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St. Vincent, Settlement

Long before St. Vincent would be called home by a small community of Franco-Albertans, the region was the home of the Cree and the Métis. The area was first visited between 1766 – 1767 by the Hudson Bay Company man William Pink, who explored the Beaver River to its source. Quantity of beaver and herds of buffalo in the area attracted many more fur traders after Pink. The area which lies approximately 210 kilometres to the north east of Edmonton was surveyed in 1884 by A.F. Cotton. Originally called Dog Rump (or worse) in Cree, he renamed the lake “Vincent” after his son. I would not want to swim in a lake called Dog Rump, would you? The missionaries promptly renamed it Saint-Vincent Lake.

Recruited by the Oblates, French-speaking immigrants began to arrive in St. Vincent around 1906, looking to cultivate the great open spaces of Canada’s western frontier. On July 3rd of that same year, Bishop Emile Legal, O.M.I. renamed the growing colony “Lac Saint Vincent”. Six-years later on March 13th, 1912 the community’s life as a Roman Catholic parish officially began, and the colony was titled Saint-Vincent-de- Denisville.