Caron home etched in history

Jessica Kiunga
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The Caron home is not only a key piece of history for generations of MÉtis who lived there and the surrounding area, but also for all of Canada, according to sources at the site.

Coinciding with Back to Batoche days, Parks Canada celebrated the completed restoration and re-opening of the home, which is located about 90 kilometres southwest of Prince Albert on the Batoche National Historical Site.

Caron home etched in history

The Caron home is not only a key piece of history for generations of MÉtis who lived there and the surrounding area, but also for all of Canada, according to sources at the site.

Coinciding with Back to Batoche days, Parks Canada celebrated the completed restoration and re-opening of the home, which is located about 90 kilometres southwest of Prince Albert on the Batoche National Historical Site.

In 1881, a MÉtis man named Jean Caron Sr. and his wife Marguerite started building the home and completed it by 1885.

According to Caron's descendant, Jackie Gaudet, her great-great grandfather Jean was a skilled carpenter, and was given the nickname "The Builder."

During the MÉtis uprising, Canadian forces under General Frederick Middleton marched through Batoche on May 9,1885 and burned the Caron home.

It was the first day of the Battle of Batoche.

The Caron family, who survived the battle, rebuilt the home between 1891 and 1895 and now a restored version will stay etched in both the past and present at the original site.

In the 1950s, an addition was constructed onto the Caron Home, which has been preserved and restored and remains today.

Gaudet said being back at the home makes her feel a sense of pride and amazement at her ancestors and the MÉtis people, who survived the Battle of Batoche and continue to endure today.

Descendants of Jean Caron Sr. - four generations of them - lived in the home until 1970.

Parks Canada later bought the home and has since worked to stabilize it, making it safe for tourists.

More than $53,000 was given through a partnership between Parks Canada and the Gabriel Dumont Institute towards restoring the home and for on-going programming.

A Batoche site coordinator, Susan McKenzie, said the home's restoration is a continued work-in-progress.

jkiunga@paherald.sk.ca

Organizations: Parks Canada, Prince Albert, Caron Home Gabriel Dumont Institute

Geographic location: Batoche, Canada

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