Soundscape of the city
Whenever I visit The Forks National Historic Site, I take a moment to listen and it’s amazing what you can hear! The squealing of trains as they ship goods all over Canada and the United States, the many languages of visitors, the peeping of ground squirrels, the music of local and international performers, and, beneath it all, the flowing sounds of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
The house on the river
Riel House National Historic Site is a tangible connection to Manitoban history and the early Métis way of life, back to a time where this thin “Seigneurial” style lot would stretch from the Red River to the Seine River. There’s a myriad of different motivations for visitors to experience Riel House from being a history buff, to discovering or reaffirming their Métis heritage.
Work beyond the stone walls
I love spending time at the farm and the bakehouse at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site because I love nature and food. At the farm, I can watch the garden grow throughout the season and enjoy the harvests directly. At the bakehouse, I can sample freshly made bannock with homemade butter, sometimes a few more elaborate dishes, and enjoy the smaller details of history.
A fantasy world of ferns
One of my favorite spots in Riding Mountain National Park is the Oak Ridge Trail. It’s a unique landscape around Scott Creek with oak trees and ferns. It’s so refreshing to dip your feet in the creek after the hike! This is different than any other trail in the park and it feels like you’re in a “fantasy world” with the ferns and over-hanging trees!
"Where can you go where culture shines bright?
None other than Fort Walsh National Historic Site.
Indigenous peoples with stories to tell.
Demonstrations of beading, and drumming as well.
Sharing their history of days long ago;
Fostering understanding where it’s not known.
The hills are alive, and the tipis, a sign,
Of the many who walked here, among these waters and pine.
Discover the First Nations camp; all the wonders to be found.
It’s the place where I’m changed, by wisdom unbound."
There’s no better way to explore the breathtaking Grasslands National Park than on horseback. It’s the perfect way to cover several miles in rugged terrain, and provides a great vantage point to spot ancient tipi rings hidden in the prairie wool. Riding through this country and observing cultural evidence along the way is a constant reminder of how past peoples interacted with the grasslands. Without their stewardship and respect for the environment, there wouldn’t be this natural, intact prairie for us to see today.
One of my favourite places at Grasslands National Park is the Borderlands Viewpoint. The view is one of the most beautiful and unique in the park, take a seat in the Red Chairs and enjoy! To get there, you have to travel along the Backcountry Loop which is impassable when wet, so make sure to plan ahead and come prepared for the remoteness of the area. But that's what makes it special!
With these hands
A symbol of hard work and perseverance; the piece of a wooden plow handle displayed in W.R. Motherwell’s home reminds me of the dedication and sweat that went into and continues to go into living off the land at Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site. It’s a tribute to all those past and present that grow food for Canadians.
A day in the life of a farmer
One of my favourite things is the horses at the Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site. The gentle beauty and the sense of awe and wonder that visitors get to experience when they see them, smell them and touch them is truly a highlight of every day. Our amazing team this year was provided by one of our Indigenous partners in the community and we cannot thank them enough!
My favorite spot is the Caron Home at Batoche National Historic Site. Still standing from 1895, this house gives the perfect glimpse into Métis homesteading life and the resiliency of the Métis people in Batoche. Learn about life during the Battle of Batoche and the recovery of the village after the events of 1885. My own ancestors lived on the next river lot over, so I feel literally close to home there!
Banks of the river
There’s nothing nicer than looking down into the South Saskatchewan River valley with the clouds rolling by up above. While many visitors explore Batoche National Historic Site for its rich history and culture, I love going on a quiet walk along the banks of the river to visit the Caron home.
Beyond the boundaries of Boundary Bog
Boundary Bog in Prince Albert National Park is the trail that made me feel at home. The moss and lichen, the stunted black spruce – it invites you to slow down and take in your surroundings. My family has been on this land since time immemorial, and I am grateful to continue that connection. My favourite sight is muskeg tea plants blooming in spring, white flowers attracting pollinators.
The 12 flags, representing local Indigenous Peoples and Treaty 6, as well as their accompanying outdoor interpretive panels, emphasize this site’s long history. Stopping at the flags before entering the fort is a good reminder of Fort Battleford National Historic Site's complex story in Saskatchewan.
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