The Rural Municipality of St. Laurent is located in the Interlake region of Manitoba, Canada. A sparsely-populated area on the southeastern shore of Lake Manitoba, it includes the communities of St. Laurent and Oak Point.
St. Laurent is a historically-Métis settlement and is one of the few remaining places in which the Michif language (a Métis language which is a combination of Cree and French) is still spoken. St. Laurent has no central town square and is not exclusively organized around central roads, which is partially the result of the influence of the seigneurial system of New France, which allotted land with respect to the waterfront.
St. Laurent was established as Fond du Lac in 1824 by Métis leaving Pembina, North Dakota. Pembina, located in Rupert's Land, had been recently ceded by Great Britain to the United States via the Treaty of 1818, prompting the departure of the Métis there. More settlers arrived in 1826 as a result of flooding of the Red River of the North, with further growth driven by Métis in search of land and traders seeking to take advantage of trade routes to the northwest. The economy centred around fishing and the fur trade, with settlers serving as intermediaries with Cree and Assiniboine people.
Sometime after its establishment as a parish in 1858, the community was renamed St. Laurent, either after a Catholic priest who established the permanent mission there or after the martyr St. Lawrence. Additional Métis settlers moved to St. Laurent in the aftermath of the Red River Rebellion ending in 1870. The broader area was formally incorporated as the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent in 1882. French-Canadians, Bretons, and Mennonites arrived in the first half of the 20th century.
Oak Point was the furthest northern corner of Manitoba when it was proclaimed a province in 1870. Due to its size and shape, it was nicknamed the "Postage Stamp" province.
St. Laurent is 1 hour northwest of Winnipeg on PTH 6.
The area is predominantly rural so a private car is a necessity.
St. Laurent offers different events that celebrate its Métis heritage.
- Manipogo Festival – held at the end of the ice-fishing in March. The Manipogo Festival, named after Lake Manitoba’s famous serpentine monster.
- Métis Days – head August long weekend with music, dancing, Miss Métis contest, mud bogging, and a slow pitch tournament.
- Métis Music Festival – held Labour Day long weekend.
The following beaches are found along Lake Manitoba:
Eat & drinkEdit
|Routes through St. Laurent|
|Thompson ← West Interlake ←||N S||→ Winnipeg → END|