The Société historique de Saint-Boniface

Preserving and Promoting a Valuable Heritage

The Société historique de Saint-Boniface (SHSB) was founded on September 4, 1902, as part of a field trip to find the site of Fort St. Charles, built in 1732 by Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Vérendrye, in the Lake of the Woods area. With Powassin, an Anishinabe chief from the Lake of the Woods region, as their guide, they reached the Northwest Angle (of Minnesota) and spent another six years searching and excavating before finally locating the remains of the old fort and collecting associated artifacts. During this excavation they discovered several items related to La Vérendrye, as well as the remains of the Jesuit priest Jean-Pierre Aulneau, Jean-Baptiste La Vérendrye (La Vérendrye’s son) and 19 of their companions.

Since that day, the SHSB has been dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the heritage of the Francophone and Métis presence in Western Canada and in particular in Manitoba. To this end, the SHSB has undertaken archaeological and historical research. It has developed a collection of museum objects from the first artifacts discovered in the Northwest Angle. These objects are now in the St. Boniface Museum.

It has established an archive and a library related to Francophone history. Other activities have been added over the years, including conferences, publications, exhibitions, training workshops, a genealogy service and the designation of historical sites. From 1980 to 2012, the SHSB managed the Riel House National Historic Site of Canada and, since April 1, 1998, it has managed the Centre du patrimoine.

Our Mission

To acquire, preserve and promote the Francophone and Métis heritage of Western Canada, with a focus on Manitoba.


Our Vision

The Society is expanding its reach and exercising a greater role with its clients through exceptional service, recognized expertise, sound stewardship, committed volunteerism and mutually beneficial partnerships.


The Board of Directors

The Société historique de Saint-Boniface is managed by a board of directors composed of a maximum of 13 persons and a minimum of 7 persons. These people are elected by the members attending the annual general assembly which normally is held in May or June of each year. Following the elections, the directors elect the members of the executive including the president, the vice-president, the treasurer and the secretary.

Board Members for 2022-2023

President: Michel Lagacé

Vice-president : Michelle Keller

Treasurer : Raymond Préfontaine

Secretary: Guy Jourdain

Advisors: Louis Paquin, Philippe Mailhot, Henri Bouvier, Denis Duguay, Me Guy Jourdain, Julien Bédard, Nicole St-Onge and Marc Bissonnette.