On this now-peaceful spot on the banks of the meandering Qu’Appelle River, stone monuments now mark what was once a crucial site in the North West Company’s quest to dominate the fur trade in the West. Strategically positioned close to the Plains Indigenous groups and the buffalo herds, Fort Espérance functioned as a distribution point for pemmican to the North West Company’s network of forts along the Assiniboine River.

The trappers and voyageurs relied on the calorie-rich blocks of pemmican, made with berries, buffalo and fat, prepared at the fort to see them through their long, hard journey through the interior.

Little is left of the first incarnation of the fort which was abandoned on the flatlands by the river bank, but roam this historic site to discover the remains of the second fort. Try to identify the stockade, cellar and fireplace ruins from its depressions.