Incorporated 1910

The Association was formed in 1908 and incorporated in 1910 to honour Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk, and to prepare for the 100th anniversary of the first settlers, who arrived at Red River on 27 October 1812 to establish the first settlement west of the Great Lakes. Plans included the erection of monuments, a club house, library and museum. By 1912 the Association had several hundred members, and money had been collected and more pledged for a monument to Lord Selkirk. On July 15, 1912, the Governor-General, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught laid the cornerstone on the S.E. corner of Portage and Main streets, in front of the Bank of Montreal. The ceremony was followed by a Civic luncheon held at the Exhibition grounds, at which members of the Association’s Executive were guests

Then came the war of 1914-18 and its aftermath, when there was no money for monuments. In time the Bank of Montreal wanted the site in front of their building for a war memorial. Our cornerstone was removed and its contents given to the City of Winnipeg for sake-keeping.


To serve as a link to bind together the descendants of the hardy men and women who first settled on the banks of the Red River in the early 1800s, and to perpetuate the memory and preserve the spirit, traditions and history of those first agricultural settlers.

Highlights in Our History

1924 Husbands and wives who were not descendants were given associate membership. Ladies Auxiliary was formed.

Chief Peguis monument was erected in Kildonan Park. Headstone was placed on Peguis’ grave at St. Peter’s Church.

1949 The Lord Selkirk Association Memorial Scholarship was established at the University of Manitoba using the balance of the monument fund together with additional funds collected. It continues to be awarded annually to a fourth year history student.

1962 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first settlers. Nine events were held, including memorial service and unveiling of plaque in Cornwall, Ontario honouring Miles Macdonell, first governor of the colony. Provincial Highway 75 was renamed the Lord Selkirk Highway to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Selkirk settlers.

1967 Cairn erected in St. John’s Park at the approximate location of Lord Selkirk’s meeting with the settlers on August 10, 1817, when, in consideration of hardships suffered in consequence of the lawless conduct of the Nor’Westers, twenty-four lots were granted gratuitously to those settlers who had made improvements on their land prior to the Seven Oaks massacre.

1968 Plaque unveiled by Prime Minister J.G. Diefenbaker at Kildonan Parish Church, Scotland, commemorating Selkirk Settlers.

1981 “Kildonan on the Red” by A.M. Henderson, published by the Association.

1982 Our second scholarship, to be awarded annually to a third year history student at the University of Manitoba, was established.

1987 175th anniversary of arrival of first settlers, Festivities included a reception given by the Lt. Governor, dinner at the Bay’s Georgian Room, unveiling of a cairn at Point Douglas marking the site where the first wheat was planted in the settlement, and a special service at Old Kildonan Church.

1989 Unveiling of monument to Sergeant Tommy Prince, great-great grandson of Chief Peguis, and one of Canada’s most decorated war heroes.

1990 Kildonan Bridge opened by the City of Winnipeg. The light standards on the bridge carry the names of the 1817 settlers.

1991 Lapel pins, featuring Selkirk’s head circled by the words “Selkirk Settlers” were issued commemorating the 175th anniversary of Selkirk’s visit.

1992 Rededication of cairn in St. John’s Park marking site of Selkirk’s meeting with the settlers in 1817.
“The Selkirk Settlers of Red River and Their Descendants 1812-1992” edited by K.M. Gillespie, A.B. Campbell, and A.K. Dixon, published by the Association (rev. 1997).

1993 Association established a third scholarship to be awarded annually to a student in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Manitoba.

1997 Publication of The Selkirk Settlers of Red River and Their Descendants 1812-1997.

1998 Commemorative plaque installed on the house built by James Fraser in 1830, now at Lower Fort Garry.

2004 Our website launched

2005 Rededication of our cairn in St. John’s Park commemorating Lord Selkirk’s 1817 visit.

2008 Electronic newsletter option offered. Selkirk Settlers Weekend, organized by the 2012 Bicentennial Corporation, included various events attended by association members and the current Lord and Lady Selkirk.

2009 Participation in project of the Timespan Museum in Helmsdale, Scotland. First participation in Folklorama with a booth in the Scottish Pavilion.

2011 Commemorative Bicentenary Calendar completed (2012).