Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Swan River Valley

Swan River Valley
Installed 1984
Swan Valley Museum, PTH 10
Swan River

For the past 10,000 years, the Swan River Valley has been a homeland for Native peoples. Among the earliest groups into the valley were Indians who hunted now-extinct species of bison that grazed around the shores of Glacial Lake Agassiz. Later groups, perhaps spurred by droughts across the High Plains to the south and west, sought refuge in the valley's relatively stable environment which included an abundance of game, fish and plant resources. During the past 2,000 years, the district was shared by both the western bison hunters and the forest peoples of the Manitoba Lowlands. The development of the European fur trade in the 1700s brought further cultural contact and change. Agricultural settlement and the founding of present day communities began in the late 19th century.