Willow Bunch Trading Post
The Willow Bunch Trading Post will be a "living" historic village commemorating the rich history of Willow Bunch and area in the time period 1870-1900.
Willow Bunch was first settled by Metis people in 1870. Jean-Louis Legare established a trading post here in 1880 and Willow Bunch became the oldest Francophone settlement in southern Saskatchewan. One of the first outposts of the Northwest Mounted Police was situated in Willow Bunch and Chief Sitting Bull camped here as a last refuge before returning to the United States.
The Willow Bunch Trading Post will be a "living" village complete with Lakota tepees, a Metis wintering house, a NWMP bell tent, and a replica of Legare's fur trading post. Guides will be dressed in period costume and will offer a "living" experience of daily life in Willow Bunch in the late 1800s.
About the Collections
2 Red River Carts and over 200 artifacts collected locally.
Approximate number of objects in the collections: 210
The Willow Bunch Trading Post will have access to the Archival resources of the Willow Bunch Museum & Heritage Society.
Architectural Records •
Cartographic Materials •
Prints and Drawings •
Films and Videos •
Other: momoirs, personal journals.
Guides at the Trading Post will be dressed in period costumes decorated for the era.
Furniture or Furnishings •
Textiles or Tapestries
Other: Tradition beadwork.
The Willow Bunch Trading Post will contain artifacts genuine to the time period. An archaeology inventory is being conducted of the Trading Post site and has revealed specimens that are believed to relate to the Metis and/or the North West Mounted Police.
Costumes and Accessories
Furniture or Furnishings
Household Objects or Domestic Technology
Maps, Charts, Plans or Blueprints
Medical History and Technology
Religious or Liturgical Objects
: Non-motorized ground
Services & Activities
The Willow Bunch Trading Post will be a "living" experience of daily life in Willow Bunch in the late 1800s. Guides in period costume will offer landscape interpretation and cultural, interpretive programming. Archaeological and heritage programming will also be offered on-site. Visitors will be able to purchase "tokens" and trade with the attendant of the trading post for items from the time period, such as hard tack and other souvenirs (for food and gift services).
The Willow Bunch Trading Post will be a centre for research on the history of the Metis, the Francophones and Sitting Bull in southern Saskatchewan. It will contain historically-accurate buildings, artifacts, displays and period costumes. It will have family and archival records, films and an authentic trading post that illustrates the traditional architecture of early Metis wintering sites in southern Saskatchewan.
Archival Records •
Genealogical Research •
Other: The Willow Bunch Trading Post will collaborate with the Willow Bunch Museum & Heritage Society to provide access to a library of additional resources and materials related to the history of the Metis, Francophones and Sitting Bull in Willow Bunch.
-Landscape interpretation (ecological tours of the area, looking at natural fauna, land features and native grasses).
-Archaeological programming (highlighting the historical significance of the site and area)
-Erecting the Teepees and bell tent each year (educational activities for school groups and the public).
-Mudding Pit: Where visitors and school groups can participate in re-plastering the Metis wintering house and Trading Post.
-The Historic Village will be a "living" village so our entire programming will be a "living" educational experience.
Classes or Workshops
Discovery Room or Centre
Other: Legare's Trading Post will be a centre for discovery where visitors can trade tokens for different items from the time period.
A video will also be presented on the development and construction of the historic village for educational purposes.
Parking services, cart rentals for motorized tours.
Films and Videos
Children's Activities or Services
: Overnight stays
Information Centre or Desk
Nature Trails, Walks or Gardens
Other Guided Tours: Private tours are available upon request.
Volunteer Services Available •
Volunteer Training Offered
Number of Volunteers: 4
Activities: Fundraising, landscaping and interpretation.
A detailed membership plan is being developed.
Food services will be a part of the heritage and interpretive programming at the Trading Post. Visitors will be able to purchase "tokens" (similar to the Hudsons Bay Company tokens used in the late 1800's) and trade them for traditional Metis and French Canadian Foods (hard tack, pemmican...etc).
Local Tourism Links
Publications and Products
The Willow Bunch Trading Post will offer scholarly publications on the history of the Metis, the Francophones, the Teton Sioux (Sitting Bull) and the North West Mounted Police in Willow Bunch. The Trading Post will be stocked with traditional items from the time period, including pemmican, hard tack, Metis moccasins and other souvenirs. T-shirts, postcards and other printed materials will also be available for visitors.
Annual Reports •
Educational kits •
Museum Guide •
Scholarly Papers •
T-Shirts or Sweatshirts or Caps •
Commemorative Souvenirs •
Tour Packages •
Other: An annual programming guide will also be available.
#17 3rd Street East
Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan
Willow Bunch Trading Post
Box 148, Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan
Hours of Operation
By Appointment •
Regular Season: May-August
Off-season: open by appointment
Open: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (7 days a week)
Only closed on holidays during off-season.
During regular season we are open 7 days a week.
The Trading Post will offer seperate rates for adults, students and families. Discounts for seniors and group tours are also being considered.