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Mistaseni, with Bill Richards on Rock, c.1950

1966: The Mistaseni rock blown up

The Mistaseni erratic was located in the upper part of the Qu’Appelle river valley that became flooded once the South Saskatchewan River dam was complete.

The Mistaseni boulder measured 10 x 6 x 2.5 metres above ground and its weight was estimated at 400 metric tonnes. The boulder was considered to be of great cultural significance and served as a natural monument for the Plains Cree.

Because of the boulder’s historic significance, the late Zenon S. Pohorecky, professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan, lead an unsuccessful six year long crusade to “save the rock,” which was to be destroyed during the damming of the South Saskatchewan.

On December 1, 1966, the PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act) decimated the Mistaseni using 60 sticks of dynamite.

Mistaseni, with Bill Richards on Rock, c.1950
Cliff Mathews, Photographer
Courtesy of The Saskatchewan Archaeological Society

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