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Battle of Loon Lake
Part of the North-West Rebellion
DateJune 3, 1885
LocationN. of Frenchman Butte, Saskatchewan
Result Canadian victory
Cree Flag of Canada (1868–1921).svg Canada
Commanders and leaders
Big Bear
Wandering Spirit
Sam Steele
150 47 militia
Casualties and losses
5–12 dead, 75-100 wounded at Loon Lake and Frenchman Butte 7 wounded
National Historic Site of Canada
Official name Steele Narrows National Historic Site of Canada
Designated 1950

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The Battle of Loon Lake concluded the North-West Rebellion on June 3, 1885 and was the last battle fought on Canadian soil. It was fought in what was then the District of Saskatchewan of the Northwest Territories.[1] Led by Major Sam Steele, a force of North-West Mounted Police, Alberta Mounted Rifles and Steele's Scouts (a body of mounted militia raised by Steele himself) caught up with and dispersed a band of Plains Cree warriors and their white and Métis hostages. Cree scouts made a determined stand with what was left of their ammunition, but the body of the Cree column, realizing the hopelessness of their situation, released their prisoners and fled. Wandering Spirit, the war chief leading the Cree military campaign, surrendered to authorities at Fort Pitt. Big Bear, the aging peacetime chief of this band of Cree, eluded capture until July 2.

Coordinates: 54°2′26″N 109°0′3″W / 54.04056°N 109.00083°W / 54.04056; -109.00083

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The site of the battle was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1950.[2]

In the spring of 2008, Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Christine Tell proclaimed in Duck Lake, that "the 125th commemoration, in 2010, of the 1885 Northwest Resistance is an excellent opportunity to tell the story of the prairie Métis and First Nations peoples' struggle with Government forces and how it has shaped Canada today."[3] The Battle of Loon Lake is commemorated today by interpretive signs placed by the Government of Saskatchewan and a plaque placed by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The place is today known as 'Steele Narrows'. The Narrows between Makwa Lake and Sanderson Bay, in the Makwa Lake Provincial Park, was the site of the last engagement of the rebellion. Steele Narrows Provincial Historic Park conserves the lookout point of a Cree burial ground.[4][5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Canadian Plains Research Center Mapping Division". http://esask.uregina.ca/management/app/assets/img/enc2/PDF/51C276D2-1560-95DA-430F6CC3E32921701.pdf. Retrieved 13 Sept 2013. 
  2. Steele Narrows. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  3. "Tourism agencies to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Northwest Resistance/Rebellion". Home/About Government/News Releases/June 2008. Government of Saskatchewan. June 7, 2008. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20091021102620/http://www.gov.sk.ca/news?newsId=3ceddf25-86ef-4433-86ea-cfe3cc69472d. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  4. "Steele Narrows Provincial Park - Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport -" (pdf). Brochure of the Northwest Rebellion. Government of Saskatchewan. http://www.tpcs.gov.sk.ca/SteeleNarrowsBrochure. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  5. "Makwa". Sasl Biz community profiles. Enterprise Saskatchewan Government of Saskatchewan. http://www.saskbiz.ca/communityprofiles/CommunityProfile.Asp?CommunityID=598. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 

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