Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ancient Trail from Eagle Hills to Manitou Lake Mapped

Lloyd How's interest in local history and archaeology is reflected in a new acquisition to our archives.

Ancient trails crisscrossed this country mapping the routes that were used by the First Nations, the European explorers, the North West Mounted Police and then the immigrants that followed. One such trail crossed the lands that Lloyd and his wife, Noreen, lived on before they retired to the town of Cut Knife. They both grew up seeing the evidence of the trail as indentations in the prairie soil and recognizing that it is disappearing.

This ancient trail was used by the local River Cree as they travelled from the area where the Battle and Saskatchewan Rivers joined at the Eagle Hills (Battleford) to Manitou Lake, Sounding Lake and further into Alberta.  These lakes are considered sacred by the First Nations and were often visited via the trail.

Anthony Henday used this trail in 1745 as he made his way  through what is now Western Canada.

Along the trail are many areas that were used for centuries for camping, hunting and trapping.
Lloyd consulted local Cree elder, Wally Simaganis, written historical accounts, and locals who remembered seeing the trail. Then he spent countless hours exploring and mapping.

Thank you, Lloyd and Wally, for all of your work in the mapping of this ancient trail to keep alive stories of this corridor and the fading memories of those who walked or rode along it.