Lebret

Lebret
Village
Village of Lebret
Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church
Lebret is located in Saskatchewan
Lebret
Lebret
Location of Lebret in Saskatchewan
Lebret is located in Canada
Lebret
Lebret
Lebret (Canada)
Coordinates: 50°45′25.66″N 103°42′10.20″W / 50°45′25.66″N 103°42′10.20″W / 50.7571278; -103.7028333
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan
RegionSouth-central
Census division6
Rural MunicipalityNorth Qu'Appelle No. 187
Post office founded1880
Incorporated (Village)1912
Government
 • TypeMunicipal
 • Governing bodyLebret Village Council[1]
 • MayorRalph Blondeau
 • AdministratorCaroline MacMurchy
Area
 • Total1.31 km2 (0.51 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total216
 • Density165.3/km2 (428/sq mi)
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
Postal codeS0G 2Y0
Area code(s)306
Highways Hwy 56
WaterwaysKatepwa Lake
Mission Lake
[2][3][4][5]

Lebret is a village within the rural municipality of North Qu'Appelle No. 187, in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The village is situated on Mission Lake in the Qu'Appelle Valley. The population was 216 at the 2016 Census, (a 8.4% increase from 199 in the 2011 Canada Census). Lebret is located along Highway 56, about 70 km (43 mi) northeast of the capital, Regina. The village was named after "the parish priest, Father Louis Lebret, who became the first postmaster of the community and, although he only held the position for a little more than six months, the office was named Lebret and the name became that of the community."[6]

History

Lebret in 1921 from just northeast on the same side of the lake

The site of Lebret first came to non-First Nations outside attention in 1814 when Abbé Provencher visited. A further such visit occurred when Abbé Picard from Pembina arrived in 1841 and wintered with John McDonald, previously of the North-West Company;[7] the next record of visit is of Bishop Taché passing through in 1864 en route to Ile á la Crosse, returning with a party and staying in Fort Qu’Appelle and choosing the site which later became the village of Lebret for the Catholic mission, established the next year in 1866 as one of the earliest in what became the Province of Saskatchewan in 1905.[7]

It “became the main centre of Catholicism for the Métis and First Nations people in the region and a base for Oblate priests who travelled the southern plains to points such as Wood Mountain and the Cypress Hills."[6] The federal government financed the Qu'Appelle Indian Residential School in Lebret. which started in 1884 and run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The first post office was opened in 1886, named Lebret which was given to the community. The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions arrived in 1899 and founded Saint Gabriel’s Convent in 1906.[6]

The village was incorporated in 1912 and the fieldstone Sacred Heart Church built in 1925.[6] Churchgoing vastly waned among the Baby-Boom Generation to all but fundamentalist denominations beginning in the mid-1960s but full-house concerts were held in Sacred Heart Church by choirs of the nearby Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts in Fort San. This ceased when the Summer School closed in 1991 due to lack of funding.[8]

The stations of the cross on the hill were erected in 1929.

In 1929 the landmark stations of the cross and the small chapel shrine on the hill overlooking Lebret were erected. Until the latter half of the 20th century Lebret was an important religious and educational centre. In addition to the residential school and the convent, there was a public school, and the Oblates established a theological training centre, Sacred Heart Scholasticate, on the south side of Mission Lake.

The scholasticate closed in the 1960s, the convent in the 1970s and the public school in 1980, its pupils transferring to Fort Qu’Appelle. The residential school was signed over to a First Nations school board in October 1973, at a ceremony presided over by the then Minister of Indian Affairs, Jean Chrétien. The school, which eventually became known as White Calf Collegiate, closed in 1998.[6]

It is still stated, though with its continuing relevance not dwelled upon, that "French Canadians continued to supplement the Métis in the Qu’Appelle Valley" and that "[t]he mission at Lebret was established in 1866."[9][10]

Today, Lebret remains a picturesque, yet very quiet, community[6] with Fort Qu'Appelle now relatively unique in retaining its vitality and even sometimes increasing in population while other towns once of equal significance and size steadily dwindle in population and economic activity.

Other Languages
Cebuano: Lebret
svenska: Lebret