Frog Lake National Historic Site commemorates a devastating event in Canadian history which ended with 15 deaths. The complicated relationship between the Prairie First Nations and the Canadian government is better understood by visiting this contemplative destination. It is an excellent educational historical site located on beautiful prairie landscape.
What Happened at Frog Lake
According to Canadian history, on April 2, 1885, some members of the Plains Cree attacked the settlement at Frog Lake and took three hostages. In response, the Canadian government sent in the Canadian Militia to take back the settlement. Nine people in the settlement died and six members of the Plains Cree were eventually tried and hanged for the attack. The town was burned down in the conflict. The details of what actually unfolded on this tragic day are unclear. Other accounts suggest that the conflict was between members of the Plains Cree and the local Indian Agent.
The attack was said to have been motivated by desperation within the Plains Cree people. They were suffering from a serious food shortage and the Canadian government had been withholding food rations from their tribe. These rations had been previously promised to them in Treaty 6.
Importance of Frog Lake National Historic Site
Frog Lake National Historic Site serves as both an important reminder of an historic event as well as a relevant archeological site. It gives visitors a glimpse into the long and complicated history between the Canadian government and Indigenous peoples. The archeological remains found at the site allow visitors to have a brief view as to what life was like in 1885 in this area.
What to Expect
Visitors to Frog Lake National Historic Site will find a commemorative cairn that was erected in 1924 as well as the small cemetery where seven of the people who died in the conflict were buried. The archeological remains of the settlement include depressions in the earth where the church, mill, milk house and stables had previously stood. Parts of the original wagon trails are also still visible.
Frog Lake National Historic Site features an interpretive trail through the area that gives visitors some insights into the tragic events. It is meant to be a contemplative destination.
Visiting the Historic Site
Frog Lake National Historic Site is located northwest of Lloydminster. Visitors can take the Yellowhead Highway to Highway 897 and turn north towards the First Nations Reserve of Frog Lake. The historic site is on the southern boundary of the Unipouheos 121 Indian Reserve.
There is no admission fee to visit Frog Lake National Historic Site and the road access is paved. It is open every day from sunrise until 11:00 pm and is an un-serviced national historic site that is looked after by Parks Canada.
Wendy Powell is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.