The Société historique de Saint-Boniface (SHSB) was created on September 4, 1902, during an expedition to Lake of the Woods, in search of Fort St. Charles (an early post built in 1732 by Canadian explorer and trader Pierre Gaulthier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye).
Under the guidance of Powassin, an Anishinabe Chief of the Lake of the Woods region, they reached the North-West Angle and pursued a further 6 years of research and investigation before definitively locating the remains of the old fort and collecting its associated artefacts. Excavations revealed several LaVérendrye related objects as well as the skeletal remains of Jesuit priest Father Jean-Pierre Aulneau, La Vérendrye’s own son Jean-Baptiste La Vérendrye and 19 of their companions.
Since then, the SHSB mandate has become to acquire, preserve and promote Francophone and Métis heritage of Western Canada, with a focus on Manitoba. To this end, and over the course of its existence, the SHSB has sponsored archeological and historical research, maintained a collection of museum objects (including the first artefacts found at the North West Angle), and ensured the creation of an archives facility and reference library, where materials related to the history of Francophones and Métis in the West have been amassed to facilitate research.
Other activities added over the years include conferences, publications, exhibits, training workshops, genealogical services and the promotion of historical designations. From 1980 to 2012, la SHSB also managed the interpretive services at Riel House National Historic Site, in St. Vital.
Since 1998, the SHSB manages the Centre du patrimoine; an archives and research facility that enables present and future generations to discover fascinating facts about our culture and deepen their understanding of francophone and Métis history within the framework of a minority setting in Western Canada.
Mission of the Société historique de Saint-Boniface
«Acquire, preserve and promote Francophone and Métis heritage of Western Canada, with a focus on Manitoba».
SHSB Board Members
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.
The Board Members for 2019-2020 are:
President: Michel Lagacé
Vice-president: Michelle Keller
Treasurer: Lianne Desrochers
Councillors: Louis Paquin, Joël Ruest, Lucille Bazin, Philippe Mailhot, Henri Bouvier, Camille Fisette-Mulaire and Guy Jourdain.