Friday, 13 May 2016

Smoke in La Loche May 2016

Thick smoke from the Fort McMurray wildfire in La Loche

"On May 1, 2016, a wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurrayAlberta, Canada. On May 3, it swept through the community, destroying more than 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta's history."  Wikipedia

The northern Saskatchewan village of La Loche with an area population of 4,000 is 120 km (75 miles) to the east of the city of Fort McMurray. Clouds of smoke and ash from the wildfires reached La Loche on May 5.  When the air quality was poor the schools were either closed or the children kept inside.

Monday, 10 August 2015

West La Loche 2015

Leaving Poplar Point, a sub-division of La Loche, with Alfred Toulejour in his new skiff.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

La Loche fires 2015

Photo source Mark Tuite on February 28, 2007 (Departing La Loche enroute to Fort McMurray) 

This aerial photo of La Loche shows how vulnerable the village is to forest fires. Two nearby fires and the resulting heavy smoke has resulted in the evacuation of several thousand residents of La Loche and the Clearwater River Dene Nation to Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Grassfires in La Loche

A grass fire in La Loche claimed the old pool hall across from Ducharme School last week. The building was built in the 1950s (possibly by Robbie Fontaine).  This picture was taken last year. In the spring every year dozens of grass fires threaten the community.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

New store in La Loche

Center Point in La Loche, Saskatchewan will open on May 15, 2015.  The 10,000 square foot building has a large grocery area, a pharmacy, a concession (C-Store) and a fast-food outlet  (Sabai Express).

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Fires in La Loche

Chester Fries Chicken outlet

The emergency fire siren started at 3:30 in the morning on October 1, 2014.  La Loche Volunteer Fire Department  was still at the scene at 3:00 in the afternoon and the fire was still smouldering when these pictures were taken.  Destroyed in the fire was the Chester Fried Chicken outlet on La Loche Avenue (the main street).  The owners, who lived in the buildings' suite, were awakened by the smoke alarms and called 911.  This popular store, built in the 1980s, sold concession and novelty items as well as take-out food 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Sara Riel 1848-1883

"Sarah Riel the sister of Métis leader Louis Riel was born October 11, 1848 in St. Boniface, Manitoba. She joined the Grey Nuns as a novice in 1865 and in 1868 became the first Métis Grey Nun from Red River. She could speak English, French, Cree and Michif and in 1871  was sent to Île-à-la-Crosse where her father Jean-Louis Riel was born. She served in the school and the hospital of the mission until her death of tuberculosis December 27, 1883. She took the name Sister Marguerite-Marie in 1872 and is buried under that name at the cemetery in Île-à-la-Crosse. Her headstone in French reads: Ici Repose Rév. Soeur Marguerite Marie (Riel) Decédée 27 Decembre, 1883, Agée 34 ans, R.I.P.  She and her brother Louis Riel wrote to each other while she was alive and letters remain describing their relationship and her life in Île-à-la-Crosse."
Ile a la Crosse is built on a peninsula (aerial view) 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Flight from Île-à-la-Crosse 1885

Stories from the North-West Rebellion 

April 1885
In a few months the waterways of  northern  Saskatchewan would be ice free and York boat brigades would again travel to supply the Hudson's Bay Company posts of the Athabasca and Mackenzie River Districts located north of the Methye Portage. It was spring and some swift moving rivers like the Beaver River were relatively free of ice. Open water was beginning to show along some lakes. In the last week of April 1885 rumours of war reached the isolated village of Ile a la Crosse. The village had a population of about 300 people. Most were descendants of French Metis from Red River.

Ile a la Crosse 

Ile a la Crosse was the birthplace of Louis Riel Sr. the father of Louis Riel in 1817.  Sara Riel the sister of Louis Riel died in Ile a la Crosse in 1883. She was 34 years old.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Looting of Green Lake in 1885

Stories of the North-West Rebellion

On April 26, 1885 a group of armed militants arrived to claim the contents of the Green Lake Post.

The river on this map of Green Lake flows into the Beaver River.

Green Lake is a village of 418 people in Saskatchewan a half hour drive north of the city of Meadow Lake.
A Hudson's Bay Post called Green Lake House was located there.  It was an important depot for the movement of supplies to the far north and was connected to Fort Carlton by an a ox-cart trail built in 1875-76.