The Chimney Coulee Provincial Historic Site is named after the stone chimneys that were left as the last remnants from the Metis settlement.
The Chimney Coulee Provincial Historic Site comprises 2.46 hectares of land in Eastend Coulee about six kilometers north of the Town of Eastend. The site contains archaeological remains of a precontact campsite, a Métis hivernant (wintering) village, a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, and a North-West Mounted Police post.
The heritage value of the Chimney Coulee Provincial Historic Site resides in its association with several important Western Canadian historic themes. Buried deposits of butchered bone and stone tools attest to precontact use of the site. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, particularly during the 1870s, the coulee was a wintering site for Métis bison hunters. With the disappearance of bison from the area, it is believed that the Métis had largely abandoned Chimney Coulee by about 1880.Chimney Coulee is also associated with the fur trade. Over the winter of 1871-1872, Isaac Cowie operated a Hudson’s Bay Company post in the coulee with the ultimately unsuccessful goal of furthering trade with the Blackfoot (NIITSITAPII). Immediately following Cowie’s abandonment of the post in the spring, a party of Blackfoot ambushed and killed nine Nakota (Assinboin) at the site.
The site also reflects the Canadian government's efforts to consolidate its authority in the North-West Territories. The "East End" North-West Mounted Police post was established in the coulee in 1876 as a way station between the Fort Walsh and Wood Mountain police detachments. It later had an important role monitoring Sitting Bull (Ta-tanka Yotanka) and the Lakota Sioux who had fled the United States following their victory at the Battle of Greasy Grass/Little Big Horn. The post operated intermittently until being permanently closed ca. 1887. (Source: Province of Saskatchewan, Order in Council 870/86, August 21, 1986).
Photo Credits: Jack Wilkinson & Robert Gebhardt