Metis 1870



John A. MacDonald, his Orangemen and Clergy planned the
downfall of the Metis to make room for the English settlers.

The infamous John A MacDonald held the land more
important than the protesting 10,000 half-casts

The American congress presented a motion to annex Red River.

The Upper Canada Orangemen began assembling
an army to march on Red River

Manitoba is a corruption of two Indian words 'Manitou Napa':

The Land of The Great Spirit


Between 1840 and 1870, the Native population of California declined from 200,000 to 31,000 people, from a historical high of 700,000 people. The California settlers would go out two or three times a week to kill, on average, 50 to 60 Indians a trip.

It would appear that Bishop Tache was a pawn of the Government, as was Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona), who was married to the Metis daughter of Chief Trader Richard Hardisty Sr. and Margaret (nee Sutherland). Her previous marriage to a fur trader named Grant was annulled in 1853. Donald Smith's brother in law, Richard Hardisty, who is a Metis and spoke Cree, French and English, went as his assistant. Dr. Tupper- the Nova Scotia Father of confederation, Smith and Hardisty all traveled to Pembina to confer with McDougall, Father Thibeault and De Salaberry, with an objective to undermine the Metis Government and deliver the Canadian response to the Metis demands.

January 19, the Provisional Government of Red River convinced the people of Red River that they do not want to join the United States. All want satisfactory terms with Canada. Donald Smith and Richard Hardisty would spend some five hundred pounds to undermine the Provisional Government and specifically Louis Riel. Up to this point, the people of the Hudson Bay Company, the former North West Company and those Metis and Indian common values, provided the only form of government to the region which was referred to as the North West Territories. Through their efforts they secured the development and creation of Western Canada and influenced the northern United States, down through the Oregon and California territories, right out to Hawaii. We must acknowledge that, what ever their defects in other roles, as a business trading enterprise they did it supremely well, with minimal bloodshed, becoming increasingly efficient, effective and confident as the decades passed.

There were approximately twelve thousand residents in Red River who proclaimed themselves as follows:

6,000 Metis who are French speaking, or 50%

4,000 Metis who are English speaking, or 33%

500 Indian mainly Cree and Ojibwa speaking, or 4%

1,500 and all others classified as White or 13%.


George Hammond is working out of Fort Whoop-Up and is married to Rosalie Wills b-1853, Metis of Red River daughter John Wills Jr. and Mary McKay b-1820. John Wills Jr. is the son John Wills Sr. and Josephite Grant (married September 6, 1842).

Oak Point on Lake Winnipeg was a Metis settlement and, during the resistance movement, John Henderson of the Cattle guard, near Oak Point, is captured and held prisoner for several months. Henderson was a fiery man and he wanted to take revenge on Riel. He had his chance as he accepted the job as hangman of Riel.

During the period of 1870 to 1872 this lawless mob from Ontario began a reign of terror on the populous of the capital of the Metis Nation. These Ontario mobsters were undisciplined and constantly assaulted the Metis population. This reign of terror in Red River proceeded unabated, or so says the press. During this period, hundreds, if not thousands, departed the Red River region for the far west, into Montana, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Oregon and British Columbia. In Alberta the Metis settlements of Trail Creek, Devil Lake (Lac Ste Anne), St. Alberta an Fort Edmonton began a rapid growth. Trail Creek des Metis on the Red River would quickly become the largest settlement west of Red River. About 130 English speaking Metis arrived at Fort Victoria.

This is a view of the Fort facing the Assiniboine River. Wolseley's impression of Fort Garry was that it is a miserable looking village. His politically motivated, punitive expedition acted with revenge to pacify the Orangemen and Masons of Ontario. The Canadian Government, and Ontario in particular, had violated the spirit of Confederation, and this uncultured act would set the stage for East- West conflict for the next one hundred years. Colonel Joseph Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913) married a young girl, Mary Isabella Drever (1852-1933) of Red River.

When the Metis are on their spring buffalo hunt, Ontario settlers and land speculators squatted on the Metis land holdings. The Canadian militia supported these confiscations of the Metis farms and homes. It was becoming obvious that, with the Ontario militia in control to support the Orangemen, justice and liberty for all would not be possible.

It would appear that Lawrence Garneau sold his river front property at St. Andrews, some 124 acres, to David Harcus, Metis, lot 96 of 56 acres before survey and pat recorded 1885 and William Saunders, Metis lot 97 of 68 acres before survey and pat recorded 1876. The exodus from Red River would find Lawrence Garneau, wife (IV)-Eleanor Thomas and daughter Victoria wandering the prairies for four years before settling at Fort Edmonton in 1874. Some refer to this as the 'lost years'. It was believed that many Metis would travel between the Metis settlements and return to Red River, their place of birth, before finally settling in one wintering place. Most of the Chief Factors and religious of the Saskatchewan River District are expecting a larger exodus from Red River this year, knowing the Orangemen would effectively gain control through the Canadian militia. Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona) stated that on a bitter night in 1870, in a tent, on the frozen prairie, the C.P.R. is born. This is during a meeting with James J. Hill, later a U.S.A. Railway magnate. It is noteworthy that the Metis had a number of other western settlements such as Wood Mountain, Touchwood Hills, Trail Creek, Devils Lake (Lac Ste Anne), Calgary, Edmonton, Big Lake (St. Albert), Jasper, Carlton, Lac La Biche, Battleford, Lebret, Willow Bunch, Laboucane, Trail Creek and other remote and isolated places.

Victoria Garneau is born on October 22, 1870 near Lower Fort Garry, Red River daughter Lawrence Garneau born 1840 son Louis Garneau and (V)-Archange Cadotte and (IV)-(IV)-Eleanor Thomas born 1851 daughter (III)-Alexander Thomas and Victoria Taylor. Her baptism followed November 1, 1870 St. Andrews Anglican Church, Red River, Ruperts Land.

Lawrence Garneau stated in 1901 that he is living in a rented house in Lower Fort Garry and is working on the Prairies. April 18, 1903 #768987 disallowed Metis script that may indicate she is born before 1870 or in American territory during the semi-annual buffalo hunt.

More than three thousand, five hundred natives died of smallpox this year on the plains. Many Red River Metis shifted their wintering locations to the Pembina Hills and the Turtle Mountain area, where the main language spoken, called Mischif, is essentially a dialect of Cree with a smattering of several other languages. Others pressed on to Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota.

The census of 1870, St. Andre, Red River, C-2170, p-191 listed (7)-Lawrence Gaurneau age 29 born E.U. (Etats Unis) French speaking Metis, Citoyen des Etats Inis, son (6)-Louis Gaurneau. Lawrence is married to (IV)-Heline (Eleanor) Thomas age 19 born 1851 Red River, English speaking Metis, British Subject daughter (III)-Alexander Thomas born 1823 Red River and Victoria Taylor. The Gaurneau spelling appears to be associated with the Garneau's who migrated to Pembina Hills from Red Lake and then on to Turtle Mountain in North Dakota. The early generations in Pembina used Garneau and later generations in both Pembina and Turtle Mountain used Gourneau. (6)-Francois Gourneau alias Geurnou, Guernoe (Garneau) (1800-1970) is believed to have died about 1870, he is married about 1825 Pembina, North Dakota to a Marguerite Martineau born 1805-1809 and on annuity roll #1166 1893 Red Lake, Minnesota.


Victorre Gaurneau (F) age 1, Metis born Manitoba, British subject, Catholic daughter Lawrence Gaurneau.

Victorre Thomas (F) age 35, English speaking Metis born Manitoba British subject Protestant widow and daughter George Taylor.

(IV)-Marguerite Thomas (F) age 14 English speaking Metis born Manitoba British subject Protestant daughter Alex Thomas.

(IV)-Robert Thomas (M) age 14 English speaking Metis British subject Protestant son Alex Thomas.

(IV)-Victorine Thomas (F) age 10 English speaking Metis born Manitoba British subject Protestant daughter Alex Thomas.

(IV)-John Thomas (M) age 5 English speaking Metis born Manitoba British subject Protestant son Alex Thomas.

(IV)-Albert Thomas (M) age 2 English speaking Metis born Manitoba British subject Protestant son Alex Thomas.

Mrs. Mary Thomas, a Metis who lived in Red River, is to become the great grandmother of Premier Peter Lougheed of Alberta fame.


Marion Gurnoe traveled from Red River to Saint Cloud, Minnesota to make application for land script, claiming her relatives were Lake Superior Chippewa and that she was born at Red Lake. (7)-Joseph Gurnoe said he had relatives at Red Lake, but he was not sure if she was a relative. Others said they knew of a Gurnoe family between Red Lake and Red River. Others said a number of Gurnoes are living at Fort Garry. Gurnoe is an alias of Garneau.

Margaret Kipland of Clay County, Minnesota, November 3, 1870, being over forty years of age and married, claims her mother's maiden name is Gurnoe. She claims to be Chippewa of Lake Superior, but they rejected her Metis claim.

Adam Archibald completed the survey of Red River and the population of Manitoba is 25,228. That would imply a significant number of settlers must have arrived in the last year, given the Red River 1970 population was only 12,000.

At Katchinan, near Carlton House, Saskatchewan River, the Metis held an assembly, controlled by Lawrence Clark of the Hudson Bay Company, Joseph Emlin and Rev. Father Andre. The Hudson Bay contended that the 1,500 Metis that comprised 250 families, living near Carlton House, are just wintering houses. The use of the term "just wintering houses" is intended to classify the Metis as a transient population and, therefore, having no claim on property. Europeans believe that people who hold no property are uncivilized and, therefore, lesser in stature. This type of belief is encouraged by the Church and used by the Government to justify claim jumping. The implications are that the inhabitants are still buffalo hunting, having been driven out from Red River.

The mission of St. Lawrence, at this time, contained forty to fifty French-Metis homes of a good quality. Lawrence Clark expressed his pleasure in having control of the assembly, and stated that Chief Factor Christie had control of the St. Albert and St. Anne assembly near Edmonton House in their quest for self government. Clark and Father Andre pressed the Metis to settle in the area and assured them that they (Church and Government) would protect their interests. As a result of the Red River fight for liberty, equality and nationhood, all Metis are classified as being unstable. Both the Hudson Bay Company and the Roman Catholic Church wanted the Metis to be quiet meek servants, but would not protect their interests in the future.

St. Boniface Hospital was opened August by the Sisters of Charity (order of the Gray Nuns), by Margaret Theresa McDonald whom the locals called Soeur Doctor. The Dominion Government continued to deliberately delay the granting of land rights to the Metis to ensure the greedy land speculators from Ontario could continue the illegal seizure of the Metis land, and the Government troops continued to support these illegal seizures. Lawrence Garneau could do nothing to stop the Orangemen Gang because of their Canadian Army support. In 1882, in Fort Edmonton, Garneau's Vigilance Committee would stop Bannerman (Bennerman) and the North West Mounted Police dead in their tracks, and expose them for the criminals that they were. Some family members contend that the Canadian Army, and later the North West Mounted Police, are involved in the claim jumping of Metis' land in Red River and other locations. They claimed that Lawrence Garneau was determined not to see it repeated in Fort Edmonton.

(I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) described the Red River land scheme as being more important than the protests of 10,000 half-castes. Only after 1877 are Metis parents allowed to receive rights to their land. The Metis began their exodus in larger numbers, following the Touchwood-Carlton-Edmonton trail. This famous trail is from Red River to Brandon, Ellice, Touchwood Hills, South Branch, Duck Lake, Elbow of South Branch, Battleford, Fort Pitt, Saddle Lake, Sturgeon River to Edmonton, then Lac Ste Anne or St. Albert and Lac La Biche. This trail would see Metis settling at St. Laurent, Batoche and Duck Lake. Some Metis would push on to St. Albert, Lac Ste Anne and Lac La Biche. Others roamed the prairies to eventually settle in obscure places like Pincher Creek, Cypress Hills, Wood Mountain Moose Mountain, Porcupine Mountain, Duck Mountain and St. Paul de Metis. The Metis usually traveled in caravan, covering eight to ten miles per day. If a buffalo hunt was made, the party would spend four or five days drying the meat and preparing the skins. The teepee was the favorite shelter for travel, and those wobbly red river carts contained all their worldly possessions. Some plains' men had many carts and horses, and usually engaged single men to assist on the journey. Trading and bartering along the way became a way of life. The dispersal of the Metis from Red River spelled the beginning of the decline and fall of the Metis Nation.

By this decade most Metis of the Yankton, Otoe, Osage and Kansa Nations had merged with the Indian reservations.

The American Congress finally granted naturalization rights to whites and to people of African descent, but not to Orientals. They didn't receive this right until 1952. In 1924 all immigration from Japan is stopped.

January 20: Thomas Bunn, at Fort Garry, chaired a meeting of one thousand people who turned out in minus twenty eight degrees Celsius to hear Donald Smith who married a Red River Metis. He worked for the Hudson Bay Company and stated he was a special commissioner, appointed by the Canadian Government. The peoples concern is that Donald Smith had spread five hundred pound sterling among the Metis to buy their votes in favor of the Hudson Bay Company and the Canadian Government.

January 25: A second convention developed a list of Human Rights. These rights support the negotiations for entry into Confederation. A delegation to Ottawa received Red River Government approval.

February 9: The Orangemen and Mason rebels, including Major Boulton, Charles Mair, Thomas Scott and sixty men, marched toward Fort Garry in the Boulton Rebellion.

February 14: John Christian Schultz joined them at Kildonan, and they arrested Parisen as a spy. Parisen escaped and accidentally shot the young John Hugh Sutherland, who he thought was intercepting him. Hugh was riding out to announce the release of all prisoners. The Orangemen rebels killed the feeble minded Metis, young Parisen, with an axe, still claiming he was a spy. Parisen did not understand the idea of being a spy, let alone be one.

February 23: (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) said that Bishop Tache felt that to send out an over-washed Englishman, utterly ignorant of the Country and full of crotchets- as all Englishmen are, would be a mistake. MacDonald had little regard for the priests, and these comments where like throwing gas on the fire; doing little good for Red River, but speaking volumes about the character of Bishop Tache and MacDonald. (I)-John A. MacDonald's government made it clear that they had little regard for the native culture, just as they made it clear that they wanted to kill the Indian in the children. This attitude would be carried into the Residential School system by the religious.

March 4: The Provisional Government at Red River executes Thomas Scott. Scott, considered a hot headed and aggressive redneck Orangeman from Ontario, received little sympathy from the inhabitants of Red River. Donald Smith, the Canadian Government authority on site, called him "a rash thoughtless young man whom none cared to have anything to do with." Some Ontario Orangemen contend that the execution is for the attack last year on Riel's person. Thomas Scott had attacked Riel with his fists. His defenders said that Thomas had threatened to kill Riel if given a chance. Some believe that this is why the Canadian Party (Masons) had him in their company. Some believed his execution is for the murder of Parisen.

April 22: The American Congress presented a motion to annex the rebellious territory of Red River to the United States. This month the Orange Lodges of British Loyalists in Ontario sprung into aggressive action, demanding no negotiations with the half-breed murderers, calling them rebels and traitors. This over reaction is probably the result of the American Congress motion to annex Red River. The fear is that Canada West might be lost to the Americans, just as Canada had lost Mississippi, Minnesota, and Missouri territories, not to mention the Oregon Territory.

May 7: The Federal Government, to satisfy the Orangemen of Ontario, began assembling an army of four hundred British regulars and eight hundred British Canadian militiamen to leave Toronto for Red River under the command of Joseph Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913). Their route ran from Toronto through Lake Superior then along roads, trails and portages, through the Lake of the Woods to St. Boniface. It would take the troops fourteen weeks to make the trip. This action of bad faith by the Canadian Government would leave a bad taste in the mouth of westerners for the next one hundred years.

May 12: The Manitoba Act received Royal assent, incorporating all the Red River demands, and when word reached Red River, a twenty-one gun salute was fired and a special session of the Provisional Legislature called. Upon motion of Louis Schmidt, they unanimously agreed to accept the terms of entry into the Dominion of Canada. The last meeting of the Northern Department about Rupert's land was held this July at Norway House.

June: The Summer Buffalo Hunt was a total failure in Southern Saskatchewan. Indians and Metis suffered starvation, and the men at Qu Appelle are eating gophers.

July 15: Red River becomes part of the Province of Manitoba and the Hudson Bay Company ceded most of it holdings based upon the terms and conditions demanded, including equality of French and English as official languages and equality of Protestant and Roman Catholic schools. The Hudson Company received one and one half million dollars indemnity from the Dominion of Canada and retained one hundred forts with fifty thousand acres and one-twentieth of all lands lying between the Red River and the Rocky Mountains. The proposed transfer of Hudson Bay land was to have been December 1869. However, due to the Metis Provisional Government action, it did not take place until July 15, 1870.

August 24: Colonel Joseph Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913) arrived to find Fort Garry empty. The founding members of the Provincial Government are warned that the invading English Army is hostile and looking for blood. James MacLeod (1836-1894), a brigade major, was among the Ontario rebels. It is noteworthy that Janes Farquharson MacLeod (1836-1894), who was responsible for the atrocities of his men, went on to become a magistrate.

September 13: The British Canadian soldiers, headed by Sir John Christian Schultz (1840-1896); a doctor, fur trader, real estate agent and politician, stoned the Metis, Elzear Goulet, to death because he was on the jury for the execution of Thomas Scott (1842-1870). Schultz was also responsible for the murders of Hugh Sutherland and Norbert Parisien. Francois Guilmette killed, near Pembina, Andre Nault (1829-1924). He was bayoneted and left for dead, and the carnage would continue. Some of these Ontario assassins would join the Mounted Police, while others would encourage the claim jumping to follow. Schultz was also responsible for inciting the Ontario Orangemen into their riotous actions in Red River. His murderous deeds made him a very wealthy man, a Senator (1882-1888) and lieutenant governor of Manitoba (1888-1895), leaving a very bad taste in the minds and memories of the peoples of western Canada.

September: Given there is no resistance, the army had three options: remain at Fort Garry in service for another year; return to civilian life and stay in the West with a land grant of one hundred and sixty acres; or go home. Those who stayed would ensure the provisions of the Manitoba Act ignored the rights of the Metis. They would provide the basis for allowing eastern land speculators to take over the Metis' farms. They would not prevent the murder of four members of the Thomas Scott jury, and word is out that Louis Riel and his followers could expect no less. Canadian Government threats and intimidation forced many Metis involved in the creation of Manitoba to flee their historic home lands. The exodus continued to such places on the Saskatchewan as St. Laurent, St. Louis and St. Antoine (Batoche). Others would flee for their life to Montana, Cypress Hills, Lac Saint Anne, and Saint Albert.