Published on September 20, 2010 by John
Military history of Saskatchewan includes the early conflicts between conflicting First Nations. Prior to European settlement many battles were fought between the Blackfoot, Atsina, Cree, Assiniboine, Saulteaux, Sioux, and Dene. Many place names hearken back to these early conflicts such as the Battle River: so named due to Cree-Blackfoot fighting in the area. The Blackfoot Confederacy, and Atsina or Gros Ventre were pushed out of Saskatchewan following decades of warfare with the Cree, Saulteaux, and Assiniboine. In the boreal forest conflicts raged between the Woods Cree and Dene or Chipewyan up until the late 19th century.
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The creation of the MÃ©tis added a new dimension to conflicts in what is now Saskatchewan. In addition to violence related to the fur trade between the North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company (which ended with the merger of the two in 1821), the Metis took part in battles with the Sioux and Gros Ventre across the plains. The last battles fought in Saskatchewan, and the last battles fought in what is now Canada occurred in 1885 during the Saskatchewan Rebellion. Although small by global standards this short war had a profound effect on Canadian French-English relations, and was a defining moment in the history of the West and the MÃ©tis.
Since Saskatchewan became a province in 1905, its people have contributed heavily to wars fought by the Canadian state. Saskatchewan Regiments were raised for the second Boer War, First World War, Second World War, and Korean War. In addition many Saskatchewan citizens have served in United Nations peacekeeping operations, and in the current Afghan War.
Some current Saskatchewan regiments in the Canadian Armed Forces include the North Saskatchewan, and the Royal Regina Rifles.