Fort Battleford was established in 1876 by the North West Mounted Police to create a Canadian Government presence in the North-West Territories. The site was designated a national historic site in 1923. The site was designated for its association with the North West Mounted Police and for the important role it played during the armed conflict of 1885 when it served as a refuge for area residents who feared a general outbreak of violence, and as a base of military operations by the Canadian militia sent to quell the unrest in the Territories. The post was closed in 1924, and in 1951, the site was turned over to Parks Canada to be administered as a national historic site.
The site is 22.8 hectares with the remaining five historic buildings dating from 1876 to 1898. A reconstructed palisade surrounds some archaeological features and four buildings including the Commanding Officer’s Residence, Officers’ Quarters, Sick Horse Stable, and the Guard House. Barracks No. 5 is located outside the existing palisade along with many other archaeological features and historic trails.
In close proximity to Fort Battleford are other sites, not owned or administered by Parks Canada, that are relevant to the history of Fort Battleford. These include the 1885 mass grave burial site of eight First Nations men who were executed for their involvement in the 1885 armed conflict, the North West Mounted Police cemetery, trenches built by Colonel Otter’s forces, the site of Old Government House and the historic trails around Fort Battleford.