Possible Objectors to a Provisional Government, 29 Nov. 1869

Allegedly, on 29 November 1869, a small group of people of Red River Settlement (95 individuals out of a population of about 12,000) sent a declaration to “French Representatives” who were attending the Convention of Twenty-four (which had taken a break to “consult with their respective parishes” after the debates of 24 November convened and were not due to resume until 1 December). The declaration stated:

“Whereas the Hudson’s Bay Company Govt. Known as the Governor & Council of Assiniboia constitutes the only legal [and] responsible Government in the country at present — Therefore, the undersigned being anxious in all things to act according to law cannot be parties to the formation or the [error of] [carrying on] a Provisional Government.”

[Sources: the two sources consulted are purported transcriptions of what was originally a handwritten document, and are not entirely alike in their wording of the declaration paragraph. I have fused them, using square brackets to indicate differences. The differences are conceivably due to both versions being translations from French to English (though neither source mentions having been translated). See Transcription, “Copy of the Document sent to French Representatives, by French People, Red River Settlement, 29 November 1869,” Native Studies Review 1, no. 2 (1985): 97 – 98, http://iportal.usask.ca/docs/Native_studies_review/v1/issue2/pp97-98.pdf; and Richard Donald Pietz, A Walking Miracle (2010), 254. Pietz suggests that a typewritten copy (possibly the same typescript used for publication in Native Studies Review) and/or a handwritten copy is archived at the Archives of Manitoba. Neither Pietz nor the anonymous transcriber for Native Studies Review gives an indication of the whereabouts of any original handwritten document (meaning not a copy — and presumably in French). I have not verified that such an original document actually exists. If an original does not exist, then the typewritten copy (or a handwritten copy) could, potentially, be bogus. According to William McDougall (notorious for forging a document himself), there had been a document signed by “100 of the principal French half-breeds” but he mentions only that it had indicated that they agreed “to allow the Governor to come in.” See William MacDougall, “(4A) Memorandum,” dated 13 December 1869, in Great Britain, Parliament, House of Commons, Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons (1870), 72.]

Notably, it appears that the objection was to the instituting of any provisional government — whether Canadian or locally led — and a preference to continue under the proprietary government of the Hudson’s Bay Company [HBC].

In addition, the use of the phrase “responsible Government,” applied to the HBC, implies a meaning along the lines of ‘responsible for looking after the governance of the people.’ That is a more limited meaning than what the proponents of a locally mustered representative provisional government had in mind when using the phrase in arguments for advancing political rights. What those in favour of a provisional government wanted was a representative and responsible system, whereby: 1) representatives would be elected by “the people” — not appointed by a governor; and 2) representatives would be responsible to “the people” in that all members of the government (including the president) could lose their office in a vote of non-confidence in the legislative assembly.

That William Dease Sr. (an appointed representative on the HBC Council of Assiniboia), apparently signed the document suggests that at least some of the other signatories had been members of his “Peace Party” in late October 1869. It had been organized to attempt to have the Canadian Lieutenant Governor designate, William McDougall, allowed to enter the settlement.

Initially, on the morning of 27 October 1869, Dease was said to have had some 80 men in his company, but, by that evening, about twenty had defected to the ‘Patriotes‘  of the Comité National des Métis. A number of  Dease’s men at that time do not appear to have been well armed, given that Dease sought to obtain guns and ammunition from the HBC at Upper Fort Garry. However, Governor of Assiniboia, William Mactavish, declined to supply weapons. By 28 October, Dease had perhaps as few as “twenty or thirty  men” who were native to the settlement and on whom he could call. Reportedly, some of these were camped near Upper Fort Garry. The group had perhaps diminished in size because they were “entirely without provisions,” and were having to rely on the Canadian Party (through John Stoughton Dennis) for food (the infamous Canadian government salt pork warehoused by ‘Dr.’ John Christian Schultz). By 2 November (the date on which the Comité National des Métis moved into Upper Fort Garry), “The party under Mr. William Dease” had “dwindled away, the men having mostly gone back to their homes.”

[See Great Britain, Colonial Office, and Canada, Governor General, “Correspondence Relative to the Recent Disturbances in the Red River Settlement; Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty, August, 1870,” 8-9, 17, 18, 27; and Norman James Williamson,”The Taking of Rupert’s Land in the Pickled Pig War of John Shultz: An Important Episode in the Rise of the Petty Criminal to Patronage Pinnacle” [sic], The Tales and Adventures of an Exile and Heretic, http://everlastingexile.weebly.com/pigmeat-war.html. See also Flags and the Red River Resistance, this site.]

The alleged declaration of 29 November indicates Dease succeeded in reviving support for his cause. He  remained an active irritant to the Provisional Government into February of 1870. By March, however, it appears Dease had conceded that the Provisional Government instituted by the The Convention of Forty/ La Grande Convention was the “lawful” government in the settlement. At least two of the other signatories to the November declaration (as indicated in the list below) joined the military/ settlement guard of the Provisional Government.

[See “William Dei Gratia RegemNew Nation (11 February 1870), which reported that 28 men, led by William Dease of Point Coupée, entered the HBC post in St. Boniface and took goods; described Dease’s ambition; and alleged he attempted to seize William McDougall’s furniture. See also “William Le Roi. Le Roi est mort; vive le Roi,” New Nation (18 February 1870), which indicated Dease had left Point Coupée; and the article’s author boasted that Dease’s remaining supporters had defected to the Provisional Government. The article’s description of a confrontation at Dease’s residence may hold some germ of truth, though how much is up for debate. It is reasonable to assume he was suspected of cooperating with the Canadian Party and Portage Party in planning an attack on Upper Fort Garry slated to take place about 15 – 17 February 1870. See also “A Slight Difference,” New Nation (4 March 1870), which reported that the Dease party had come to recognize the “lawful” Provisional Government; that Dease had explained away his party’s previous act of ‘theft’ as his attempt to protect goods on behalf of the HBC; but the article alleges that the HBC had disputed Dease’s account.]

A number of the men listed as having signed the declaration of November 1869 do not appear to have been farmers with a permanently located landholding in the settlement, which suggests they were plains hunters/ freighters/ traders (who nevertheless may have had traditional rights to camping sites and garden plots in the settlement — principally in St. Norbert Parish, perhaps on lands tilled and tended by family members.) As plains hunters it is understandable that they would not like to see any interference with the HBC that might compromise its ability to conduct trade. When the women with whom the men were connected are considered, it becomes clear that this was a group connected by family ties. Additionally, further delineation of the women’s family connections (not shown here), would reveal that there were also family ties to men who became members of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia.

[Note: biographical details given for the individuals below (based on D.N. Sprague and R.P. Frye, The genealogy of the first Metis nation : the development and dispersal of the Red River Settlement, 1820-1900 (Winnipeg: Peguis, 1983), are tentative and might change as research continues.]


• Cardinal, Jeremy/ Jeremie Jr./ ‘Remi’:

Métis, at lot 202 – 209, St. Norbert Parish. Born 3 January 1842. Married to Françoise Sayer/ Sayis (Métis).

• Carriere, André fils/ Jr.:

There were 4 men of the name André Carriere, at least 3 of whom were related, living at St. Boniface, St. Vital, and St. Norbert. This is probably André Carriere, Métis, at lot 244, St. Norbert, born 1830 to André Carriere (immediately below) and Marie Anne Rivard; married to Catherine McIvor (Métis; sister of Angus McEivor/ McKeevor/ McIvor below).

• Carriere, André pêre/ Sr.:

This is probably André Carriere, Métis of St. Norbert, born 1808, to André Carrier (from Lower Canada) and Angelique Lyons (Métis). Married to Marie Anne Rivard (Métis).

• Charette, Alexis:

Probably Alexandre Charrette of Red Lake and Pembina. Born c. 1840, Red River, to Jean-Baptiste Charette and Angelique Petit. Married to Bridget Cardinal (probably related to Jeremy Cardinal above).

• Charette, François:

Métis, living with parents at lot 90, St. Norbert. Born 27 March 1849, at St. Norbert, to Joseph Charette Sr. and Marie Gosselin.

• Charette, Joseph fils/ Jr.:

• Charette/ Charette dit Jeanvenne, Joseph pêre/ Sr.:

Métis, at lot 90, St. Norbert. Born 1816 (brother to Marie Charette/ Jeanvenne below). Married to Marie Gosselin (Assiniboine woman; born 1820; sister and aunt to the Goslins listed below).

• Charette, Pierre:

Métis, living with parents at lot 90, St. Norbert. Born 4 May 1848 to Joseph Charette Sr. and Marie Gosselin (immediately above).

• Charette, Salomon/ Solomon:

Métis, living with parents at lot 90, St. Norbert. Born 1 January 1852 to Joseph Charette Sr. and Marie Gosselin.

• Charette, William:

Métis, living with parents at lot 90, St. Norbert. Born 5 Dec 1852 to Joseph Charette Sr. and Marie Gosselin.

• Colin/ Collin/ Collins/ Colland/ Calin, Maxime:

Métis. Born 1844, at Pembina, to Jean-Baptiste Collin and Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Allery.

• Contois/ Comtois/ Comptois, Pierre:

[There were at least 2 men of the name.] Probably Pierre Comtois, Métis, who lived at lot 210 – 218, St. Norbert. Born 1845 to Gilbert Comptois (but see also another Gilbert Comptois) and Marguerite Martin. Married to Elise White (Métis; relative — probably daughter or niece — of James Whyte/ White below).]

• Courchaine/ Courchene, Alexis/ Alex:

Métis, at lot 65, St. Norbert. Born 1835. Married to Marguerite Parisien (Métis; related to the Parisiens listed below (see also Norbert Parisien’s Family Ties).

• Dauphinais, Baptiste:

Métis, at lot 31, St. Norbert. Born 1828. Married to Marguerite Collin (Métis; probably related to Maxime Collin above).

• Dease, William fils/ Jr.:

Métis, at lot 9, St. Norbert. Born 1849. Married to Agnes Grant (Métis).

• Dease, William pêre/ Sr.:

Métis, of Pointe Coupée/ St. Adolphe [in 1870 Archibald census was counted as at lot 15, St. Norbert]. Born 1827 [Son of John Warren Dease and Genevieve ‘Jenny’ Beignet]. Married to Marguerite Genthon (Métis).

• Dubois, Baptiste:

There were 2 men of the name Jean-Baptiste Dubois — father and son — both Métis; both living at Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe at lots 585 – 589, and 579 respectively. The father married Marie LaBerge/ Leberge (Métis); the son was married to Josephte Laurence (Métis, and probably related to the Lawrences listed below).

• Dubois, Norbert:

Métis, living with parents at lot 585 – 589, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. He was the 19 year old son of Jean-Baptiste Dubois Sr. (see immediately above) and Marie Leberge (Métis).

• Dumas, Joseph:

Métis, at lot 98, St. Norbert. Born 1816. Married to Henriette Lamirande (Métis).

• Dupuis, Baptiste  fils/ Jr.:

There were at least 3 men of the name — son, father, and grandfather — all of St. Norbert. Either of the younger men might have been known as ‘fils.’ The youngest was Métis, born 1849, lived at lot 1 – 21, and was married to Cecile Pilon (Métis; probably related to Antoine Pilon listed below). His father, who was born 1825, also lived at lot 1 – 21, with wife Euphrasine Rocheleau (Métis).

• Dupuis, Baptiste pêre/ Sr.:

Of the three generations of Jean-Baptiste Dupuis [see immediately above], either of the two older men could have been known as ‘pêre.’ The grandfather in the family was born 1810, lived at lot 218, St. Norbert, and was married to Marie Hughes (Métis).

• Gervais, François:

Métis, of St. Boniface. Born 1828. Married to Josephte Bruyere (Métis), and Angelique Kekehons (a First Nations woman).

• Gladieu/ Gladu, Joseph:

Métis, at lot 58 – 61, St. Vital. Born 1849 to Pierre Gladu (Métis) and Nancy Dease (Métis; sister of William Dease Sr.). Married to Adele Lafournaise (Métis).

• Gladieu/ Gladu, Pierre:

There were at least 2 men of the name. This is probably the father of Joseph Gladu (immediately above) — the Pierre Gladu who lived at lot 61, St. Vital Parish and who was brother-in-law to William Dease Sr.

• Goslin/ Gosselin, Antoine:

Métis, at lot 72, St. Norbert. Born 1840 (brother of Marie Gosselin/ Charette above). Married to Françoise Delorme (Métis).

• Goslin/ Gosselin, François:

Métis, at lot 91, St. Norbert. Born 1817 (brother of Antoine Goslin and Marie Gosselin/ Charette above). Married to Suzanne Lafournaise (Métis).

• Goslin/ Gosselin, Joseph fils/ Jr.:

Métis, living with parents (listed below), at lot 92, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. 17 years old.

• Goslin/ Gosselin, Joseph pêre/ Sr.:

Métis, at lot 92, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. Born 1825 (brother of Antoine Goslin, François Goslin, and Marie Gosselin/ Charette above). Married to Rosalie Petit (Métis).

• Hamlin/ Hamelin/ Amlin, Joseph:

[There were at least 5 men of the name.] Probably Joesph Hamelin Métis, at lot 84 St. Norbert. Born 1833 to Solomon Hamlin (Métis; HBC Counsellor of Assiniboia), and Isabelle Vandal (Métis). Widower of Josephte Sayer; married to Julie Laurence (Métis; daughter of Jean Laurence and Marie Millet).

• Houle/ Hoole, Gabriel:

Métis, at lot 557 – 565, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. Born 1845 to Charles Houle (Métis) and Catherine Falardeau (Métis). Married to Marguerite Vandal (Métis).

• Houle/ Hoole, Louis:

[There were at least 2 men of the name: one of whom lived at St. François-Xavier.] Probably Louis Houle who was brother to Gabriel Houle (immediately above). Métis, at lot 559, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. Born 1839. Married to Caroline Berthelet (Métis).

• Jamiraude/ Lamirande?, Alexis:

Probably Alexis Lamirande. Métis, at lot 91 – 94, St. Norbert. Born 1839 to Louis Lamirande (of Lower Canada) and Marguerite Davis (Métis). Married to Marie Pilon (Métis, related to Cecile Pilon/ Dupuis [above] and Antoine Pilon [below]).

• Jeanvenne, Jean-Baptiste:

• Jeanvenne/ Charette dit Jeanvenne, Michel:

Métis, living with parents at lot 84 – 86, St. Norbert. Born c. 1847 to Pierre-Jean Venne/ Voyne and Marie Charrette (directly below).

• Jeanvenne/ Jean Venne/ Venne, Pierre:

Pierre-Jean Venne/ Voyne, originally from Lower Canada, at lot 84 – 86 St. Norbert. Married to Marie Charette (Métis; sister to Joseph Charette Sr. listed above).

Jeanvenne/ Charette dit Jeanvenne, Salomon/ Solomon:

Métis, at lot 86 St. Norbert. Born 1837 to Pierre-Jean Venne/ Voyne and Marie Charrette (directly above). Married to Josephte St. Arnaud (Métis).

• Jeanvenne, William:

• Klein/ Klyne/ Clyne, George:

Métis, at lot 469, Pointe Coupée/Ste. Agathe. Born 1828. Married to Monique Berthelet (Métis).

• Laforte/ Leforte, Luca:

• Laforte/ Leforte, Olivier:

•LaFurnace, Gabriel:

• LaFurnace/ Lafournaise, William/ Guillaume:

Possibly Guillaume Lafournaise, Métis, of St. François -Xavier, born 1845. Married to Caroline Gariepy.

• Landre/ Landry, Louison:

Métis, at lot 195-196, St. François-Xavier. Born 1816 [father?]. Married to Isabelle Chalifoux.

• Landre, St. Pierre:

• LaPlante, Boniface:

Métis, at lot 575, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. Born 1838. Married to Angelique Larocque (Métis; daughter of Louis LaRocque [immediately below]).

• LaRocque, Louis:

[There were at least 3 men of the name: living in Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe and in St. François-Xavier.] Probably Louis LaRocque, Métis, at lot 571, Pointe Coupée/Ste. Agathe, born 1820, married to Marie Berthelet (Metis).

• Larocque, Pierre:

[There were at least 2 men of the name: one of whom lived in St. François-Xavier.] Possibly (though not probably) Pierre Larocque, Métis, age 10, living with parents (see Louis LaRocque immediately above), at lot 571, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe.

• LaToque/ LaRocque [?], Baptiste.

Possibly Baptiste Laroque who took treaty with the St. Peter’s Band (Treaty 1, 1871; named as No. 233 in the 1875 St. Peter’s Band Annuity Paylist, but no details were entered, suggesting that he was absent that year).

• Lawrence/ Laurence/ Larance/ Laronce, Daniel:

Métis, 21 years old, living with parents (see Norbert Lawrence below), at lot 97, St. Norbert.

• Lawrence/ Laurence/ Larance/ Laronce, David:

Métis, 23 years old, living with parents (see Norbert Lawrence below), at lot 97, St. Norbert.

• Lawrence/ Laurence/ Larance/ Laronce, Norbert:

Métis, at lot 97, St. Norbert. Born 1821. Married to Josephte Parenteau. Named as a councillor during the The Convention of Forty/ La Grande Convention, perhaps slated to represent the parish of St. Norbert, but in the end did not take a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia. The position was instead taken by Pierre Parenteau (perhaps the brother of Norbert’s wife). [See “Convention at Fort Garry, Twelfth Day, Continued,” New Nation (18 February 1870), 1.]

• Logan, John:

[There were at least 2 men of the name] Probably John Logan, Métis, at lot 246, St. Norbert. Born 1840. Married to Marie Dupuis (Métis; daughter of Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and Marie Hughes [see Baptiste Dupuis pêre/ Sr. above]).

• Logan, Thomas:

Métis, at lot 202 – 209, St. Norbert. Born 1812. Widower of Margaret Cummings and Mary Anne Dease.

• Luca, Jean:

• McEaver/ McKeever/ McIver/ McIvor, Angus:

Métis, 19 years old. (Hanged for murder, 1876.)

• McKay, Enos:

• Marion, Narcisse:

Originally of L’Assomption, Lower Canada;  HBC career; farming at lot 81 – 87, St. Boniface. Born 1805. Married to Marie Bouchard (Métis).

• Marion, Roger:

Métis, 24 years old, living at the home of his parents (listed immediately above).

• Milien/ Millen/ McMillan, Charles:

• Milien/ Millen/ McMillan, Elie:

• Milien/ Millen/ McMillan/ McMullen, Joseph:

Possibly the son of William McMillan and Margurite Dease, born 4 December 1849, married to Pauline Bruce, living at lot 16 – 19, St. James.

• Milien/ Millen/ McMillan, Maxime:

• Morin, André:

Métis, at lot 557, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. Born 1847. Married to Adelade Grandbois (Métis).

• Morin, Alexandre:

Métis, at lot 575, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. Born 1836. Married to Elise Berthelet (Métis).

• Morin, Louison pêre/ Sr.:

[There were at least 6 men of the name: at St. Boniface; St. Norbert; and Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe] Probably Louis Morin, Métis, at lot 577, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe, born 1812, married to Marie Beauchemin, father of André and Alex Morin above.

• Morin, Narcisse fils/ Jr.: unknown

• Morris, Louis fils/ Jr.: unknown

• Page/ Pagé/ Pagee, Jean: unknown

• Parisien, Abraham:

Métis, at lot 166 – 197, St. Norbert. Born 1837 to Hyacinth Parisien (of Lower Canada) and Josephte Carriere (Métis). Married to Marie DeLaronde dit Laronde (Métis).

• Parisien, Alexis:

Métis, at lot 210 – 218, St. Norbert. Born 1834 to Hyacinth Parisien (of Lower Canada) and Josephte Carriere (Métis). Married to Marguerite Comtois (Métis).

• Parisien, André:

Métis, at lot 219, St. Norbert. Born 1827 to Hyacinth Parisien (of Lower Canada) and Josephte Carriere (Métis). Married to Julie Zastre (Métis).

• Parisien, Augustin:

There were at least 2 men of the name, uncle and nephew. Possibly the elder Augustin Parisien, Métis, at lot 198, St. Norbert. Born 1810 to Claude Bonaventure ‘Bonavan’ Leger dit Parisien ‘Sr’ and Isabelle (a Saulteaux woman). Married to Angelique McPherson (Métis; daughter of George McPherson and Angelique Racette). The younger Augustin Parisien, born 1830 to Bonaventure ‘Leverture’ Parisien dit Leger/ Parrisien ‘Jr’ and Marguerite (a Saulteaux woman), served with the Provisional Government’s settlement guard and was a member of the firing squad that executed Thomas Scott. (See Norbert Parisien’s Family Ties.)

• Parisien, Germain:

Métis, at lot 59, St. Norbert. Born 1809 to Claude Bonaventure ‘Bonavan’ Leger dit Parisien ‘Sr’ and Isabelle (a First Nations woman). Married to Louise Colborne (Métis). (See Norbert Parisien’s Family Ties.)

• Parisien, Gilbert:

Métis, at lot 166 – 197, St. Norbert. Born 1845 to Hyacinth Parisien (of Lower Canada) and Josephte Carriere (Métis). Married to Nancy Courchene (Métis). (See Norbert Parisien’s Family Ties.)

• Parisien, Joseph:

[There were at least 4 men of the name: one of whom lived in St. Clement Parish.]

• Parisien, Laventure/ Bonaventure:

Bonaventure ‘Laventure’/ ‘Leverture’ Parisien dit Leger/ Parrisien ‘Jr’, Metis, at lot 60, St. Norbert. Born 1800 to Claude Bonaventure ‘Bonavan’ Leger dit Parisien ‘Sr’ and Isabelle (a First Nations woman). Widower of Marguerite (a Saulteaux woman). (See Norbert Parisien’s Family Ties.)

• Parisien, Pascal:

Métis, at lot 166 – 197, St. Norbert (with Gilbert Parisien and family above). Born 1830 to Augustin Parisien and previous wife Therese Ducharme (Métis) — Pascal’s stepmother was Angelique McPherson.  Married to Catherine Courchene (Métis). (Served in the Provisional Government’s settlement guard. Was listed as a witness for the defense at the trial of Ambroise Lepine, 1874, for the ‘murder’ of Thomas Scott. See Norbert Parisien’s Family Ties.)

• Pillon/ Pilon, Antoine:

[There were two men of the name — father and son (Métis) — both of St. Norbert.]

• Racette, George:

[There were at least 2 men of the name — father and son — both Métis; the son living at St. Vital; the father living at St. François-Xavier.] Possibly Pa-pa-nay/ Shaman/ Shawman/ Chamane/ George Racette Jr., who was affiliated with the Canadian Party at the Settlement through John Christian Schultz and the latter’s father-in-law, James Farquharson. George Racette Jr. was reputed to have been tasked by Schultz with raising Sioux forces against the settlement. [See images: Glenbow Archives, NA-1406-65, http://ww2.glenbow.org/dbimages/arc3/l/na-1406-65.jpg; and
Louis Riel Institute, http://www.scribd.com/doc/57838741/The-People-of-the-Metis-Nation-Q-Z]

• Roi/ Roy, Marcelle:

Métis, at lot 535, Pointe Coupée/ Ste. Agathe. Born 1838. Married to Ursule Venne (Métis).

• St. Denis, Jacques:

[There were two men of the name — father and son (Métis) — the son of St. Norbert.

• St. Germain, Joc:

• St. Germain, Pierre fils/ Jr.:

[There were at least 4 men named Pierre St. Germain; one of St. Boniface; another of St. Norbert. According to C. Stuart Houston, “Pierre St. Germain, 1780 – 1843?” Arctic (December 1986): 370 – 371, pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic39-4-370.pdf‎, this was Pierre St. Germain Jr., born 1846.]

• St. Germain, Pierre pêre/ Sr.:

[There were at least 4 men named Pierre St. Germain; one of St. Boniface; another of St. Norbert.]

• Savoyard, Antoine:

• Savoyard, Joseph fils/ Jr.:

• Savoyard, Joseph pêre. Sr.:

Born 1818. Married to S. Demontignay.

• Savoyard, Norbert:

Born 1840. Married to Rosalie Coulombre (Métis).

• Savoyard, Pierre:

[There were two men of the name — father and son. Both were Métis.]

• Vermette, Pierre:

Métis, at lot 148 – 157, St. Norbert. Born 1838. Married to Caroline St. Denis (Métis).

• Walette/ Ouellette, Francois:

[There were at least two men of the name.] Possibly Francois Oulette, Métis, at lot 250, St. Norbert. Born 1845. Married to Marguerite Dupuis (Metis; daughter of Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and Marie Hughes; sister of Marie Dupuis Logan above).

• Walette/ Ouellette, Guillaume:

Métis, at lot 1 – 21, St. Norbert. Born 1838. Married to Sophie Guiboche (Métis).

• Whyte/ White, James:

[There were at least 2 men of the name — both Métis — one of whom lived in St. Norbert.]

• Wintzel/ Wentzel, Alexis: unknown

• Young, Pascal: unknown


On the importance of women’s connections in family groups that were hunter brigades, see Brenda Macdougall and Nicole St. Onge, “Rooted in Mobility: Metis Buffalo-Hunting Brigades,” Manitoba History 71 (Winter 2013): 21 – 32. See also Norma Jean Hall, “‘A Perfect Freedom’: Red River as a Settler Society, 1810-1870,” M.A. thesis (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 2001), 66, 69 – 70, 97 – 102, who noted,

“The most prevalent approaches to studying the Métis appear to reflect the Euro- and andro-centric biases of source materials, historiographical traditions, and past research cultures. If the contribution of Aboriginal women to community life has been downplayed or misunderstood, then, contrary to mainstream historiographic representation, women may in fact have been central to Métis community formation, the configuration of values, and social cohesion.”

Hall argued,

“Within Métis families, historical kinship networks are made readily observable through written documents which notate formal family structures after the European, patrilineal manner of genealogical construction. Informal structures, nearly but not entirely invisible in the written record, were no less important. Of these, the network of women was fundamental. … Not only did Aboriginal women bring the distinctive Métis status designation to the emerging community, their affiliations to a large extent determined that it was a community, held together not by the work ties of husbands forging an andro-centric society based on the ‘company of men,’ but by kinship ties which crossed the divides of corporate loyalties and occupational roles.”

Further, she suggested that one reason women who processed bison would form female alliances was to secure the greatest benefit to their family: a buffalo hunt

“was not the male dominated paramilitary sporting event that Alexander Ross in his ‘classic’ account … emphasized. … Successful families required not just superior hunters but superior processors. Women who [were the processors, if they] were capable of working quickly and carefully, not only ensured that family subsistence needs were met but produced a greater quantity and higher quality of surplus [product to be traded]. Families with poor or incapacitated hunters or processors were less prosperous. Arguably, the lack of a competent processor was the more critical concern. Meat, whether shot, scavenged or received as a share of the excess, was of no benefit unless it could be properly preserved.”


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