Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site No. 329


Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery
Pt. 16-19-4 E

Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery

Designation Date:  June 27, 2007
Designation Authority:  R.M. of Gimli
Present Owner:  Gimli Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee

The Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery, a tidy landscaped site with few physical symbols of its purpose, is the first Icelandic cemetery established in Manitoba and the oldest Icelandic public cemetery in Canada. Opened in 1875 on a tract of land that was granted by the Government of Canada and initially called the Republic of New Iceland, the cemetery is an important link to the Icelandic pioneers who settled along the western shore of Lake Winnipeg. It also is significant as a burial and memorial site for victims of the 1876–77 smallpox epidemic, a great tragedy that decimated settlers and Aboriginal peoples in the Interlake region. The well-kept cemetery is a poignant historical landmark that recognizes the struggles of early Icelandic immigrants in the Gimli area.

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