Released on August 15, 2022
The Government of Saskatchewan has designated Lower Hudson House as the province's 56th Provincial Heritage Property. The site is located in the Nisbet Provincial Forest approximately 35 kilometres west of Prince Albert on the North Saskatchewan River.
"Lower Hudson House is an important archaeological site that features the remains of late 18th century Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company trading posts," Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. "This site provides a unique opportunity to further our understanding of this complex period in Saskatchewan's history and the indispensable role that First Nations played in the late eighteenth century fur trade."
Lower Hudson House operated from 1779 to 1787 as an important trading centre for First Nations residents in area, and as a post for provisioning fur traders working farther to the west. It is believed that victims of the 1781-82 smallpox epidemic that devastated Indigenous communities in the region may have been buried in the designated area. Except for some limited investigations by historians and archaeologists, the site has remained undisturbed for more than 200 years.
Lower Hudson House was nominated for Provincial Heritage Property designation by Philip Parr and Peter Burns of the Prince Albert-based Steering Committee for the Memorialization of Lower Hudson House. The history provides a more fulsome understanding of the consequences of European settlement for First Nations people.
"We believe the designation of Lower Hudson House as a provincial heritage property will open a path for everyone to discover the history and tragedy of how the smallpox epidemic of 1781-82 affected the Indigenous populations in the area 240 years before present day and altered the course of our history as a province," Parr and Burns said. "Many interesting stories are waiting to be told about this fascinating period in our past."
Provincial Heritage Property designations play an integral role in the conservation and commemoration of Saskatchewan's heritage. For more information about Saskatchewan's Provincial Heritage properties visit www.saskatchewan.ca/provincial-heritage-property.
For more information, contact:Jalaine Thibault
Parks, Culture and Sport