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More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has preserved.

Roger Fenton, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Robert Capa... James Mason!!!
Honouring a Landmark Figure in the World History of War Photography

The Camera at the Duck Lake Fight - 1885


There were no cameras when the shooting started at the site of the Duck Lake Fight, which was the opening conflict in the series of battles that constituted the Riel Rebellion of 1885.

The Mounted Police, approaching from the distance, had stopped their sleds about where the far wagon is in the road, when the Métis opened fire from the trees and thickets on both sides of the road.

The first photo was taken ten years after that battle took place.

Right the same site today.

To restore order in the west the Canadian Government sent the Northwest Field Force and Captain James Mason.

Go to The Duck Lake Fight
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Capt. James Mason, Royal Grenadiers, 1885 Brigadier James Mason, Royal Grenadiers (detail) , 1910
Orig. print - Image Size - 8 x 17 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

Canadian Illustrated War News 1885
Orig. photo - Image Size - 11 x 16 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

Canadian Boer War hero and innovative war photographer Lt. James Cooper Mason DSO was inspired to become active in Canada's militia, as a boy, by the example of his father Capt. James Mason of the Royal Grenadiers.

Since Canada had no standing army of its own, it was the part-time militia that served as the army-in-waiting, across Canada, should the Federal Government ever call a domestic emergency.

In 1885 the Government called out the militia to serve under British General Middleton to put down growing turbulence by Métis and some Indian tribes in western Canada.

Capt. Mason, from Toronto, went with the Royal Grenadiers as part of the Northwest Field Force. Above he sports the Pattern 1845 officer's infantry sword.

But it would be wrong to call either Mason, a military man, nor other members of the Canadian Militia. They were not. Both Masons were full-time bankers. Like all the other members of the Militia they spent most of their time in civilian pursuits like others did, as clerks, farmers, doctors, blacksmiths, etc. They were more like a stand-by police force, ready to serve, if the government called.

They were not at all like the "Band of Killers" that General Rick Hillier said he was leading when he announced to the world that "Our job (the Canadian Forces) is to be able to kill people" specifically the "scumbags and murderers" in Afghanistan. Precious few Canadians, outside institutions, wanted killers sent to Afghanistan.

The Masons were too well brought up to talk like that; they also wouldn't feel like that. Throughout their service they remained Canadian civilians at heart, in thought, word, and deed. Other militiamen from civvy street were the same. They reflected the best of us, not the worst of us...

Showing the strong military leadership he passed on to his son, Capt.. Mason exposed himself fearlessly, while leading his men on the first day of the Battle of Batoche, and was severely wounded.

With the defeat of the Métis at Batoche, most of the troops returned home.

Capt. Mason was instrumental in having a memorial built in Toronto to honour the men who served and died "for Canada."

At Paardeberg, in 1900, his son James Cooper Mason right showed the same sterling example of leadership during the charge on Bloody Sunday. It won him a rare Distinguished Service Order, and almost cost him his life.

He - like his father had been, 15 years earlier - was severely wounded from his leadership exertions during a decisive battle in the campaign.

Brigadier Mason was, again, instrumental in having a war memorial built for the Boer War veterans in Toronto, to honour the men who served and died "for Canada."

The photo below was taken the day the memorial was dedicated by the Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught, in 1910.

Capt. James Mason, Batoche 1885 - 9 - Like Father, Like Son

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous souvenir remains of Captain Mason's participation in serving in the Canadian government force that went west to put down the "Riel Rebellion."

It is his copy of the Illustrated War News. It is extremely worn, and ragged around the edges. The binding is almost falling apart, many pages are loose, though the interior pages are clean and unspoiled in any way. This is a well used copy handed from father to son.

The Illustrated War News was the television news from the war front for Victorian Canadians. It is lavishly illustrated with line drawings showing all the personalities, the events, and camping, travel, and combat scenarios the men of the Northwest Field Force encountered that spring and summer of 1885.

Someone eagerly thumbed these pages ragged, going through them endlessly, as he dreamed of daring deeds of men who served their country.

James Cooper Mason was only nine years old. But there is no doubt he drew inspiration from this book all during his childhood; his eager fingers made it tatty. In 1891, at 16, he joined the Queen's Own Rifles.

He wanted to be like the men in this book. Like his father, who everyone knew - it was in all the papers - had been severely wounded. No doubt the young boy was in awe when he attended the funerals of Lt. Fitch and Pvt. Moor from his father's regiment who were killed at Batoche, but buried in Toronto.

He wanted to tell their story, to make pictures like in this book, not with a pencil but with a camera.

The Illustrated War News - personal copy Lt. James C Mason DSO
Orig. book - Size - 32 x 47 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON
This is the book that inspired young James Cooper Mason to initiate the dangerous art of combat photography. It would win him a special place in the world history of photographing men at war.
Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

Florence MacArthur's Boer War Scrap Book

Above Florence's fine handwriting outline most of the index pages that make up her 120 page scrap book. 20 more pages are indexed on the next side.

The index lists the subject matter covered by the Toronto Globe, which she mostly cut up and pasted in to tell the story of the First Canadian Regiment and its one year adventure to the battlefields of South Africa, to visit the Queen on their way back, and their welcome as they returned to Canada.

The very first page features a series of portraits of local officers. The main reason for giving this page prominence is that her beau James is at bottom right.

From reading his diaries we know that James was utterly thrilled to be picked as one of Canada's officers for the First Contingent. He starts his multi-volume diaries with the statement of obvious pride.

Now he, like his father before him, would also get a chance to serve his Queen as a military man.

Florence scattered portraits of officers throughout the book, but mostly it is newspaper headlines and complete columns laboriously pasted in to fit.

There are some action scenes in the paper but all are drawn by artists; none are taken by photographers.

Little did Florence know that her beau would be the first war photographer in history to take actual combat pictures with his camera. She did learn from letters he wrote that he was almost shot doing it.

Just an hour later he was actually shot during combat. Florence would learn all this at once and with all the headlines of the dead and dying, worry that James would not survive.

She bravely kept her scrap book going, hoping for the best.

A typical spread for photos taken from magazines and pasted artistically and thematically into a chronological pattern from front to back of the book.

Right second from the left is young Lt. John McCrae, of Guelph, Ontario, who went as an artillery officer.

He would become Canada's most famous poet of World War I for penning "In Flanders' Fields." He would be a doctor then. But his poem is still a call to arms - not peace, because he was distraught over the loss of a close friend.

Millions of Canadian school children have been taught the poem, falsely believing it is some paean to peace, instead of a call for more bloodshed and mayhem to exact a pound of flesh in revenge against the "Boche."

Florence publishes a rare "Agreement for Military Service in South Africa."

But it does note that these are civilians, not military men that are being sent, asking the name of their present, part-time, militia corps, where they train once a week at best and sometimes during the summer.

It also asks their trade or calling, since these are men off civvy street, taking time off from real live pursuits to engage in some adventurous high junks in South Africa, oh, and do a little good for the Queen too...

It also asks for personal marks; those are useful when a cannon ball carries off your head, so there are still ways to identify you.

Notice it does not ask if you can read or write, or have any schooling of any kind.

As you are shouted at, endlessly, by officers and non-coms alike, in the military, "Don't think. I'll do the thinking for you! Just shut up and do what you're told!"

An education is dangerous and a hindrance. Someone might start questioning stupid orders when they are given, instead of following them, and dying for Queen and Country.

But they do ask your medical condition. They don't want you to drop over before they can prop you up as cannon fodder in front of the enemy.

The term of service noted here would never again be repeated by either the Canadian or British governments. The clause here, in the Boer War attestation papers taught them that.

After six months of war, many Canadians wanted to go home; after 12 months everybody did. The war was just not what it was cracked up to be. Everything turned out to be a huge disappointment.

Many of their buddies were dead. Hundreds of them, mostly of disease and wounds.

And the Boers didn't turn out to be so bad after all. Many liked the women and children and hated to see them put in prison camps and have their pianos and furniture smashed, their farm animals all killed, and their houses all burned down. Thanks to the Canadians and their friends.

Many Canadians had their lives saved because they rebelled and refused to extend their service beyond a year though both the British and Canadian commanders pleaded them to. They had had enough.

A dozen years later the British made everyone sign an attestation paper to stay till the war was over, which would be four years.

For some 60,000 Canadians, signing that paper was a death sentence. Most of their bodies were never found in the most horrific - and also the most useless - war ever fought in history.


Right one of the of the very first pages Florence glued in was the list of officers chosen. It is also the only place in the whole book where she penciled a hand made a mark beside someone special.

Obvious pride mixed with an awful dread, that her beau might never return...

But then that is what Victorian men did. And women urged them on in spite of their druthers.

Death at Sea

The Canadian Contingent Buries its First Casualty

The first fatality in the contingent was barely four days after leaving, when Pvt. Edward DesLauriers succumbed, either, to an act of God, or a colossal farewell drunk from which he never recovered, depending on whom you believe.

Below is the story as those great war boosters, Rosie DiManno and Christie Blatchford would write it, you know, the way they do on Afghanistan, to please the military, and their bosses at the Toronto Star and the Globe & Mail. The gals are so obliging...

Showing how slowly news travelled, the dateline - aboard ship no less - was Nov. 10th 1899. In fact Deslauriers died and was buried from Sardinian on Nov. 3.
















In his diary James tersely notes the "indirect cause is Alcohol, aggravated by sea sickness," a firm way of saying he way overdosed on booze the last night in town, when he should have known better. All his mates blamed big drinking Teddy, not his weak heart, and not the fates... Was he a soldier who only found his courage in a bottle, and just could never get enough to calm his nerves? Now he would never be able to face the Boers and find out...

The melancholy incident produced one of James,' and one of Canada's, most rare photos: the funeral of Pvt. Edward DesLauriers' at sea aboard Sardinian.

It showed that James, as a photographer, at least, was made of different stuff. He was prepared to look at scenes with new eyes, break taboos, and put himself, and his camera, where they had never been before. From where other Victorians, and those made of weaker clay, might shy away...

What more would this young officer be capable of, if just given a chance...?

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pvt. DesLauriers Burial at Sea, SS Sardinian, Nov. 3, 1899 - Lt. James Cooper Mason
Orig. Mason photo - Size - 8.5 x 8.5 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON
A fabulously rare photo showing 28 year old Teddy DesLauriers' face covered with a white cloth, his hands and legs tied. As fellow D Company members of the contingent watch in the back, the board is tipped up and Canada's first casualty of the war is slid off and consigned to the deep.












Above is the cover of the scrap book, which, like all James' Boer War books, is very heavily worn.

Right is the headline of Bloody Sunday, of February 18, 1900, where James was wounded, listed under the London men. It was also the worst day of casualties for Canada during the entire war.

Below Florence's signature proudly featured on the front page of the book.

Without doubt it remains the finest Royal Canadian Regiment Boer War scrap book in existence.

On some pages Florence featured photos taken by James and published in magazines. The square format, of his Kodak #2 Folding Camera is clear.

These are photos James took at Belmont while the Canadians were in training there just days after the Battle of Belmont saw the British Army under Lord Methuen defeat the Boers there. They fled and the Canadians took over the site as a training camp while Methuen and his men moved on.

Right James stands in the Canadian tent camp.

Next James photographed a Canadian sentry standing near a grave where a dead Boer is partially uncovered. His pant-covered knee protrudes from the middle of the rock pile.

Below A Company marches back into camp returning from a training march.

These photographs can be seen in detail below:

Go to James' Belmont Photos



















James did not sell these photos, unlike all the other war photographers who were all paid huge amounts of money to gather snapshots of the war. Their publishers paid them very well, believing they were under great danger; in fact the war photographers stayed away from the shooting areas. They all wanted to live to enjoy their big pay checks.

For his part, James gave many photos away to friends, when he came home, as well as to other soldiers like Father O' Leary.

is the back of all the photos he gave Miss Florence MacArthur, for whom he obviously also had great affection.

Right for her scrap book, James even drew Florence a very detailed map of the Belmont site where the Canadians stayed for two months before going on the March to Pretoria. Now that is a labour of love...

Clearly this was a meticulously drawn map, for a special friend, to make her scrap book complete, and was exactly like the other map of Belmont he had drawn for himself, shown on page 5.

Florence's devotion and perseverance paid off; on June 29, 1904, she became Mrs. James Cooper Mason DSO.

She was to remain his devoted wife until James died on August 6, 1923.

Go to the Belmont Site
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Another fabulous book that memorialized a big part of both, the life of Canada, and that of the family of James Cooper Mason, during the Boer War.

This one belonged to Florence MacArthur, who in 1901 when she assembled this book was a close personal female friend of the war hero of Paardeberg, James Cooper Mason.

In the meantime, while her gallant beau's life was under threat in South Africa, she kept a meticulous newspaper account of the all the doings of Canada's First Contingent, and the happenings on the war front, from the time they left, till they returned, at the time of the death of Queen Victoria which she spends lots of print on.

Scrap books were all the rage in Victorian times. this one has 120 pages of all the important newspaper headlines and cuttings that tell the story.


Boer War Scrap Book, Florence MacArthur, 1899-1901
Orig. book - Size - 27 x 32 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

The Education of a Victorian Canadian Soldier/Photographer

These are the very images that inspired James Cooper Mason, as they did countless other Victorian boys, to dream of military action as Soldiers of the Queen.

Not as a life time career of course - for him that was banking - but as a "Special Service" for the Queen if she required it.

Right is a combat drawing of the kind that have appeared in publications for scores of years. These were often drawn by men, many of them soldiers, who had captured these scenes with their eyes, lived to tell the tale, and put down their experiences with pen and pencil after it was all over.

No one tried this with a camera; it was just too dangerous. Some might say foolhardy.

"Gol Blimey, when you're up there Gov'nor being shot at, I'll be damned if I stand up and shoot back with a camera? It's lying down I'll be, and potting back with me Martini. That is, when it's safe to git up on me elbows and zing off a few..."

That was not only the attitude of soldiers; more so it was the attitude of war photographers. Which is why, sixty years after the invention of the camera, still no one had taken a combat photograph....

Now, if only there was someone motivated by the credo of a Victorian British army officer, and a special passion for documenting gallant men at war?

The picture above must have impressed young James mightily. He would, someday, try to be up there where these men were facing danger, like his father had. Why couldn't he photograph their bravery, in between dodging bullets, with his camera? The thought must have gone through his head...

Another picture that must have impressed him the most was the celebrated charge of the Midland Battalion at Batoche with a sword-waving Col. Williams waving his men on for the victory charge. This might well have been how his father had he not been shot doing exactly this on the first day of the battle. How glorious; how daring. But would he have the courage of his father?

And would the Queen ever need a "Special Service?"

Fifteen years later, only hours before the Battle of Paardeberg, this dreamy young boy - now a young officer, with sword by his side - stands among the men he would lead in battle on Bloody Sunday, the most deadly battle of the Boer War.

The Queen had called! Canada formed a "Special Service" Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment, and James, a Captain in his father's old regiment, the Royal Grenadiers, was accepted as a lieutenant to go to South Africa.

And in the midst of the firing, on the front line, he would put down his sword, pick up his camera, prop himself up briefly, and make world history, in snapping the first certifiable combat photograph of men at war in the front lines.

And after a drought of sixty years, it would also become the world's first photo of a dead man on an active battlefield.

In the moment it took, his helmet was punctured by a bullet and his badge shot off.

And like his father, within the hour, he would pay for his audacity by suffering severe wounds on his first day in battle.

But in that short period of time he fulfilled a boyhood dream, did honour to the military traditions of his father, brought glory to Canada by winning the DSO, and set a new benchmark for those who seek to photograph men at war.

But others were, understandably, slow to follow his lead - probably not till the 1930s, and the Spanish Civil War.

War Photography - Canada 1885

Canada had an opportunity for war photography during the Métis Resistance (Riel Rebellion) of 1885, when British General Middleton took units of Canadian Militia west to quell the unrest that was brewing there among the indigenous populations.

Go to The Riel Rebellions

When the mayhem started, a photographer brought out his camera.

Then, in the tradition of Fenton, Brady, and Gardner, he photographed the soldiers "In action" in the war zone. Which turned out to be mostly "inaction" as the photographer only brought out his camera when it was safe to do so - when there was no danger of being shot in combat. Not a great mind set for doing real war photography, let alone getting the world's first combat photo.

After several battles the climax was approaching, near Batoche, in northern Saskatchewan.

The army then built a zareba below or fortified enclosure every night as it moved closer to engage the Métis and their leader, Louis Riel right.

Above the men sleep inside the zareba during a lull in the fighting. This photo may have been taken on day two of the siege of Batoche, after the Métis had kept up shooting at the zareba all night and no one got any sleep because everyone feared an attack on the compound was due any moment.

The Métis were fighting psychological warfare, and it worked as the photo shows. They should have attacked the following day.

Right the location of the zareba was from the trail left across this side of the house across to the right. See map below.

One of the first casualties of war at Batoche was the Caron house right. That's probably it burning in the photo below. It looks like the artillery caissons are moving into the zareba, with white tents, on the right. Judging how the men are sitting high on the limbers the Métis are not shooting. This is not a combat photograph. It's a news photograph by a photographer who feels quite safe to pull out his camera instead of his rifle.

As men were getting wounded they were looked after in the hospital tent near the zareba. Above in a classic war photograph, doctors are at work on patients as General Middleton himself looks in on the casualties. Visiting the wounded was often a general's duty.

This photo, including others taken at the time, were not really available to the general public.

The only way most people got visual images of events in the news was to get pictorial publications that depicted deeds of daring by eye witnesses who were on the scene.

The Canadian Pictorial & Illustrated War News was a lavish production featuring large and dramatic line drawings, many taken from photographs, of the campaign against Louis Riel and his followers in 1885.

All the line drawings on this page are from Captain Mason's own copy of the Canadian Pictorial Illustrated War News.

Right the page featuring him standing behind his men as the Royal Grenadiers attack the Métis defending the church and presbytery on the first day.

In the days before smokeless powder, in the Boer War, it was easy to tell when people were shooting.

It also shows clearly why Victorian officers had such a horrific casualty rate. They stood up to direct their men and serve by example. By showing their nerves were made of steel they hoped to put backbone into men who were afraid because they were in a dangerous, life threatening situation.

It was the Victorian officer's duty to say "Ignore it, and do your job for Queen and Country."



The zareba is just a few hundred yards behind the men, the cemetery below off to the left.

The zareba was just a couple of hundred yards to the right of the cemetery right.

Captain Mason and the Royal Grenadiers fought their way through the cemetery towards the church.

Behind the church one of his men, Pvt. Moor, was killed and he himself was wounded in the thigh. For them both, the war was over.

The dark picket fence marks the grave of nine Métis buried there after the fight. But others were taken away to be buried elsewhere.

No one really knows how many Métis were killed as the Métis Nation that had formed the community around Batoche fled the area, in fear for their lives, and left farms and homes behind. Many sought refuge in the United States.

The church at Batoche has the highest ranking that can be assigned to Canadian historic sites by Parks Canada.

It and the presbytery behind it, are located about a mile from the other buildings of the village proper which stood at the bottom of the Carlton Trail at the ferry across the Saskatchewan River.











Once the Métis were pushed away from the church, Middleton used it as a hospital to house his wounded men.


















The presbytery right still shows bullet holes from the Gatling Gun on its facade.

On the patch of bare ground - called Mission Ridge - the artillery gun was set up and trained on the Métis who were fleeing towards their village in the valley below.

The artillery gun being fired below could very well be shooting from this spot on Mission Ridge.

The reverse angle from the Mission Ridge site, with the presbytery behind us.

This is the view the gunners had as they pounded away at the Métis village of Batoche near the distant tree line, visible as tiny white specks - signs marking the location of former houses - about a third of the way in from the right hand side.

Louis Riel and the Métis council were planning to make their last stand in the village.

General Middleton was going on reconnaissance patrols along the heights to the right planning on the best way to proceed.

Below soldiers in action...

Some might say "Aha, there you have it! This is the first combat photograph!"

Think again. Where is the action?

Lt. Fitch top and Pvt. Moor, killed at Batoche, behind the church, were both members of Capt. Mason's Royal Grenadiers. They were brought back to Toronto, and buried with great ceremony.

In fact the Royal Grenadiers suffered double the number of casualties of any other militia unit at the battle, 18 dead and wounded. This was probably because the men were actively following the aggressive leadership model of their officers like Captain Mason.

Of the eight soldiers killed at Batoche, four were officers, a horrific imbalance, that showed the Canadian militia officers were, at least, as brave and dedicated as leaders in combat, as their British mentors.

During the Boer War the number of British officers killed remained hugely disproportionate to the fatalities of the men they led, a result of leading by personal example from the front.

This model of military leadership was to change drastically in the 21st century. During the Iraq and Afghan Wars all the dying was done by line troops, privates, corporals, and sergeants. Officers only died if their chopper crashed by accident, or by hostile fire.

In the 21st century, being a military officer is a sure fire way to retire to a good pension and lucrative jobs after retirement. No such luck for the grunts.

Fake Canadian Combat Photography - If you examine the photo closely you will see that it shows exactly the opposite, of what it pretends to be - inaction. In fact, far from being a photo of combat, it shows a scouting or planning session during a "Reconnaissance patrol" along the lines of "Where do you think we should go next?"

The officers are all clumped together, horses and men, a much too inviting target to the enemy, if they were close, which they're obviously not.

Most suspicious of all, the photographer is clearly standing, and doing so long enough to compose his picture. He feels quite safe from enemy fire.

There is no smoke from artillery guns or rifles going off.

In fact not only are the artillery guns parked, they are still limbered up with the men sitting on the ammunition boxes as they do when going from place to place looking for a spot to set up. Clearly the officers haven't decided whether to turn this into an action scene.

Most of the men are standing or crouching, clearly not worried about being exposed to hostile fire. The men in the foreground are lying down, but are not in firing attitude. Many of the rifles are lying on the ground. Several point skyward - clearly they're just holding the rifles in the trail position. There is not one rifle that could be said to be in firing position with the barrel in line with the eye line of a shooter. The nearest soldier seems to be grabbing forty winks - probably he's exhausted because he was up all night on picket duty or gambling... His partner seems to be calling him to "wake up" before the officers see him... and he gets a week of KP...

Clearly this is not a combat photograph, but a quiet outing on the brow of the hill, along the Reconnaissance Trail shown on the map below.

The location where we think the photo was taken offers further proof that this is not, by any stretch, a combat photograph.

Provenance for this photo is hard to come by.

Other than Batoche - which is a huge area - we can not be certain where it was taken.

All things considered it looks like it might have been taken at the spot P on the treeless open plateau area shown at the bottom right of the map below. The trail shown in the photo might very well be the reconnaissance trail on the map. Which in itself tells you something. You pick the reconnaissance trail because it allows free movement, quite safe from hostile fire.

The map of the action below, drawn by George Cole, the camp quartermaster, gives further supporting evidence.

If one notes the "danger" locations where the eight "Canadian" fatalities at Batoche occurred, one can see they were all well away from the Reconnaissance Trail, and remote from the location of the photo. Most men died in fighting near buildings, the chapel and the distant village down below. Capt. Mason was shot in the hip and severely wounded behind the chapel where a man in his regiment, Pvt. Moor, was also killed.

It proves that at the spot this photo was taken there was no fighting going on, either before, during, or after this picture was taken. The group will be moving several hundred yards further down the direction they are looking before unlimbering the guns for action.

In fact Cole shows these artillery positions to be just above the spot Captain Brown was shot about a mile from where the photo was taken, where his symbols for Gatling and artillery guns are grouped.

It is very likely the men are scouting the village down below to where the Métis are retreating. At this point it is some 900 yards away. In fact is is further away from hostile entrenchments than General Middleton built his zareba for safety, 700 yards away from the church where the heaviest fighting took place.

So if Middleton right thought the zareba was safe, then certainly this reconnaissance location is no battle area.

And certifiably, not a place to get a combat photograph. In fact it was about as far from the action as it was possible to get and still pretend you were taking pictures of the battlefield at Batoche.

True to tradition, this war photographer brought out his camera when there was no danger in doing so. The picture is better than nothing, but it is not a defining moment in war photography.

The Caron house rebuilt right after the earlier one was burned.

It's the little square just above the top left of the zareba on the map. The zareba was visible out behind the house.

A western Canadian Métis girl won a special award from the Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan for her story about this house.

Go to Métis Heritage