1556

11’33

SEIKT ~MUBEN‘I‘ , FME‘IITOBA

The village of St-Laurent, situated on the southeastern curve of Lake Manitoba, has an interesting history. Located at gall—50% latitude, its origin goes back into legend, so that it is difficult to ascertain its exact beginnisg. The historian of the Oblste Fathers of Mary Immaculate, says: “It can be given different ages according as one is a missionary, an historian or a canonist.‘ " (3.) Its first inhabitants were yrobably the Assinibsins Indians, who are said to have been donated the land between “the leeches by the Saulteanx and the times, about 3.650.

In lT33—3’4, s Jesuit priest, travelling with La. Verendrye's expedition, came in contact with these Indians. It is know that the French Discoverer 01" the West, paddled the length of Lake Manitoba. on his way to Cedar Lake. His sons, Pierre and Louis are said to have explored the Interlske Region after the den-1th of their father.

In 1823+, a grouy of Métis, obliged to leave Fembins, which had become American terzitory, settled at mast is now Sthflurent. Another group, driven out ”by a Red River flood, in 1826, also settled there. In the same year, a. priest from {St—Boniface, Father Destroismaisons, went to the settlement to celebrate Christmas.

Lack of priests in the area, deprived the Roman Catholic colony of ssiritusl aid for about twenty years. Also, the inhabitants, living by busting and pmbably fishing, were nomadic, and it was difficult to reach them at any particular time.

However, the settlement was not completely abandoned. The proximity of Sthrangois—Xasier, (about 30 miles distant), where there had been a. resident priest since 1823, made it relatively easy for them. to get to chum-’- The registers of that Parish contain accounts of baggiisms and marri ages of St—Lourent people; and its first inhabitants were hm ied in the cemetery “there.

Seemingly, (2) she £3131” "hi so man to settle at Sin—Laurent, was the grsmdfather of a, rertain William Duchame. (3) According to the letter, his grandfather came from Eastern Canada, with two brothers, whom he left at St Anne' 5. He paddled his canoe, alone, along the lssiniboine River, into Lake Manitoba, probably portsgeing between the two watenrsys. He came ashore, near the south end of St~La.uz-ent, (now) and started building a shack. It was late fall, and a blizzard buried the building under four feet

l. Ami du Foyer, 1961 n, 5 (Octobre) 2. Information furnished by Fenland Lambert grandson cf Wm. Ducharme 3. Died in Biz-Laurent about 1930

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