon to Wanuskewin Heritage Park for an enriching, full-day Indigenous experience as described above.

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