When it comes to history, our province is just as rich and diverse as anywhere in the world! From shifting landscapes to indoor streets, a ship built in the middle of the prairies to exciting underground tunnels, outlaw caves to sites of battles, dinosaurs to archeological dig sites, we truly have it all!
Here are 10 must visit places in Saskatchewan that showcase the history of Saskatchewan.
Batoche National Historic Site
Visit the last site of the North West Rebellion. In 1885, Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel faced one of their last stands, outnumbered, against Canadian soldiers. The church at Batoche still bears the bullet holes. Guided tours help you learn all about what was life was like for a Metis settler and time leading up to the formation of the country itself. Batoche opens mid-May and stays open until the fall.
Fort Walsh National Historic Site
Established in 1875 and one of the most heavily armed at the time, Fort Walsh played an integral part in Canadian history and in the formative and early years of the RCMP. Fort Walsh is a great place to visit for people of all ages, as the tours are quite unique and features period correct costume. Be sure to check out the other spectacular attractions in the Cypress Hills are as well!
Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village & Museum
Located just eight miles from Moose Jaw, this non-profit museum is a must see. Self-guided tours are available at the museum from May-September. Born in 1878, Tom Sukanen led a fascinating life. The ship he built in the middle of the prairies, destined to one day sail home, pays homage to his life. The museum is also home to an impressive hundred thousand artifacts including a display of old tractors and cars, as well as a hundred year old grain elevator.
Tunnels of Moose Jaw
The Tunnels of Moose Jaw are definitely a favorite for people of all ages. The tunnels themselves are incredibly fascinating and unique, but the tours, complete with costumed actors who take you back through an exciting past, make the tour an unforgettable experience. Two different tours are offered year round. The city itself offers many unique buildings, a quaint downtown, colourful murals, art galleries, and of course, the spa, so you can really make a day of it- or plan for a weekend getaway!
Regina Legislature Building
The beautiful and impressive building was constructed over a period of four years, from 1908-1912 and is a proud testament to Saskatchewan history and heritage. Tours of the buildingare open year round, seven days a week (with the exception of some holidays). In warmer months, be sure to take a self-guided tour through the gardens and around the building as they are quite spectacular.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Located just five minutes from Saskatoon, and open year round, Wanuskewin truly offers a memorable experience for people of all ages. Steeped in history, Wanuskewin was a gathering place for Indigenous Peoples for over six thousand years. The galleries showcase the beautiful work of Indigenous artists and if you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch a live performance. Join for interesting and informative workshops and fun events year round. The dig sites and archeological finds (some that may pre-date the Pyramids) are fascinating, and the area is beautiful year round.
Castle Butte/Big Muddy Badlands
Dating back to the Ice Age, this beautiful natural structure was celebrated by people from all walks of life throughout history. Located along Highway 34, just south of Bengough, the area is fascinating and unique. The best viewing times are spring through fall. Guided tours are available by pre-booking and include the Big Muddy area as well. The fifty-five kilometers that comprise the Big Muddy Badlandsare some of the most rugged terrain in Saskatchewan. The coolest part? You can also book an outlaw caves tour of the area!
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Last Mountain House Provincial Park
Travel back in time to the late 1800’s at the site of this Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. Located about fifty kilometers North of Regina by Last Mountain Lake, the small collection of old buildings are surrounded by beautiful hills and the backdrop of the lake. The site is open from May long weekend through to Labour Day in September. The self-guided tour generally takes about one hour. While you can’t go into the buildings, you can read all about the history through interpretive panels.
Western Development Museum
With four different locationsin Saskatoon, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, and Yorkton, each featuring a different theme, the Western Development Museum(s) are not to be missed.
Boomtown in Saskatoon boasts the longest indoor street in the country. Travel from 1910 back to the present. Filled with antiques and reproduction houses and business from a bygone era, as well as many interesting activities, a sod house, and an excellent café, it’s a great place to visit all year round.
North Battleford features an impressive collection including steam engines. Take in the amazing planes in Moose Jaw (as well as the other incredible antique vehicles), and see the incredible collection of artifacts in Yorkton.
Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Royal Saskatchewan Museumis not a historical place, per se. But, this is the place to go if you want to get know the history of our incredible province. The exhibits truly are fascinating and a wealth of information about the history and formation of Saskatchewan. Located in Regina and open all year round, families love the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. The dinosaur exhibits are a favorite, and the travelling exhibits throughout the year are often fascinating and definitely worth a see!
The other location of the museum in Eastend – the T.rex Discovery Centre exclusively feature Saskatchewan’s dinosaurs, marine reptiles and prehistoric mammals.