"John A MacDonald breaks the law of the time by inducing rebellion"
so says Sir Wilfred Laurier
The Dominion of Canada passed the North West Territories Act,
effectively excluding Indian and Metis as Canadians.


METIS HISTORY Return to METIS 1886-1899 index



The Metis are basically abandoned by the infamous John A. MacDonald.
War breaks out on The Saskatchewan.
John A MacDonald would utter his infamous quote:
"Riel should hang... though every dog in Quebec bark in his favor".



Black Bart the hiway man robbed 28 stages between 1875 to 1883 (look up which state)  All he would say is “throw down the box”.  He usually left a poem, such as “so here I’ve stood while wind and rain have set the trees a soppin, and risked my life for that damed stage that wasn’t worth the robbin!  Black Bart the PO-8  ( PO =poet).  Black Bart never wounded or killed anyone.  He never took a lady’s purse and always used an unloaded shotgun for his holdups.  He was eventually caught and spent 5 years in San Quentin

Æoeas Poitras Senior is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. 

Elzear Parisien, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. 

The Trail Creek des Metis settlement on the north side of the Red Deer River, west of present Stettler, Alberta, contained some 2,000 people in 400 houses.  This is the largest settlement west of Red River.  It is now the governing body of the Metis Nation, having replaced Red River.  The fall bison (buffalo) hunt is organized and directed from this Metis capital.  Law and order has been maintained by this organized group for the past five years or more.

The Wood Mountain Metis settlement relocated to Cyprus Hills.

The United States abolished the Indian Assimilation Act, but Canada would follow this policy for the next one hundred years.  The Dominion of Canada, however, would pass the North West Territories Act which would effectively exclude Indian and Metis as Canadians.  If the Lieutenant-Governor is satisfied that any part of the Territories, not more than a thousand square miles, contained a thousand adult white persons entitled to the franchise, they could elect a member to council.  The ability to change the rules to the English advantage is systematized.  The white minority would use this to their advantage, coupled with their bag of dirty tricks, to gain economic advantage over the Natives of western Canada.

The North West Mounted Police construct Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills of Southwest Saskatchewan.  The Fort was built by James Walsh and abandoned in 1883.  Norman Welsh is trading Cypress Hills at Four Mile Coulee.  He obtained 120 bison (buffalo) robes, 3,000 lbs of pemmican, and 1,000 lbs of dry meat.

The Sarcee relocated to the Calgary reserve following the signing of treaty #7.  Sarcee are of  the Athapaskan or Dene nation but call themselves Tsuutina, which means many people or everyone.  The name Sarcee is believed to have originated from the Blackfoot, and the word means boldness and hardiness.  They believe the Tsuutina likely split from the Beaver and moved south to the plains.  Their culture valued bravery for the men and chastity for the women.  Marriages were usually arranged by the families.

This year 235 Icelanders settled on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, in the North West Territories, to create New Iceland.  This winter would claim 35 deaths among the settlers.  By 1876, 1,200 others would join this community.  Floods and smallpox depopulated the area, and the exodus to Winnipeg and North Dakota reduced the population to 250 by 1881. 

Some of the Metis from Red River established themselves on Spring Creek (Lewistown, Montana), creating one of the oldest continuously occupied Metis settlements in Montana.  They are sometimes referred to as the Lewistown Metis or Spring Creek Band.  Some other related Metis settled Milk River, Montana at St. Peter's Mission.

Grasshoppers stripped the fields bare in Red River region.

The 'Red River Jig' a most popular dance of the Metis is believed created about this time based on an Indian dance which they say is based on the dance of the 'Prairie Chicken' in the mating season.

Animas Forks, Colorado a gold mining town boasted that they are the largest town in the world at this altitude of 11,300 feet.

February 12:   Louis Riel, (1844-1885), Metis, and other Provisional Metis Government leaders are to be granted amnesty provided Louis Riel (1844-1885) and Ambroise Lepine serve a five year banishment order.  Louis Riel (1844-1885) brooded over those years of persecution by the Canadian Government, which some believe would contribute to his eventual mental breakdown.  

May:   The Manitoba Free Press reports that there is a new Metis settlement near Fort MacLeod.

July:  Edmonton, the question continues to be ask, "just who are the Metis"?  The answer at this time was; "historically and genetically, the Metis are descendants on Indian-French marriages.  The halfbreed were those born of parents who were Indian mixed with any other race than the French."   At this time a great many people are unaware of or do not understand the culture of the Metis -- this includes many Metis people.

October 21:  A party of Icelanders arrived on Steamer International to take up land on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg.  One thousand more are expected to arrive next year.  Some believe the Viking descendants are again returning to Manitoba.

November 10:  The S.S. Pacific, an American ship on route from Victoria to San Francisco, sank with 300 people, mostly Victoria residents.   Captain Jefferson D. Howell was in command.  It was struck by the ship Orpheus, commanded by Captain Charles A Sawyer making no attempt to come to the aid of the SS. Pacific.  The Orpheus only a few hours later was wrecked and sank just off Cape Beale.   Only two people survived the Pacific; a Henry Jelly and Neil Henley.  The American ship was not seaworthy but by Canadian law, it is only required to perform foreign ship inspection if it carried mail.  People were not considered as important.



William Allan Metis b-1876/77 Albany d-1948 possible son (I)-William Allen, HBC (1876-1879); joined HBC (1893-1931) Lac La Pluie, James Bay, married about 1902 Louisa Iserhoff Metis b-1878
    William Christopher Allan Metis (1904-1905)
    Louisa Hannah Allan Metis b-1906 married 1932
    unnamed daughter d-1933

Soloman Cook Metis born 1845/51 or later Stanley on the Churchill River, HBC established a post here in 1845 and allowed a mission in 1851.  However he joined HBC (1876-1924) assigned the Saskatchewan District and died 1927, one child recorded in 1921

(I)-James Cowie (1853-1913) brother (I)-Issac Cowie (1848-1917); joined HBC (1876-1911) York Factory, Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Fort George, B.C.
    1st married, unknown
    2nd married Lucy Alice (1870-1895)
    3rd married 1913 unknown at Fort George  

Thomas Cruse discovered gold at Marysville, Montana and it is estimated $50,000,000 in gold had been removed.  The towns population had peaked at 3,000 people.

Philip Garnot, a French Canadian, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year, but he purchased the land from another settler, which was illegal according to the Land Commission.

Louis Riel (1844-1885), confined to a mental hospital until 1878, claimed he had divine guidance; according to the authorities.  Others suggest his disappointment with Canada's reaction to the creation of Manitoba sent him into a deep depression.

Bishop Alexandre Tache (1823-1894) was a confidant of Louis Riel ans said he could obtain amnesty from the Dominion Government.  Louis Riel however lost faith in the Bishop and held him in contempt.  

Jean Baptiste Vandalle, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. 

A famous Metis guide, Pierre Bottineau, (1810/17-1895) brought 119 families of French Canadian settlers to found the towns of Red Lake Falls and Gentilly, Minnesota.  These are considered as some of the first settlers in this area.  This presumptuous claim disregards the Metis who have lived here since the 1790's

Lord and Lady Dufferin visited the Indian mission villages of Metlakatla and Skidegate on the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Canada was deep into a depression this year but Red River adopted Red Fife and had a bumper crop.

The first shipment of prairie wheat was exported to Ontario as seed for their wheat crop had been a failure.  Twelve farmers provided 857 bushels some of it weighing 64 pounds to the bushel. 

Smallpox claimed 100 New Icelanders in New Iceland on Lake Winnipeg.

Deadwood Gulch, Dakota Territory (South Dakota) had 3,000 residents and nearly 200 businesses to cater to the 20,000 prospectors on their way to Black Hills gold rush.  Two well known citizens were Martha Canary better known as Calamity Jane (1856-1903) who it is said dressed like a man, swears like a muleskinner, drank almost anything, and worked as a prostitute.  She asked to be buried next to Wild Bill Hickok another citizen of Deadwood Gulch.  It is said he killed over 36 men but it is more likely closer to 10.  He was shot in the back of the head August 2, 1876 by Jack McCall while playing poker.  Al Swearengen was another citizen who was known for his vile temper and for luring young girls into white slavery.

August 2:  At Deadwood ‘s historic #10 Saloon is where James Butler Hickok alias Wild Bill Hickok (1837-1876), was shot in the back of the head and killed by Jack McCall for killing his brother.  He was acquitted at Deadwood but later hanged in South Dakota for the murder.  Wild Bill Hickok was a stagecoach driver,  marshal, buffalo hunter, army scout and a gambler.  Wild Bill claimed to only killed 5 men one by accident, three as accessory and wounded one.  His exploits were greatly extricated by the Wheeler booklets of the 1800’s wild west which were basically fiction and had no credibility.  

August 20:  Deadwood, Black Hills of Dakota, Preacher Smith alias Hendy Weston Smith was killed August 20, 1876 while enroute from Deadwood to the nearby mining camp of Crook City, and it was assumed he was killed by the Indians.  As a result the town placed a bounty on all Indians.

December:   The Dakota Sioux American refugees at Wood Mountain, South Eastern Saskatchewan numbered 500 men, 1,000 women, 1,400 children and 3,500 horses.  Some estimates range from 3,000 to 5,000 people.




Dufran aka Amy Helen Dorthea Bolshaw (1864-1934) was a successful prostitute at age 13 or 14 yrs and a madam by age 15 and was said to have a heart of gold.  Her brothels could be found in Lead, Rapid City and Belle Fourche.  It was said she hired Calamity Jane as her maid in Deadwood, Black Hills of Dakota.  Martha Jane Canary  aka ‘Calamity Jane’ (1850-1903) was a scout and teamster for the army, a maid, a nurse,  prostitute, gambler and alcoholic and claimed she was a girl friend of Wild Bill Hickok, but she hardly knew him.

Daniel Garripie, Metis, and George Ness, Metis, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.  Emmanuel Champagne, a Metis classified as a North West Half-Breed (Metis) vs. a Manitoba Half-Breed (Metis), is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. 

(II)-Jean Baptiste Spence aka We-tcha-mash, Metis (1807-1889),  is at Sandy Bay 1877-1887.   Source Ida A. Spence

(II)-Jean Baptiste Spence aka We-tcha-mash, Metis (1807-1889),  wintered 1869/1870 Fort Pelly.   Source Ida A. Spence

The Canadian Pacific Railway's Number one Countess of Dufferin is the first locomotive in Western Canada, having arrived in St. Boniface carried on a barge down the Red River by steamboat.  Gabriel Dumont, the Metis, operated a ferry known as Gabriel's Crossing, farmed, ran a store and acted as a general contractor, organizing Metis labor.  It is known that Henry Kelly, Metis, Alexander Hamlyn, Metis and Raphael Paranteau, Metis were settled at Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.  Alexander Hamlyn moved to Lac La Biche about or before 1885.  Raphael Paranteau is considered a North West Half-Breed (Metis) vs. a Manitoba Half-Breed (Metis) by the Government.

George Browne (1852-1919) at Fort Benton, Montana, killed a celebrated hunter named Louis Ell.  He as acquitted by his peers then he, with his Metis wife, settled at Waterton Lakes as a trader, guide and packer.

Alexander Wills, Metis b-1877 Cyprus Hills is the son of John Wills Jr. and Rosalie McKay, Metis.

Alexis Labombarde, Metis is working with Farwell and associates, including James Marshall, Andrew Peterson, Kerr, Gary Bourke and Philander Vogle, out of Fort Benson into Canada. 

Father Jules de Corby said the majority of Metis who wintered at Cypress Hills for the past three winters have moved to Wood Mountain, Milk River, Whitemud River and Porcupine Creek.  These Metis only see a priest but once a year.

February 19:  Boston, Massachusetts birth (VIII)-Joseph Alfred Ste. Marie, Metis, baptism February 22, 1877 Boston, Massachusetts, son  (VII)-Jean Baptiste Napoleon Ste. Marie, Metis, b-1843 and Zoe Plante..   

March:   The Teton Dakota Sioux refugees arrived in Canada with 57 lodges.  Sitting Bull, a.k.a. Tatanka Yotanka (1834?-1890) , with 135 lodges, crossed into Canada.




Joseph Richard Grant Metis joined HBC (1878-1915) Ruperts River and James Bay, possible son (II)-Richard Grant Metis (1793-1862) and Oxford House local woman

(I)-Arthur Cole Hill (1848-1882) a well educated man joined HBC (1874-1880) Lake Huron and Lake superior.  He met an Indian girl at Serpent River that he wanted to marry (1876-1877).  He asked for a discharge and back pay so he could marry the girl.  The HBC denied his request and instead transferred him to Fort William (1878-1880).  He deserted and headed for Serpent River, Lake Huron.  "Sad Death of a White Man in an Indian Camp", Manitoulin Expositor, May 15, 1880.

John Norquay Metis (1841-1889) son John Norquay and Isabella Spence was the first Metis Premier of Manitoba (1878-1887),  His parents died while John was young so his grandfather James Spence raised him.
In June 1862, he married Elizabeth Setter of Poplar Point, Manitoba. They had eight children:
    Thomas Norquay Metis (b 1863),
    Isabella Jessie Anna Norquay Metis,
    John George Norquay Metis (b 1865),
    Alexander Norquay Metis (b 1867),
    Horatio Clarence Norquay Metis, (1869-1953)
    Caroline Ellen Norquay Metis (b 1871, wife of John Edgar McAllister),
    Andrew James Norquay Metis b-1872
    Ada Theodora Norquay Metis (1881-1883).

"This reminds me of the infamous quote of ( I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891), true to his nature, stated:  "Riel should hang... though every dog in Quebec bark in his favor".  The Author D. Garneau

Hi Dick (from Sharon Seal with thanks!)  

These names came from an 1878 Cypress Hills Petition, which I found in a book covering the transcript of the Louis Riel Trial and all of the evidence submitted for the trial.  There are several (8-10) separate petitions from different groups of Metis in the West, and I am transcribing the names for all of them.  The petitions themselves are quite fascinating and eloquent, at times heart wrenching to read.

Here is Cypress Hills Petition signatures, for an example of what will be in the document that I will send, if this is something you would like to have:


Starting on page 298:

"Petition from Half-Breeds Living in Vicinity of Cypress Hills received through the North-West Council, not dated, covering letters from the Lieut.-Governor of the North-West Territories, dated 30 September 1878:

[body of petition]

Petition of 1878 from the Cypress Hills Metis, signatures:

David Laverdure jun            Alexis Malaterre

Isadore Dumont jun             James Grant

Henri Vital                         Louis Morin

Isadore Patrife                   Jean B. Lange

St. Pierre Laverdure            William Soan Sr.

Charlie Malaterre                William Soan Jr.

Isadore Dumont sen            William Lafournaise

Baptiste Jolibois                 Thomas Breland

Joseph Vilbrun                    Thomas Leveille

Normand Marion                 Joseph Ouellette sen

Francois Delorme                Julien Ouellette

William Ross                       Patrice Ouellette

Elie Parenteau                    Joseph Ouellette jun

Pierre Lantigras                  Pierre Labruler

David Boyer                       Maxime Labruler

Napoleon Ledeux                Napoleon Labruler

Antoine Rocheblave             Elzear Bottineau

Joseph Thomas                   Zacharie LaRat

Francois Lafountaine           Pierre Leveille

Francois Kole                      Alexandre MaGill

Calice Kole                         Augustine Davis

William Fayant                   Louis Davis

Michel St. Denis                  Pierre Lavallee

Celestine St. Denis              Leonard McKay

John Welsh                        Pierre Morin

Isadore Dumont                  Joseph Leveille

Francois Lemire                  James Ouellette

Xavier Lemire                     Joseph Edouard Marion

Pascal Breland                    Antoine Canada

Patrice Breland                  Pierre Smalemie

Olivier Laplant                   Louis Malaterre jun

James Whiteford                 Baptiste Ouellette

Michel Klyne                       Narcisse Laverdure

Isadore Mallette                 Daniel Ledoux

Edward Morrison                 Baptiste Racette

Norbert Delorme                 Bernard Thomas

Andre St. Germain              Pierre Ledoux

Gabriel Leveille                  Chrysostome Robillard

Antoine Gladu sen               Charles Trottier

Antoine Gladu jun               Andre Trottier sen

Michel Gladu                      Michel Trottier

Joseph Michel                     Antoine Trottier

Baptiste Peltier sen            Henri Trottier

Alique Peltier                     Isadore Trottier

Cuthbert Peltier                 Jean Baptiste Trottier

James Whitford jun            Norbert Trottier

Maxime Whitford               John Trottier

Elzeor Whitford                  Andre Trottier jun

Louis Whitford                    Alexandre Trottier sen

David Laplante                   Moise Letendre

Antoine Laplante                Norbert Welsh

Baptiste Briere                   William Welsh

Louison Briere                    Albert Welsh

Brisebois Briere                  Xavier Welsh

Jeremie Briere                    Paul Caplette

Cleophas Briere                  Francois Bois

Antoine Laplante                Jean Turner

William Davis                     Paul Pelloche

Alexandre Houle                 Michel Bonno

Antoine Mallete                  William Trottier

Joseph Charette                 Alexandre Trottier jun

Daniel Mechiale                  Antoine Lafontaine

Andre Klyne                       Napoleon Lafontaine

Antoine Canada jun             Louis Lafontaine

Alexandre Canada               Gaspard Lafontaine

Cuthbert St Denis               Pierre Bonno sen

Louis Hagart                      Charles Bonno

Baptiste Champagne           Basile Bonno

Leon Laverdure                  Pierre Bonno jun

Louis Malaterre                  Louis Gariepy

John Malaterre                   Leonide Gariepy

Alexandre Morin                 Baptiste Gariepy

Gabriel Poitras                   Elisee Gariepy

Joseph Bourquin                 Bonaventure Gariepy

Pierre Leveille                    Joseph Parisien

Severe Hamelin                   Alexander Gaddy

Modeste Giroux                  William Gaddy

Moise Valle                        James Gaddy

Antoine Ouellette               Baptiste Dusanne

Augustine Racette              Wallace Dusanne

Joshon[Joachim] Welsh jun  Cuthbert Dusanne

Maxime Marion                   Lyasant Dusanne

Ambroise La Pierre             Chrysostome Dusanne

Paul Larivez                       Joseph Kieise

Pierre Boosah sen               Treffle Bedard

Abraham Boosah                 Chs Pierre Le Maire

Pierre Boosah jun               Pierre Le Maire

Jean Shakote                     Joseph Le Maire

Baptiste Pelloche sen          Leander Say Farmah

Alexandre Pelloche             Edward Say Farmah

Baptiste Pelloche                Michel Allard

Lasselog Pelloche                Augustine Laframboise

Adolphus Pelloche               Edouard Laframboise

Joseph Bois sen                  Daniel Laframboise

Joseph Bois jun                  Chs Pierre Cardinal

Ambroise Bois                    Deume Desjarlais

Norbert Bois                       Jean Baptiste Laframboise

Xavier Fayand                    William Laframboise

Treffle Fayand                    Neddy Welsh

Francoise Fayand                John Welsh

Alexandre Labombarde       Gregory Welsh

Baptiste Dosa                     James Welsh

Isaie Teboure                     Edward Welsh

William Teboure                 Samuel Welsh

William Swane                    Donald Welsh

John Swane                        Joseph Welsh

Alexander Swane                Damase Welsh

Baptiste Swane                  Jerome Lafournaise            

Kersore Swane                    Bernard Delorme

Peter Fiddler                      Casimer Bouvier

Peter Bremner                    Charles Montigny

Zacharias Barland               Patrick Montigny

Moses Barland                    Joseph Tait sen

Xavier Barland                    Joseph Tait jun

Samson Barland                  Cuthbert Tait

Joseph Poitras                    Thomas Tait

David Poitras                     Joseph Delorme

Termie Poitras                   James Sanderson

Francois Poitras                  Isaie Leveille

Salomon Poitras                  Paul Leveille

Baptiste Poitras                 Pierre Leveille sen

Vital Chercote                    Baptiste Falcoe jun

Pascal Chercote                  William Sinclair

Medard Chercote                Alexander Morrad

Edouard Pelloche                William Clyne

Napoleon Pelloche              Duffle Clyne

Cuthbert Pelloche               John Desmarais

Alexandre Pelloche             William Sparvie

William Pelloche                 Paul Sparvie

Jean Baptiste Pelloche          Joseph Sparvie sen

Roderick Ross                     Joseph Sparvie jun

Urban Ross                         Jean Baptiste Sparvie


266 signatures We tend to forget that Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan and Alberta was a large Metis community during the Buffalo (Bison) hunting era.

George Holt reported finding gold in the Yukon but never went back to the interior.  

Gabriel Lafournais, Metis, and Guillaume Lafournais, Metis, are homesteading at Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.  The are both considered North West Half-Breeds (Metis) vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds (Metis) by the Government.  Cuthbert Jervais, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.   

Napoleon Nault, Metis, and William Vandalie, Metis, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. 

Hayter Reed, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year, but he purchased his land from Philip Garripe.  This sale would be considered illegal by the government and may have resulted in his not qualifying for land permit?  It is noteworthy that Moses Puellette, Metis (date of settlement not known), refused to appear before the inquisition, so likely also did not qualify for land permit.  

Porter Rockwell (1813-1878) a little known frontiers man claimed to have killed 150 men.  Likely a gross exaggeration, yet he killed more men than Hickock, Holliday and the Earp brothers ever did.  He was a Morman security guard and scout in Utah.  He died of a heart attack before any murders was ever proven.

Lieutenant Governor Morris wrote: "It is a crying shame that the half-breeds (Metis) have been ignored.  It will result in trouble."

Charles Nolin, Metis, one time Minister of Agriculture, settled in Touchwood Hills in 1878 or 1879.

Dan Williams aka Nigger Dan was the first Black Man in the north and was considered a homicidal renegade.  He drifted into Fort St. John in a canoe from upriver and built a shanty on the north side of the river, next to the incomplete HBC building.  He made no friends among the Indians or half-breeds (Metis) who served the Company.  Rumor spread that he had killed a man or two, that he was a rapist and a thief.  He stole furs from the Indians, cordwood from the HBC and amused himself by lighting fires at random in the bush..    

The great Fort William closed down this year; the end of an era.  Prince Albert's population was eight hundred and thirty one inhabitants.  (I)-John MacDonald (1815-1891) returned to power in September with a clear mandate to deal with the west, the Metis and the Indian situation. He was to implement tariffs to ensure the rapid growth of central Canadian industry and higher prices of manufactured goods to the west, a railway to settle the land and provide food for central Canada and it would also provide a rapid strike force against the natives should they resist the advancement of English civilization.  The western people are growing in apprehension of MacDonald and his crew as they are assuming the same policy as the Hudson Bay Company.  This year the Americans prevented the bison (buffalo) from returning to Canada by setting prairie fires north of the migrating herds.  Once confined, the last great slaughter took place.  The implications on the Canadian Natives this winter would be significant.

John Norquay, a Metis, became premier of Manitoba until 1887 but was still not free of racial slurs, as the opposition, during heated debate, said: Its the Indian in you.

About 80 families of Metis are recorded at Elk River, British Columbia.

About 1878 Kenora was named Rat Portage, near Lake of the Woods, Ontario.  Prior to this it was likely called Rat Portage after the Muskrat and was claimed as part of Manitoba.  The name held until 1905 when it was changed to Kenora.

January:  The winter was so mild this year that a sports day was called for on January 1, at Winnipeg.  There was horseracing and a lacrosse game, and the players were in short sleeves with bare knees.  Mild weather lasted from October to Spring at Winnipeg, and was unusually mild all across Canada and the United States.  Rivers and lakes, normally frozen are all open and running.  Manitoba farmers are plowing off and on throughout December.  They even held a plowing  match for Christmas day.  Global warming was far from the minds of the citizens.

December 7:  A regular train service is established to St. Boniface, Manitoba, running along the east side of the Red River of the North to a connecting service to St. Paul Minnesota.  The final spike was driven home by 18 year old Mary Sullivan.




William Morriseau Metis joined HBC (1879-1881) Lac La Pluie

Metis are still coming forward for their land allotments but no lands are available.  The Dominion Land Act was amended this year to allow the Governor in Council to satisfy the land claims of the half-breeds (Metis).  However, no action was taken until March 1885 after fighting broke out at Duck Lake.  Some suggest that the Government deliberately delayed any action in order to provoke a war.  It is noteworthy that Oregon, in 1850, granted the Half-Breeds (Metis) land title.

Ambroise Dubois, Metis, Elien Racette, Metis, Maxime Poitras, Metis, Jean Belanger, Metis, and Jean Baptiste Paranteau, Metis, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. 

Knud John Victor Rasmussen, (1879-1933) born Jakobshavn, Greenland son Danish father and Inuit mother.  The Inuit, wrote Rasmussen, their country is such as to offer but bare existence under the hardest possible conditions, and yet they thin it the best that could be found.

The bison (buffalo) is essentially extinct this year in Canada as a direct result of the American actions over the last number of years.  The first official provincial jail, established at Emerson, Manitoba, is to accommodate illegal whiskey traders from the United States.  Some reports contend that Louis Riel  (1844-1885) had attempted to organize the Dakota Sioux, Cree and Blackfoot to create an uprising, and they were to meet at Tiger Hills, Montana.  The American troops were sent to the area at the request of the Canadian Government to stop the meeting and the plan fizzled.  Others suggest he was involved, in 1879-80, in organizing the Milk River Metis to obtain the right to remain and to hunt on United States soil. 

Fort Battleford (Saskatchewan)  is established by the North West Mounted Police.

The Indian agent at Fort Belknap wrote the Half-Breeds (Metis) are in force on the Milk River.  Milk River was a traditional wintering ground of the Indian and Metis.  Lewistown, Montana is settled by Metis this year.

January 27:  Fort Carlton, near Prince Albert, Saskarchewan birth Sedley Blanchard Clarke Metis son Lawrence Clarke (1831-1890) and second wife sister Thomas and John McKay of Prince Albert, joined HBC (1897-1921) but joined army 1915, assigned Cumberland, Prince Albert, Isle a la Crosse, Pelican Narrows, Lac du Brochet 

September 26:  Deadwood, Black Hills of Dakota, fire broke out in Deadwood and destroyed the town and only one person died a deaf man who couldn’t hear the cries of fire.





Edward Bean of Sitka on the reports of George Holt entered the Yukon in search of gold.  They found gold but not in sufficient quantities.  It however sparked the interest of a large number of miners to enter the area.

This year the gold produced was $4 million and silver was $3 million in the Black Hills of Dakota.

Louis Marion, Metis (later jailed Prince Albert), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Pierre Falcon, Metis and Alex Carrinal homesteaded Duck Lake South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.  The Government classified them as North West Half-Breeds (Metis) vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds (Metis).

The Hudson Bay Company had approximately one hundred and fifty posts in different parts of the Dominion of Canada.  

The Hudson Bay Company owns 7,000,000 acres in Manitoba and offered 500,000 acres up for sale, including town lots.

During this decade about two hundred prospectors per year are working the Yukon Gold Fields.

During the reign of terror, 1860-1880, in and around San Francisco, vigilantes murdered at least 7,300 people; an average of one a night.

In the spring:  The American Government drove the Milk River Metis north across the Canadian boundary or south to the Judith Basin of central Montana.  In Musselshall and the Judith River drainages, the Indians and Metis gathered from all over Montana to hunt some of the last herds of bison (buffalo).

Bill Miner (1843-1914) having served two sentences in San Quentin moved to Colorado and continued to rob stagers.  He had joined up with Bill Leroy who was caught after a robbery and was hung.  Miner moved on to Chicago poising as a well-heeled mining man from California.  Respectability only lasted a few months.  He returned to Denver, Colorado to rob another stage with a new partner.  A posse in hot pursuit cornered the bandits in a canyon.   Miners partner wounded three of the posse who then entrenched waiting for reinforcements.  When the possee did move in, they found Miner's partner but Bill Miner had escaped.  Miner returned to California, robed a stage, was caught and sentenced to 25 year in San Quentin.

August 26:  New Haven, Connecticut, birth (VIII)-Joseph Alfred Ste. Marie, Metis, baptism February 29, 1877 New Haven, Connecticut, son  (VII)-Jean Baptiste Napoleon Ste. Marie, Metis, b-1843 and Zoe Plante..   

August:   Louis Riel (1844-1885) was south of the Missouri River, traveling with the Spring Creek Band (Lewistown Metis).  Louis Riel (1844-1885) would remain a spokesman for the Montana Metis until 1884. 




A Canadian census shows that the Irish outnumber the English in Canada.  The French remain number one in numbers.

Louis Riel (1844-1885) country married Marguerite Monet or Bellehumeur at Carroll, Montana.

Only fifty percent of the population of Canada are engaged in agriculture.

This year and next saw a great influx of men and women of every sort into Winnipeg, attracted by the building of the transcontinental railway.  These are followed later by the swarms of mule skinners, navies (sailors?), lumberjacks and others; like houses of ill fame.

W. P. Beaudre, Metis and John Smith (both later jailed Prince Albert), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

James Bridger (1804-1881) died Westport, Missouri (now part of Kansas City) James Bridger had three successive wives and seven children. In 1835 he married Cora, daughter of Flathead chief Insala. Their children were: 
    Mary Ann Bridger Metis (1836-1847?), 
    Felix Bridger Metis b-1841
    Josephine Bridger Metis b-1846
Cora died in 1846. In 1848 he married an unnamed Ute native who died in 1849 shortly after giving birth to their only child;
    Virginia Rosalie Bridger Metis b-1849
In 1850 he married an unnamed Shoshone, daughter of Chief Washaskie. Their two children were:
    Mary Ann Bridger Metis b-1853
    William Bridger Metis b-1857.

James Grant Christie (1863-1919) born Edmonton, joined HBC (1881-1919) Moose River, Albany River, James Bay, Lake superior, Saskarchewan, had a wife and child, widow living Sorrento, Florida

George Gibeault Metis Joined HBC (1881-1919) York, Lac La Olue and Keenatin

Fort Berthold. Montana: marriage (VII)-Louis Riel Metis (1844-1885) son (VI)-Jean Louis Riel Metis (1817-1864)  and  Julie LaGimodiere Metis b-1809; married Margaret Monet dit Bellehumeur I'Echafaud Ojibwa/Metis.  One child is recorded
    (VIII)-Jean Riel Metis (1882-1908) married 1908 Quebec, Quebec, Josephine Cazault
        (IX)-Marie Angelique Riel Metis (1883-1897)
        (IX)-Male Riel Metis (1885-1885)

February 2:  On the Plains, marriage, Jean Baptiste Caplette, born April 18, 1859 Red River, son, Joseph Caplette, b-1810 Red River des Metis and Genevieve Daigneault, b-1828 N.W.; married Anastasie Morin, b-1859, on the Plains daughter Joseph Morin, b-1827 and Josephte (Lange) Langer b-1827, the Plains, d-1906.

Louis Schmidt, Metis, homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Fred Dupree captured five bison (buffalo) calves north of Cheyenne River, to use as breeding stock.

Fort Walsh had 100 R.C.M.P., and 30 were reported to have venereal disease.

David Jones and partner Skookum Joe Anderson, a Swedish Metis were grubstaked by Perry McAdow discovered gold in Alpine Gilch area and the resulting town was called Maiden, Montana.




Gabrial Dumont, Metis, is considered a North West Half-Breed (Metis) vs. a Manitoba Half-Breed (Metis) by the Government and is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

Turtle Mountain's Star Chippewa Reserve, near Rolla, North Dakota, is created this year.  The treaty called the "Ten Cent Treaty" and many Mixed-Blood Chippewa are eliminated from Tribal Rolls.  

(6)-John W. Monroe was born August 23, 1884 at Rolla, North Dakota.

(II)-Johaunes Salzl, his wife (II)-Maria Leurer, and brother (II)-Karl Salzl arrive at Miller, Hand County, South Dakota from Wallern, Austria.  Tradition suggests that (I)-Paul Salzl and his wife (I)-Maria Weinzetl also arrived with a cousin (I)-Charles Salzl born 1859.  (II)-John Salzl worked as a hired hand for the first year. It would appear that a number of Austrians arrived as a group on the Chicago, Northwestern Railway that is completed from Tracy, Minnesota to Pierre, South Dakota across Hand County in 1880.  Advertisements began appearing in American newspapers, offering Canadian land free to pioneers.

The N.W.M.P. reported from Fort Walsh that they know of no case where men or officers in the Force keep concubines, though some are married to Half-Breed (Metis) women.  Another report admitted that, this year, 15 percent of the men at Fort Worth had been treated for venereal disease in less than two months.

The Northern Pacific Railway Co., Settler's guide to the North-west says "the climate of Manitoba consists of seven months of Arctic winter and five months of cold weather".

John Ware (Nigger John) (1845-1905), a freed Texas Black Slave, found his way from Fort Worth to Calgary, Alberta, driving a herd of 3,000 head of cattle for the North West Cattle Company.  He established his own homestead in 1890.  His untimely death was east of Brooks, and the large turnout for his funeral attested to the high respect he was held in as one of the best frontier pioneers.  It is noteworthy that this is one of the few times that the term 'Nigger' was used as a positive reference rather than as a demeanor.   

March:  Carroll, Montana, Louis Riel (1844-1885) who married 1881 Marguerite Monet or Bellehumeur had his marriage blessed.

May:  St. Peter's Mission, Carroll, Montana, birth Jean Riel, Metis, daughter Louis Riel (1844-1885) and Marguerite Monet or Bellehumeur.

June 30:   Lieutenant Governor Dewdney (1835-1916), an Englishman, posted notice that Ooskunna Kahstakee or Pile O' Bones Creek (Regina) was the new Capital of the North West Territories.  Earlier in the year  Dewdney and several friends had purchased 28 sections of land along Wascana Creek, very close to Pile O'Bones (Regina.)  The Toronto Globe reported:  It is intolerable that the high official, whose prerogative it is to locate a capital city, should have the privilege of buying up the site in order to speculate on the price of corner lots.  Dewdney should have spent time in jail, but Prime Minister John A. McDonald came to his friends aid, absolving him of any wrong doing.  At the time there was about six people near what the Indians called the Old Crossing.  Pile O' Bones had little going for it.  On every side the plain stretched as flat and expressionless as deal boards, not a boulder or stone for twenty miles, nor a tree nor hill to break the monotony, and Mr. Dewdney had overlooked the water situation when he made his choice.  Regina was a grim and dismal place.




John Chisholm joined HBC (1883-1885) Rat Portage (Kenora, Lac La Pluie (Ontarion) District

Albert Monkman, Metis (later in penitentiary), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Norbert Sauve, Metis, homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.  He had a second claim listed in 1884: a change of location giving up the first.

The first white child is born Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Ethel Scott

Jno William Toogood, Metis, Andre Letenore, Metis (moved before actual homestead date determined) and George A. McLeod, Metis are homesteading in the parish of St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River this year, and both men are in jail at Prince Albert in 1885.  William Bruce, an English Half-Breed (Metis) from Kildonan, homesteaded in the parish of St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River and was involved with Louis Riel (1844-1885).  He claimed to be a turncoat who joined Middleton against Louis Riel (1844-1885).  

Jean Baptiste Deschamps, Metis, Isidore Dumont (Ecapo), Metis, and Isidore Dumont Jr., Metis, all considered North West Half-Breeds (Metis) vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds (Metis) by the Government, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.  Margaret Smith is classed the same as this group but no date of homesteading is recorded. 

The following Metis are classified by the government as North West Half-Breeds (Metis) vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds (Metis):  Chas Garriple and Louis Garriple, homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier, but refused to appear before the inquisition; so likely didn't qualify for land patents.

By this year 70% of the Metis and more than 50% of the native English (half-breeds) had seen the lands they occupied in 1870 patented to others mostly Ontario Orangemen newcomers. 

Morrisette, and Julian Ouilette, both classified as North West Half-Breeds (Metis), did not provide their homestead date nor appear before the inquisition and therefore, likely did not qualify for land patents.  It is assumed that they homesteaded some time prior to this date.

Louis Bourassa, Metis and classed as a North West Half-Breed (Metis) vs. Manitoba Half-Breed (Metis), (also an old HBC man (1864-1881 Alberta), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier and was involved in the Riel rebellion, but claimed he was led astray by Albert Monkman who was sent to penitentiary.

The North West Mounted Police recorded that 25 men deserted and many more clamored to buy their way out of the service.  One Mountie who left the force to become an Indian Agent, was fired for falsifying scales.  Some are accused of making rather free with Native women.  The Mounties were a disparate, if not a desperate lot, including broken down gentlemen, Canadian bucilics and desperadoes, old soldiers, cowboys, sailors, and hell rake adventurers- wrote another.  In 1884 another 11 deserted in one month from Fort Macleod.  It is noteworthy that the N.W.M.P. did not protect the rights and interests of the indigenous population but, rather, collaborated closely with eastern business interests who paid their salaries. 

Eight bison (buffalo) is sighted near Souris, being the largest number for many years.  Louis Riel (1844-1885) paid a visit to Winnipeg to learn first hand of the discontent of the Metis and their suppression at the hands of the Government.  The Mounted Police forcibly prevented Chief Poundmaker (1842-1886), the Cree, from holding council about Government discontent.  Big Bear, Mistahimaskwa (1825-1888) would comment:  "They talked with a forked I see they are not going to be honest, I am afraid to take a is good that the young men have not resorted to violent is almost too hard for them to bear the treatment at the hands of the Government after its sweet promises".

Saint Mary's Catholic Church is established in Zell, Faulk county, South Dakota, and would encourage Austrian, German Catholic immigrants to settle in that poor agricultural region.  

Few Metis entered into large scale agricultural activities because the Canadian Government refused to acknowledge or reply to their petitions to recognize their land claims.  


St. Laurent             1873-1878
Lake Qu'Appelle    1873-1874
Blackfoot Crossing 1877
Prince Albert           1878-81
Cypress Mountain    1878
St. Albert                 1878
Manitoba Village      1880
Fort Edmonton         1880
Battleford                 1881
Qu'Appelle Valley    1882
Batoche                    1882
St. Louis                   1883 

In 1882 a year after Winnipeg's big boom, 9,655 English immigrants arrived in Winnipeg during the month of March alone.  The Metis fled to the north west, the west and the south west.  Ten land claim petitions signed by 847 men representing some 5,760 to 6,945 Metis of the North West Territories (a majority of citizens), the formation of a Provisional Government in the NWT and a Riel Resistance movement, the Dominion Government still would not address the grievances.  This arrogance would lead to another Metis and Indian Resistance movement in 1885.  Upper Canada only had one objective that is to conquer the NWT by shear numbers and acquire the best lands from the Metis and Indians.  This was a deliberate and planned cultural genocide activity perpetrated by the infamous;

Prime Minister of Canada; John A. MacDonald (1878-1891)
Governor General of the North West Territories; Alexander Morris (1872-1876)
Governor General of the North West Territories; David Laird (1876-1881)
Governor General of the North West Territories; Edgar Dewdney (1881-1888)

(Refer to the Alberta section for the Metis land claim petitions to the Government)

March 12:  (III)-Rudolph Salzl is born at Miller, Hand county, South Dakota son (II)-John Salzl and (II)-Maria Leurer.  This winter (II)-John Salzl applies for land near Zell, Faulk county and they winter in a cave cut from a hill.  (II)-Maria Leurer recalled that she had to put the table cloth over the baby to keep the rain off during a storm.  In later years, they tied a rope from the house to the barn so that they wouldn't get lost during the severe winter blizzards.  They are still in residence in the Dakotas for the first census in June 1885, and (I)-Paul Salzl is claimed to have died 1995 near Mornville, Alberta.

March 16:  Louis Riel (1844-1885) became an American citizen.

August:   W. M. Pearce, Superintendent, to determine who qualifies for land patients, considers the Half-Breeds (Metis) of the South Saskatchewan River as an ignorant people. This was prejudice for the advancement of their own selfish ends according to the report sent to Thomas White, Minister of the Interior, recorded 1883 and published 1885.  It is not surprising that only 10 of 250 Half-Breed (Metis) claimants in the parish of St. Laurent on the South Saskatchewan River, qualified for land patents in 1884.  If this happened to British settlers, there would have been an immediate armed uprising. 

September:  St Peter's Mission, Carroll, Montana, birth Marie Angelique Rriel, Metis daughter Louis Riel (1844-1885)and Marguerite Monet or Bellehumeur.



James Massin Indian/Metis born York Factory joined HBC (1884-1927) York and Keewatin District as interpreter  

Of the Touround Metis settlement near Fish Creek, (Calgary) South Saskatchewan, 26% failed to record their land claims; likely because of the failure rate at St Laurent.  It is noteworthy that 20 listed claimants were homesteading prior to 1880.

The Duck Lake Metis settlement recorded 21 homesteaders who settled prior to 1880.  The Commission believed they identified 95% of those associated with Louis Riel (1844-1885).  Six did not appear before the inquisition; 5 were in jail at Prince Albert or penitentiary.

The estimated population of Metis in the North-west Territories totals 5,380 of which 4,400 are displaced person from the Red River land clearance by the Liberal Government.  It is noteworthy that Trail creek is excluded and was estimated to contain 1,000 Metis.  The source is unknown but likely the H.B.C. and the estimate is as follows:

St. Laurent (including Batoche and Fish Creek      1,300
Prince Albert and vicinity                                      1,000
St. Albert                                                             1,000
Turtle Mountain                                                      300 
Battle River                                                             250
Fort Qu'Appelle and vicinity                                     240   
Lac La Biche                                                           200
Fort Edmonton                                                        150
Battleford                                                                120
Victoria                                                                   100 
Assiniboine River, north Oak Lake                           100
Wood Mountain                                                       100
Fort McLeod                                                           100
Calgary                                                                      50  
Fort Saskatchewan                                                    50
Lac Ste. Anne                                                            50
Morley                                                                       40 
Red Deer crossing                                                      40
Oak Lake                                                                   40 
Fort Pitt                                                                      20 
Carlton                                                                       10 


The St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River hosted 3 in jail at Prince Albert.  

It is noteworthy that any sale of land prior to survey is considered illegal and therefore doesn't qualify for patents unless you are white.

Some inhabitants of Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan this year are:  Francis Jeffery Dickens (1844-1886) RCMP, Thomas Quinn, Indian Agent, James Simpson H.B.C., Frederick Simpson and Agnus McKay H.B.C.

Seventeen families are settled outside the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River, and they extended along 60 miles of river bank (counting both sides).

John (Jack) W. Monroe is born August 23, 1884 Rolla, North Dakota.  He would marry in 1905 an Olive McClellan of Waterton.  John Monroe is claimed by the family to be a direct descendant of President Monroe of the United States.  This, however, is likely not true as he had no sons.

The Manitoba and North West Farmer's Union is created to pressure the Government to reform.  (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891), however, had little sympathy for those Westerners who had no political clout.  Along the south branch, the surveyors were measuring the land into great squares, again disregarding the traditional French river front lots.  One land promotion company had a grant for land that included the Metis settlements of Gabriel's Crossing, Batoche and St. Laurent, with no consideration for homes, stables or hard tilled fields.  The Hudson Bay Company and the Church had encouraged these people to settle here in 1871 after having been driven out of Red River in 1870.  One English speaking group complained that they had sent five petitions to the Federal Government without result.  

March 6:   Less than 4% (10) of the 258 claimants for homesteads, in the parish of St. Laurent on the South Saskatchewan River, are entitled to land patents according to the W. M. Pearce; a racialist.  It is noteworthy that many squatters, as they are called, did not register or apply for patents, not trusting the government or their priests.  Their fears were justified when, in 1885, the application process attempted to identify any person involved in the resistance movement.  The class system established is:

  24 are North West Half-Breeds (Metis) (assumed to be born North West of Manitoba)
178 are Manitoba Half-Breeds (Metis) (assumed to be born Red River), and therefore don't qualify as North West Half-Breeds (Metis).  
  18 are doubtful or unknown Half-Breeds (Metis) of which 16 refused to appear before the inquisition.
  39 are American Treaty taking Half-Breeds (Metis) or others who are not Half-Breeds (Metis), 8 of who refused to appear before the Half-Breed (Metis) Commission to swore they were not associated with Louis Riel (1844-1885) and therefore are assumed to not qualify.  
  23 of those listed above were homesteading prior to 1880. 

June 4:   Louis Riel (1844-1885) is at Sun River, Montana teaching at a Jesuit St. Peter's Mission School when Gabriel Dumont (1837-1906), Michael Dumas, Moise Ouellette and James Isbister arrive with an invitation to return to the North West to lead another protest movement against the Federal Government. They had rode 1,300 Km from Saskatchewan to solicit Riel's help.  The Red River Metis had been forced from their lands by eastern land speculators and Government Agents, or forced to sell at very low value.  They created new settlements on the Saskatchewan, St. Laurent, St. Louis, St. Antoine (Batoche) and still, they had no proof of land ownership.  (I)-John A. MacDonald's own ministry starved the Indian services and failed to allay the fears and suspicions of the Metis and Indians that they would lose their rights as the original holders of the lands.  The white settlers, beggared by early frost, poor crops and low prices for grain, are therefore encouraging the Metis to action.  The major surprise is the violent opposition by the clergy to the Metis request for attention to their grievances.  The Prince Albert Times formally expressed their sympathies and condemned Riel's leadership.  Bishop Bourget of Montreal had fed Riel's obsessive nature by writing that Louis Riel (1844-1885) had a mission:  God will not abandon him as God has given him a mission that he will have to accomplish in all points.  The problem is that Louis Riel (1844-1885) had talked extensively with the Oblate priests and Father Pierre Andre who, in their opinion, is spying and keeping Ottawa informed of the Indian and Metis actions.  To make things worse, Father Andre believed Louis Riel (1844-1885) could be bought off for three to five thousand dollars and so advised D. H. MacDowall of the Territorial Council.  When Father Andre realized he could not control Louis Riel (1844-1885), he called him a traitor to his mission and to the true religion.  

July 19:  In Prince Albert, five hundred turned out to hear Louis Riel (1844-1885).

December 16:   Louis Riel (1844-1885), Henry Jackson, a Liberal from Ontario, and many Natives and recent white settlers petitioned Ottawa:
            Indians, deprived of the bison (buffalo) hunt, were often near starvation,
            Metis in the Saskatchewan district, had not received their land grants,
            Square survey threatened their river front lots on the Saskatchewan River,
            Early settlement land claims of white settlers were not being recognized,
            Railway and tariff policies were roundly condemned,
            Responsible self-government with control of its own resources and just representation in Federal Parliament and Cabinet.

The Indians had found themselves in an even more desperate condition than the Metis and are in an ugly mood due to the indifference displayed by the Government towards their appeal for help.  They are on the verge of an Indian uprising and turned to Louis Riel (1844-1885) for advice and leadership.  Louis Riel (1844-1885) restrained them, hoping for action from Ottawa to their petition.  (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) and his boys, frankly, really didn't give a dam, as they hadn't responded to the flood of petitions from Church, Committees or individuals over the past four years.  The official response to the petition through their ambassador was:  "The Government will answer you with bullets".  Captain Dogle of the SS Marquis (steamship) wintered in a shack on the north shore of the north branch, at the mouth of the Sturgeon (Shell River).  The Marquis would be pressed into service during the Metis Resistance Movement.  Lance-Corporal, William Donkin of the N.W.M.P,. is quoted as saying they were a splendid body of men with a fine contempt for civilians.




(I)-Richard Henry Bradburn b-1864 joined HBC (1885-1888) was ship wrecked October 3, 1885 in James Bay in Princess Royal on way to Moose Factory.  In December 1886 Moose Factory married Alice Aprtakeshikow (Apetakeshequa) d-1956 Montreal.  They had 4 Metis children between (1888 & 1904).  HBC records suggest they returned to England 1888 so they must have returned to Canada shortly thereafter.  

Gypsy (Roma) are excluded by United States immigration policy; many are returned to Europe.

(II)-Peter F. Garson, Metis, likely son (I)-PeterFlett Garson and Jane Flett b-1854 is homesteading in the parish of St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River this year and is jailed at Prince Albert.

Richard Graham b-1850 Quebec, arrived Great Falls, Montana

Henry Irwin aka Father Pat (1859-1902) arrived Kamloops, B.C. as assistant to Vicar, Horlock.  Father Pat met his future wife Frances Stuart Innes.

One of the more colorful English Metis of the North West is (II)-James (Jimmy Jock) Bird (1785-1892).  The Edmonton Bulletin summed his life as follows:  Thomas Bird of Macleod and his father, James Bird, arrived from Egg Lake, east of Saddle Lake, last week on a visit to William Bird of Edmonton.  James Bird is better known as Jimmy Jock, a native of Red River, who has lived nearly all his life with the Blackfoot Indians and is now nearly 100 years of age.  His father was an officer of the HBC and Dr. Bird of Winnipeg, now deceased, was his half brother.  He is a man of good education and address and was interpreter for the Hudson Bay Company for many years, but afterwards lived not only amongst the Indians but became as one of them.  He was interpreter for Lieutenant Governor Laird at the making of the treaty with the Blackfoot in 1877.  He has been stone blind for many years.  Jimmy Jock had traded from Oregon and Vancouver to Red River, working for the American Fur Companies, the Hudson Bay Company and the Indians, most of the time at the same time.  The honored Indian pastime of horse stealing was not neglected, and Jimmy invited the H.B.C to attempt to steal them back if they were smart enough.   

Evans a whiskey trader near Cypress Hills is attacked by Indians and his partner is killed.  They also stole their horses.  Evans swore revenge as he returned to St. Louis where he purchased bales of blankets infected with smallpox.  He returned and deposited the infected blankets along the river banks.  Thousands possibly thousands 10's of thousands Blackfoot, Blood, Stoney, Cree, Assiniboine and Sarcee died as a result.. 

February:  Louis Riel (1844-1885), due to pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and the press, proposed that- should his supporters desire it- he would turn the leadership over to someone else.

February 20:   (II)-Johaunes Salzl records his land claim as NE 1/4 section 35, township 117N range 66w for a value of $200.00 or $1.25 per acre.  (II)-Karl Salzl claimed SW 1/4 35-117N 66W.  Both claims are within a mile of Saint Mary's Church, Zell, South Dakota. (III)-Mathias Salzl is born March 26, 1885 Zell, South Dakota son (II)-Johaunes Salzl born 1847 and (II)-Mary Leir born 1852.  The June 1885 census of Faulk county South Dakota listed (I)-Paul Salzl born 1823 and his wife (I)-Maria Weinzetl born 1823.

March 19:  In  Batoche, Louis Riel (1844-1885) established a Provisional Government.  Gabriel Dumont (1837-1906), who ran a ferry service, became military commander.  Pierre Parenteau is elected president.  The local Church is the proclaimed head quarters, over the objections of the local Priest.  Louis Riel (1844-1885) proclaimed "Rome had fallen" which represented his great disappointment with the Church.  Others in the Metis community would support this opinion in future years.

March 23:   News of the Metis uprising hit the Ontario papers. 

March 26:  At Duck Lake,  General Gabriel Dumont, with about one hundred soldiers, attacked the North West Mounted Police detachment at Fort Carlton.  The police lost twelve men and the locals lost six.  

March 30:  At Battleford, residents flee to the Fort, and the Cree from the Poundmaker (1842-1886) and Little Pine Reserves help themselves to provisions at the Hudson Bay Store and other buildings, as they are hungry.  They had no intentions of harming the inhabitants.  Word arrived that the Stony Indians had killed their farm instructor and a white settler, and are joining the Cree to set up a soldier lodge.  In a feeble attempt to protect his credibility, (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) named the members to the commission of inquiry to western grievances while mobilizing a force of eight thousand men under command of General Frederick Middleton.

April 1:  The Canadian Pacific Railway had run out of funds and, at Beavermouth, from the end of the tracks, the railway crew went on strike over lack of pay.  Samuel Steele, formally of Fort Edmonton, is the Mounted Police on site.  The strike was developing into an uprising, and Fort Calgary sent a telegram to Steele pleading for help: "For God's sake come. There is danger of an attack by the Blackfoot".  Steele and eight police managed to put down the uprising and left for Calgary or so reports the English.  

April 2:   Commander Chief Big Bear, Mistahimaskwa (1825-1888) and his army took Frog Lake, killing nine people including the Indian Agent and two missionaries, and capturing one Company man and two women who were unharmed.  They then went on to take Fort Pitt without a fight.  

April 20:  The first contingent of Major General Thomas Bland Strange (1831-1925) headed for Fort Edmonton before moving down river to Fort Pitt.  Colonel William Otter (1843-1929) continued to Battleford.  Poundmaker (1842-1886) is holding council to decide for neutrality or war when he is ambushed by the cowardly Otter and Strange at Cut Knife Hill.  The Indians fought back in self defense, and the incompetent Otter and Strange ran for their lives to Battleford, having been soundly routed.  Poundmaker (1842-1886) held back his warriors and, thereby, prevented them from cutting the retreating army column to pieces.

April 24:  Fighting began at Fish Creek, about twenty nine kilometers south of Batoche, where General Middleton, with a force of four hundred, engaged the Provisional Army.  Middleton lost six and fifty were wounded.  The Provisional Army lost five and a small number were wounded.

April 23:   The Saskatchewan Herald said:  This gives weight to the old adage that the only good Indians are the dead ones.  McKee, a cantankerous wicked old bastard of Ontario, followed the mounting madness and ventured west with the army.  McKee dismissed the Metis people as stinking heathens and dirty papists.   He would boast of killing many Metis.  Following the rebellion, he took a homestead claim near Bienfait, Saskatchewan.  He discovered a Metis family squatting on his land and shot them all.  He buried the family where they fell, and no justice was meted out according to his grandson Andy McKee.

May 9:   Major General Frederick Dobson Middleton (1825-1892), with an eight hundred and fifty man army attacks the defending General Dumont (1837-1906) with his three hundred and fifty man army at Batoche, and he is repelled.  Middleton is astonished, as he had expected an easy victory.  The defending army was in a position of strength and had taken great care in the construction of their rifle pits.  General Dumont's troops held out for three days, exhausting their ammunition before retreating.  Meanwhile, Steele- of the so called Steel's Scouts formed in Calgary, engaged in two months of skirmishing, culminating in the battle of Loon Lake.

May 15:   Louis Riel (1844-1885) surrenders at Battleford.  Dumont and several others flee to the United States. 
May 26:   Poundmaker surrendered at Battleford. 

May 28:  General Strange at Frenchman's Butte met Big Bear, and the heavy guns took the edge off the Indian's enthusiasm.  General Strange did not follow his retreating foe, saying he had no intention of "committing Custer". 

July 2:  Big Bear and his eight year old son surrendered to a surprised policeman at Fort Carlton.

June 9:  Big Bear released his prisoners of war and broke his army up into small bands. 

Provisional Government
Metis Provisional Government
The Metis Provisional Government held in irons.  They would later be released except for Louis Riel (1844-1885). 


August 1:   Louis Riel (1844-1885) was sentenced to death by an Anglo-Saxon and Protestant jury in one hour and twenty minutes.  Henry Jackson, President of the Provisional Government, expressed his desire to share the same fate as Louis Riel (1844-1885).  His acquittal came within minutes because, some say, he is from Ontario.  One Juror stated later:  "We tried Louis Riel (1844-1885) for treason but he was hanged for the murder of Scott".  This is one of the most infamous necktie socials in the history of Canada, debated even to the present time. 

November 7:  As a result of the Riel incident, the linkage of the Canadian Pacific Railway to Winnipeg was finished earlier than planned.

November 7:  The Last Spike was driven in the transcontinental railway but the first train from Montreal did not arrive Port Moody, B.C. until July 4, 1886. 

November 16:  Every Orangeman in Ontario is crying for Riel's blood.  Riel told his confessor "I swear as I am about to appear before God that the shooting of Thomas Scott was not a crime.  It was a political necessity...I commanded the shooting, believing it necessary to save the lives of hundreds of others"  A guard, who asked for a souvenir, Riel said "I have nothing but my heart, and I gave it long ago to my country." 

Louis Riel (1844-1885), founding Father of Manitoba, was hung in Regina (Pile of Bones) despite Wilfred Laurier's declaration:  "Had I been born on the banks of the Saskatchewan (River), I would, myself, have shouldered a musket to fight against the neglect of Government and shameless greed of speculators".

This is the official photo issued by the Government of Louis Riel (1844-1885); the Father of Manitoba.
Louis Riel"Deeds are not accomplished in a few days or in a few hours.  A century is only a spoke in the wheel of everlasting time"  Louis Riel (1844-1885). 

(I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891), true to his nature, stated:  "Riel should hang... though every dog in Quebec bark in his favor".  The infamy of the Snake people would infect, not only government and business, but also the Church over the next one hundred years.  The shameless greed of land speculators would hide behind land companies and use Government and Church to continue their war on the Native peoples of Canada well into the next century. 

November 27:  Eight Indians hung at Battleford as a result of the Rebellion.  The sequel to the uprising is a bitter one:  the Metis homes were burned and their property looted or destroyed. This was like the fate of the Ontario Loyalists from the United States.  Those in the Provisional Government are sentenced to terms of imprisonment.  Some are forced to enter Indian reservations and some are sent to northern regions.  They gradually sank further and further in the social scale, their life, society and spirit crushed and destroyed; for they didn't have anyone to champion their cause, as the Ontario Loyalists had in earlier times.  The term half-breed, which replaces the term Metis, is a demeaning term and a social stigma which became entrenched into Government, school and Church programs.  Father Lacombe, however, still held an idealistic Christian Metis vision not shared by his fellow Oblates.  The Canadian Government belatedly attempted to pacify the Half-Breeds (Metis) by distributing land scripts to those who didn't participate in the uprising.  The script entitled the holder to two hundred and forty acres of land.  Business, however, refused to loan money to Half-Breeds (Metis) or Indians to start them in farming, and ninety percent lost their claims.  Father Albert Lacombe, along with conservatives D'Alton McCarthy, James Ross and W.C. Van Horne, petitioned to have Steele promoted to assistant commissioner of the Police.

December 10:   The newspaper, Minberal Argus of Maiden, Montana, described the Lewistown (Spring Creek Colony) as the largest Half-Breed (Metis) settlement in the Territory of Montana.

December 14:   The Half-Breed (Metis), North West Territories Script Application was designed to identify those who were involved in the Riel Rebellion and to know what that involvement might be.  If involvement was verified, script was not allowed to be given to the individual, nor to the children of such an individual.  It is noteworthy that many Metis refused to participate in the process that began in 1879, not trusting the British Ontario Government.  Many refused to participate in the 'Inquisition' type hearings of 1885, thereby disqualifying themselves from script or homestead land patients.  The Government believed that they identified 95% of Half-Breeds (Metis) who were involved in the rebellion that took part in the application process.  Only about 4% of Metis homesteaders who made application received script or land patients.  Many were forced further to the west and north west.


Back to Top

METIS HISTORY: Return to METIS 1850-1899 index