Ile-a-la-Crosse has a history steeped in the early fur trade and the opening of the Northwest. Almost every explorer in western Canada has stayed in Ile-a-la-Crosse, located on the main waterway and trade route into western Canada.
The Hudson's Bay Company built a trading post here in 1779. The Northwest Company and Reveillon Freres posts provided heated competition here to HBC.
The Roman Catholic Mission was established in 1846 and started the first school and hospital which remain here to this day. Established in 1776, Ile-a-la-Crosse is the second oldest community in Saskatchewan.
The population of Ile-a-la-Crosse is approximately 1600 people with many Metis, descendants of the early French, Scottish, Scandinavian and Cree settlers. Louis Riel Sr. was born here and Sister Marguerite Marie Riel SGM, sister of Louis Riel (Leader of the Metis during the Metis Rebellion) is buried here.