The Mistaseni Cairn

The Mistaseni Cairn (Mistusinne) is located at the edge of the Harbor Golf Course and the Marina. It was erected as a tribute to the Mistaseni (Cree for "Big Rock"), a 400-ton glacial boulder that once played an important part in traditional native religion. This huge rock was blasted in a failed attempt to move it prior to the flooding of the Qu'Appelle Valley in the 1960's. The cairn contains small chunks of the original rock. Other pieces were incorporated into a memorial to Chief Poundmaker on the Poundmaker First Nations near North Battleford.

One of the first written records of the Mistaseni rock is from the writing of Henry Youle Hind, who traveled here in 1858. Coming down the Qu'Appelle Valley he wrote, "about fourteen miles from the south branch (of the Saskatchewan River) there is a gigantic erratic of unfossiliferous rock on the south side of the valley. It is seventy-nine feet in horizontal circumference, three feet from the ground, and a tape stretched over the highest point, measured forty-six feet. The Indians place on it offerings to Manito, and at the time of our visit it contained beads, bits of tobacco, fragments of cloth, and other trifles".