The community pastures date back to the era of New France, in the 17th century. Most were used for grazing livestock, and belonged to the seigneurs. Farmers would graze their herds on the community pastures throughout the summer. Tenants would pay annual dues to the seigneur (in the form of cash or agricultural products) to pasture their livestock.

This tradition has persisted in modern times; there are still three community pastures in the Lake Saint-Pierre archipelago, on Île du Moine, Île de la Commune and Île Dupas.

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