Women of St. Laurent Parish in Manitoba bring up the offerings at a special mass to honour those who take part in the fishing industry and those who wait at home for their sons and husbands to come return from their days on the ice. (Photo courtesy St. Laurent Parish)
ST. LAURENT, Man. — St. Laurent Parish in St. Laurent, Man., on the eastern shore of Lake Manitoba, is a Métis fishing community. In the winter people go out on the lake on snowmobiles and put out nets under the ice and fish for their livelihood.
Over the years, there have been tragic drownings that have left families without their fathers and husbands. Others have gone through the ice but survived to tell their story. It is a rugged vocation, but many enjoy the work and the challenge of net-fishing in winter.
On March 12, the women of the parish who are part of the fishing industry, and those who wait at home for their sons and husbands to come back from their days of fishing, were honoured.
A group of women brought up the offerings, including a fresh fish on a plate as a symbol of their offerings from fishing.
On the same weekend the annual Manipogo Festival in St. Laurent, which celebrates the community’s own version of the Loch Ness monster, honoured all women who are part of the fishing industry, whether they are fishers, tending nets, or waiting at home raising the family, many carrying on after experiencing the loss of a loved one.