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Life of Metis peacemaker considered for 1968 movie

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
September 9, 1967. p.18

KAMSACK - A Metis peacemaker and the fort in which he was born may soon become the subject of a full-length movie.

The peacemaker, Cuthbert Grant Jr. and his early home, Fort Riviere Tremblante, nine miles southeast of Kamsack, are being considered by Harry Saltzman for a 1968 movie on behalf of Eon Productions in London, England. Mr. Saltzman is well-known as the director of James Bond movies.

Hugh T. McKie, who has been directing an archaelogical project at the fort site, made the disclosures when open house was held here.

Cuthbert Grant Jr. was born at Fort Riviere Tremblante in 1793, the son of Cuthbert Grant and an unknown Metis woman, Mr. McKie said. He lived there for six years and was then sent to Scotland to be educated.

Returning to Canada he became leader of the Metis in the struggle between the North West Company and the Selkirk settlers. He led the force of Metis from Qu' Appelle to the Red River settlement in 1816, being their leader at the Battle of Seven Oaks on June 19.

Subsequently Grant became prominent as a peacemaker in the west, eventually becoming widely known as the Warden of the Plains.

Fort Riviere Tremblante, built in 1791, was the first North West Co. post on the Upper Assiniboine, Mr. McKie said. It was built by Robert Grant, who was not related to the Cuthbert Grants.

Cuthbert Grant Sr. took charge of the fort in 1793, the year Cuthbert Grant Jr. was born. It operated at least until 1798, and was destroyed by fire.

Very interesting and important information about the old fort has resulted from this summer's work at the sight, Mr. McKie said.

The palisade first erected extended 245 feet in one direction. The palisade was torn down and a second was built about seven feet further out, so that it extended about 260 feet. Widths have not been determined.

Mr. McKie conjectured that when Cuthbert Grant Sr. arrived at the post in 1793 he was not satisfied with the fort and enlarged it so that it befitted a man of his status.

In its first years of operation the fort together with temporary posts further upstream, furnished most of the beaver and otter in the North West Company's Red River returns.

The fort was located in an area of old Indian camp sites, Mr. McKie said. In fact, artifacts had been found showing there are prehistoric camp sites dating back 8,000 or 9,000 years, although these have not been located.

The fort site is situated in the Assiniboine River valley. The Shellmouth dam reservoir will extend upstream past the site. Mr. McKie said that if the fort were rebuilt and a picnic site developed at the site it would be a popular tourist attraction.