The Rural Municipality of St. Laurent, which was incorporated in 1881, is located 70 kilometers to the northwest of Winnipeg on the shore of Lake Manitoba and consists of the communities of St. Laurent and Oak Point. The area boasts numerous sandy beaches and other tourist attractions and as such is a popular destination widely known for its cottage country.
A strong commercial fishery thrives on Lake Manitoba, with local fisherman providing species such as carp to Canadian as well as Asian markets. Commercial fishing is thus a very important industry and the biggest employer in the Interlake region. To this end, the town of St. Laurent operates its very own fish packing plant.
The outstanding beach and woodlands are the foundation of St. Laurent’s economy as tourism also generates much activity in the area. Snowmobiling, skiing, camping, boating and golfing among the activities that the region has to offer on a year-round basis. Several cultural events take place there every year, including St. Laurent’s Manipogo Festival, which has been held every March since 2001, as well as the St. Laurent Métis Heritage Festival during the first weekend of August.
The town of St. Laurent also received international recognition in 2004 by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and its National Museum of the American Indian, as the true vitality and distinctiveness of the Métis identity is to be found in St. Laurent in its most authentic form, where they still speak the traditional “michif” language which has been passed down through five generations.
For more information, visit: www.stlaurentmb.ca