Long before white settlers emigrated to Canada and the western territories, Saskatchewan was designated as part of the Great Plains of western Canada. A variety of Canadian First Nations tribes traveled throughout the land, utilizing the available resources for their survival while still respecting the land from which it came.
The arrival of the European settlers impacted the tribes in a variety of
ways. Their nomadic lifestyle as well as their traditional methods of
obtaining food and treating illness would soon become a thing of their
past. One of the most devastating effects settlers had upon the First
Nations people was the introduction of foreign diseases such as small pox.
The Cree people who populated the land area known as Saskatchewan
was exposed to small pox and suffered devastating losses.
When traditional medicines and remedies proved ineffective against this new disease, the Cree did the only thing they believed they could, move away from the site of death and destruction.
According to legend, some young braves fell ill during their tribe’s move. Fortunately the tribe’s choice of camp was in the vicinity of what is now known as Manitou Lake. The braves were too weak to continue the journey so the tribe built a shelter for them before continuing their journey. It is said the afflicted braves were overcome with fever and thirst and crawled their way to the lakeshore where they slaked their thirst and immersed themselves in the cool
water. Spent from their efforts, it is said they remained on the beach
overnight. In the morning, the braves experienced some relief from their symptoms. The braves attributed the respite to the water and remained on site, consuming and immersing themselves into the liquid medicine.
Within days of their arrival at the lake, the braves regained their previous state of healthfulness and continued on their tribe’s journey. Upon reuniting with their tribe, tribe members were astounded by the braves’ seemingly miraculous return to health.
So was born the legend of the healing waters of Manitou Lake. Medicine men named the lake Manitou in reference to the Great Spirit, which is the European equivalent of God. Asthe legend of the lake with healing powers spread via word of mouth, First Nations tribes later followed by the settlers and then visitors from all parts of the world, traveled to the Lake of the Healing Waters to experience relief from a number of maladies. An entire industry of healing and therapeutic products sprang up from the lake resources, an industry that is still strong and vibrant today in the new millennium. How effective the healing waters are can only be determined through first hand experience so come visit our lake and draw you own conclusions.
We look forward to your visit!