In 1976 we celebrated our community's bi-centennial marking our long rich history and the important role we played in the development of Western Canada.
Ile a la Crosse is the birthplace of Louis Riel Sr. and is the gravesite of Sr. Marguerite Riel (the sister of Louis Riel). In countless history books and maps, the community of Ile a la Crosse is duly noted for its historical significance in settling this entire area.
Today, Sakitawak, (the Cree name for Ile a la Crosse which means "where the rivers meet") is extending an invitation to you all, to come and visit and paddle where many voyageurs paddled, to camp and enjoy the peace, scenery, and the breathtaking beauty of our northern forests, rivers, lakes, and streams. Cultural events, sporting events, festivals and celebrations are held year round to provide entertainment for the entire family.
Our community is the second oldest in Saskatchewan, after Cumberland House. We are located in one of the most beautiful regions of Northern Saskatchewan, where the air is always fresh, the water is pure and the trees are brilliant green. Nature's beauty jumps out at you with many different sights to see.
Our Town is full of history and we hope you get to enjoy it to it's fullest.
In 1779, the Hudson Bay Company began to build posts along the inland rivers. In this same year, William Linklater set up a post here. Ile a la Crosse was one of the important fur trading places. Quite a few of the French traders married and lived here with their Indian wives.
The name Ile a la Crosse translated from French to English would be: Island of the Cross. The name comes from the game La Crosse which was played by the Indians. When traders arrived, they watched the natives play on Big Island and therefore named the place they lived Ile a la Crosse.
The majority of residents in Ile a la Crosse are Metis, another French word meaning "to mix". The Metis families of Ile a la Crosse are mainly descended from French Canadian or Scottish ancestors from the Red River.
As you browse this site, you will realize that Ile a la Crosse is northern Saskatchewan's "best kept secret". It's rich history is complimented by it's variety of modern services and friendly people, so please accept this invitation to come and visit our community of Ile a la Crosse.