Heritage Rivers

What is Heritage Rivers? 

The Canadian Heritage Rivers Systems (CHRS) is a multi-jurisdictional, cooperative, voluntary program whose focus is the national recognition of Canada’s outstanding rivers. The CHRS is a cooperative program designed to nationally recognize the Canadian rivers that possess outstanding heritage values. The South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers are undergoing nomination because of their extensive human heritage value, determined by their cultural and historical significance to Canada.

CHRS designation is important to conserve the cultural and natural heritage values, and the tourism and recreation opportunities available on Canada’s most outstanding and important rivers.  A benefit of the program is to promote and nurture a society that values healthy rivers and river communities.  This is fundamental for the quality of life and identity for the people who live in the region.

Why Heritage Rivers? 

The South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers have a rich cultural history spanning pre-contact times into the 21st century, representing a wide array of cultural groups. People have flourished in the Saskatchewan River Basin for almost as long as the river has existed, weathering several major changes in climate and ecology.  Archaeologists have discovered more than 650 archaeological sites throughout the basin, indicating that humans have been present in the area for the past 10,500 years. In southern Saskatchewan, archaeological sites are found dating 1,000 years earlier, indicating that people came to this area literally on the heels of the last glacial period.

Important cultural heritage include the events of 1885. The Northwest Resistance is intimately tied to the river and to the creation of Canada as a nation.  The recent 125th anniversary of the Northwest Resistance was, in part, a catalyst for the completion of the nomination document.

The Heritage Rivers nomination of the Saskatchewan Rivers began in 2007, when a number of individuals and groups interested in the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers came forward and suggested they be designated Canadian Heritage Rivers. Under the auspices of Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin (PFSRB) and its mandate to promote watershed stewardship and sustainability, these multiple organizations and individuals were able to put together the nomination document detailing why the Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers are suitable to be designated as “Heritage Rivers”.

The resulting nomination document would not have been possible without the cooperation of the larger Saskatchewan River Basin community, including the numerous individuals, local agencies, municipalities, organizations, and the general public who donated their time, energy, and experience to the project.

The Gabriel Dumont Institute of Saskatoon were vital to the project by undertaking the research necessary for the background document. 

Benefits of Heritage Rivers Designation

Here is a document that outlines the benefits of Heritage Rivers Designation. Click on the file below to download it.

Heritage River Designation – Benefits

Final Designation of Heritage Rivers Underway!!

The final Designation Document has been completed and has been delivered to the Saskatchewan Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport. PFSRB expects to post the final Designation Document on this webpage once it is officially approved.

Stay tuned! More information will be updated about Heritage Rivers! In the meantime, you can contact us at partners@saskriverbasin.ca with any questions or comments. 

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Fax: 306-665-6117

402 Third Avenue South
Saskatoon, SK
S7K 3G5