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.