Muscowequan Residential School

Muscowequan Residential School in Lestock, Saskatchewan, is on the 2018 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

Created by the National Trust for Canada

May 23, 2018

Location

Lestock, Saskatchewan

Why it matters

Of the almost two dozen residential schools that operated in Saskatchewan, Muscowequan — operating from 1889–1997 — is one of the last remaining. The imposing three-storey brick building which now stands on the site was erected in 1931, after the previous building burned to the ground. The school had a profoundly traumatic impact on generations of Indigenous peoples in the Qu’Appelle Valley and beyond. It is a wide-spread belief amongst local Indigenous communities that the former school should be preserved as a site of memory and conscience for all Canadians. 

Why it’s endangered

Abandoned since 1997, the school is deteriorating and evidence of its dark history is being lost. The Muskowekwan First Nation — on whose land it now sits — does not have funding to implement its vision for a museum and site of memory in the rehabilitated school. The First Nation recently received a grant to board up the vast building’s windows, but vandalism and deterioration continues.

Every year, the National Trust publishes its Top 10 Endangered Places List as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.

First published in 2005, the Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill. The National Trust believes that historic places are cornerstones of identity, community and sense of place, yet every year, more are lost due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. By shining a spotlight on places at risk, the Top 10 Endangered Places List raises awareness about their plight and bolsters the efforts of local advocates working to save them.

Skip social share links

Related to Historic Sites