The village was incorporated in 1884 and its first reeve was Francis Hay. East Selkirk saw a huge immigration boom in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. The Round House, a large building made of Tyndall limestone, was situated next to the railway tracks and not only served as an immigration hall but also as the church, school and hospital. Many immigrants from Poland, Ukraine and other eastern-European countries passed through its doors and onward to their homesteads throughout the Interlake, but some remained to settle in the local area.
East Selkirk was also home to the St. Peter's Reservation. It was here that Chief Peguis led his Saulteaux tribe in the early 19th century. Beginning in the late 1890s, the village of East Selkirk, as well as the town of Selkirk, Manitoba, Rural Municipality of St. Clements and St. Andrew's, Manitoba slowly began incorporating the lands of the Reservation and taxing the white occupants who held patents to river lots. This began a dispute that ultimately led the Federal Department of Indian Affairs to force the Saulteaux people out to clear way for the white settlers. Federal Agents came to the Reserve, bribed the Chief and Band Council, got them drunk and gave the entire tribe only one day to decide on the surrender agreement. In 1907, the surrender took place and the Saulteaux were moved to a remote corner of Lake Winnipeg to join the Peguis Reserve. This surrender was, and still is, considered illegal. Peguis First Nation finalized a land claim in 2008 that originated from this incident.
In 1984, the Rural Municipality of St. Clements celebrated its centennial anniversary. The village is home to Happy Thought School, East Selkirk Middle School, the East Selkirk Recreation Association, a post office, gas station, and also two churches: St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church and the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church.
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