The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne is one of the earliest settled areas of Manitoba. The first settlers arrived at Pointe-des-Chênes (where the oaks meet) from Quebec in 1856 in search of farmland. The initial settlement to the area consisted of 198 families and the main industry at this time was devoted to supplying lumber for the construction of the St. Boniface Cathedral, in Winnipeg.
The area underwent substantial change with the construction of the 850 kms long Dawson Trail - the first all-Canadian highway linking the East with the Prairies. The trail was surveyed in 1858 with construction taking place from 1868-1871. The trail was pushed through from Fort William to the Red River. A plaque situated outside of the Ste. Anne municipal building in the town of Ste. Anne tells the story of this first water and land route starting west from the Northwest Angle of the Lake-of-the-Woods through the present town of Ste. Anne to St. Boniface.
In the 1850's, the Hudson's Bay Company erected a trading post in the small community. With this eventually came a hotel and a general store and in its last years, a jail; however, this historic building burned down in the early 1880's.
The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne was incorporated in February, 1881, but not for long. In 1890, it was amalgamated with the Rural Municipality of LaBroquerie. It later became reestablished by an Act of the Legislature in 1908 which happened to be the same year the municipal building in Ste. Anne was erected. That 2-story historical building remained the RM of Ste. Anne municipal building until 2013 when a new modern building was erected just south of the Town of Ste. Anne off Provincial Highway #210. The old building was sold to a local business with the intentions of preserving the historical site.
The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne encompasses a population of approximately 4500. The area stretches from the Trans Canada Highway south about 15 kilometers toward LaBroquerie, just west of Ste. Anne to the Sandilands Provincial Forest and includes the settlement centres of Richer, Giroux, La Coulee and Greenland. The western part of the municipality is primarily agricultural. Dairy, beef, hog and poultry make up a highly intensive livestock industry to complete the agricultural picture.
The beautifully forested areas from Richer eastward provide a striking contrast to its neighboring prairies. Agricultural use of this area is limited; however, it is quite commonly used for its recreational potential. The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne prides itself on being the place where the West begins, where the bush of the rugged Canadian Shield evolves into the smooth Western Prairies.
The Municipality of Ste. Anne is located only 20 minutes to the east of Winnipeg just off the four-lane Trans Canada Highway and only about 10 minutes north of Steinbach - 'The Automobile City' - just off the four-lane PTH 12. The scenic Seine River winds through the municipality bordered by magnificent Oak trees and other hardwoods.
The municipality of Ste. Anne is a scenic setting boasting all of the amenities. The Town of Ste. Anne, which is completely surrounded by the municipality, hosts many commercial establishments such as a financial institution, hotel, grocers, restaurants, automobile repair and hardware.
Health care is quite present within the community as it consists of the Ste. Anne hospital, Seine River Medical Centre and a seniors home. The hospital has an emergency room, x-rays unit, ambulance services and provides various other services. While the medical centre has several doctors, a dentist and a pharmacist.
The municipality has two well-equipped and trained volunteer fire brigades in Ste. Anne and Richer and the area is part of the East Man Area Mutual Fire Aid System.
The town and municipality of Ste. Anne offer schooling in Français, English as well as French Immersion. The community also has a public library available at no fee to the residents of the municipality.
The Catholic churches have been a major force in the historical development of the area. Ste. Anne's impressive stone church, dating from 1895, is among the oldest in the province. There is also a catholic church in Richer, now a historical site, as well as churches of varying denominations throughout the municipality.
Recreational facilities can be found within the municipality as well as in the town of Ste. Anne. The municipality has several privately owned scenic and enjoyable public golf courses; Cottonwood (27 holes), Oakwood (18 holes), Ridgewood (9 holes), Girouxsalem (9holes) and Quarry Oaks (27 holes). Seasonal camping is very popular in the well-treed eastern part of the municipality with five privately owned campgrounds: Lilac, Wild Oaks, Rock Garden, Ridgewood and Cherry Hill. The town of Ste. Anne provides facilities such as an indoor arena, a four-sheet curling rink, baseball, soccer fields and two tennis courts. With the abundant forests and parks, there is truly something for everyone within the municipality!
In recognition of Ste. Anne's Dawson Trail heritage, Ste. Anne each year celebrates it's Dawson Trail Days on the September long weekend with slow-pitch tournaments, live entertainment, beer gardens and fire works.
The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne is at the centre of the Eastman region of Manitoba and at the crossroads of major highways. It combines the charms of a rural setting with easy access to a major metropolitan center. It is an ideal region for business, industry and settlement. The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne is a region where people live, work, play and connect.