Located near Prince Albert is the rural Municipality of St. Louis, made up of the cities of Batoche, Saint-Laurent de Grandin, Domrémy, Hoey, Saint-Isidore-de-Bellevue and St. Louis. The municipality is largely populated by Francophones, though the numbers have lowered considerably in the past few decades.
Land Area, km2
Health Care & Social Services, Construction
Saskatoon, Prince Albert
On the South Saskatchewan River is the Village of St. Louis, a small agricultural Francophone community that was founded by the Métis and French Canadians settlers who established themselves in the area. St. Louis was once a bustling village with a bridge running through its centre. But with a new bridge now bypassing the village, combined with aging populations and youth migration, the town has lost some of its vitality. Developing the area’s tourism and infrastructure sector is key for this small village to help rebuild its vibrancy.
The District of St. Isidore de Bellevue, comprised of many villages that have a strong concentration of Francophones, began as an agricultural community, producing wheat, oats, barley and legumes. Today, there are some family farms and small businesses in the fields of transportation and information technology, but the area is now also recognized for its artists and sculptors. Though it is a self-contained community, like many rural and small communities, St. Isidore-de-Bellevue is facing issues such as aging populations and youth migration.
Domrémy is a community mostly known for its agriculture. Like St. Isidore-de-Bellevue, Domrémy is also facing youth migration and aging populations. Despite these challenges, there has been an influx of people to the area looking for cheaper housing and taking up work in the towns nearby. But with little revenue invested in Domrémy from these newcomers, the community is slowing losing some of its small businesses and quickly becoming a dormant community.
There is a lot of work to be done in order to rebuild and reinvent the Municipality of St. Louis and its communities, but there is great opportunity to do so. By focusing on its existing strengths such as the French and Métis cultures and art and culture and by building up the area’s tourism, promoting its local agricultural products and working on infrastructure issues, the rural municipality of St. Louis could see growth in the future.
*Please note that for the purposes of this project, we only visited the Francophone communities of St. Louis, Domrémy and St-Isidore-de-Bellevue. Please note that we were unable to retrieve the exact land area and median age for the rural Municipality of St. Louis given that we are only looking at the Francophone communities.
Read about the Francophone history of Saskatchewan here.