Metis 1886 - 1899


1886 - 1899

John A. MacDonald died, ending a gloomy period
for Indians and Metis of Canada.

Only the Orangemen, bigots and clergy
would mourn his passing.

"Our prisons are full of men who, despairing ever to get justice by
peace, sought to obtain by war, who despairing of ever being
treated like freemen, took their lives in theirhands rather than
be treated as slaves". Sir Wilfred Laurier (1841-1919)


The French Metis population of Red River dropped 24% from 1870 to 1886. The English Half-Breed population dropped 12% during the same period. Most moved further west due to Ontario English suppression, real, perceived or in anticipation of. They moved by the hundreds to places such as Trail Creek des Metis, Lac Ste Anne, St. Albert, Fort Edmonton, Lac La Biche, Wood Mountain, Willow Bunch, Laboucane (Battle River), etc. It is noteworthy that in about 1875, the Trail Creek population reached a high of 2,000 people with 400 homes. If we count the settlements around Buffalo Lake, it was even bigger. It was the largest town west of Red River.

All Half-Breeds and Indians not currently under sentence received a general amnesty. In 1887, Poundmaker (1842-1886), a Eagle Hills Cree adopted as a Blackfoot but born a Stoney, and Big Bear (Mistahimaska) (1825-1888), a Plains Cree, would be released from prison. Both men were broken in spirit and died shortly after being released.

John Heppner led twenty Jewish families to settle at Wapella, Saskatchewan. One Garnett held up the stage between Qu'Appelle and Prince Albert in what is now Saskatchewan. Believed to be the first such robbery netted him fourteen years in jail, W. C. Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, said we ought to erect a monument to Riel as its greatest benefactor.

The summer of the blue moon in the Great Plains marked one of the most severe blizzards in Montana, the Dakotas and Canada. The blue haze is caused by many fires which are due to the exceptionally hot summer. The following winter temperatures dropped as low as minus 66 F with blowing snow. Millions of cattle died, with one herd of 5,000 being totally lost in Helena, Montana. Many cowboys also died during this great blizzard.

June 14: Vancouver had one thousand inhabitants and about 800 buildings, of which all but 4 were leveled by fire in forty minutes. Only four homes remained standing. It is noteworthy that Vancouver, originally called Grandville but more commonly called Gastown, had just incorporated as a city in January of this year.

November 22: (II)-Johaunes Salzl entered into a mortgage on his land at Zell, South Dakota in the amount of $900.00. This is recorded December 4, 1886. The mortgage would eventually end in default as the land is extremely poor; unable to sustain a family. I visited this farm to observe the small hill where the family first wintered in a cave.

The land, even today, can't support a family and is agriculturally idle.


The first passenger train from Montreal reached Vancouver this year, and two thousand residents had already rebuilt Vancouver. The railway is built by the blood of six hundred laborers who died laying the rails. Some say the construction conditions are so miserable that they contributed to the high death rate. Most of those who died were among the thousands of Chinese who made it all possible. E.W. Brenner (1887 - 1904) became farmer-in-charge of the Turtle Mountain reservation.


Mary Alexazina Gauthier is born on June 20, 1888 District of Aurora, South Dakota, baptized September 26, 1888 at St. Peter church, White Lake, South Dakota by Reverend J.B. Richter. Her sponsors are Xaveuia Gauthier and L. Gauthier. Alexazina is the daughter of Michael Stanislaus Gauthier born 1850 and Maria Lea Ouimette born 1850. A search of the Aurora homestead records leads to speculation that the family did not establish a homestead in this area. The family moved to Cove Oregon before 1898 and lived near Wallowa Valley which President Grant, in 1873, had set aside as a Nez Perce Indian Reserve. By 1885 the order to pacify white land grabbers is received, clearing the way for removal of the Natives. As early as 1877, the Indians were ordered out of their ancestral valley within thirty days, to be resettled in Idaho. The Nez Perce are horse breeders and trainers. They were proud of the fact that they had never killed a white man. They wanted peace, but are forced from their lands and forced to defend themselves.

Later, harassment would ensue, and the Indians are driven on a one thousand seven hundred mile trek towards the Canadian boarder, north of Great Falls. It was cold, they had no blankets and little children are freezing to death. The local missionaries had supported this policy of extermination, and the People could fight no more. The lands were effectively cleared of savages to accommodate the Gauthiers and other eastern settlers.

One of the largest land companies, excluding the Hudson Bay Company and the C.P.R, is by John Lister-Kaye who, with British capital, bought several ten thousand acre blocks of prairie land from the Canadian Pacific Railway. Hubert Pelham Clinton runs the company headquartered at Swift Current. In 1893 it became the Canadian Land & Ranch Company.


Ontario expanded its boarder to meet with the Manitoba boarder and would not expand north until 1912.

Bishop Martin Marty, before the Minnesota Treaty, said that the lands not set aside for reservations would be sold to give Indians houses, farming implements and schools, and to make them a happy and prosperous people. Bishop Martin Marty is either naive, stupid or working with the advancing English settlers. As farmers and lumbermen moved in, the Indians are forced out.

It is estimated that only 1,000 buffalo survived by this year. It is suggested that five herds numbering only 77 buffalo are responsible for the survival of all present day buffalo.

January 14: Chippewa (Ojibwa) Commission listing of chiefs and head men includes: Tom Gureau b-1864, Frank Gorneau b-1846, Frances Gurneau b-1869 and Joseph Gerneau b-1866 (all derived from Garneau aka Gurnoe, Gurno) of the Red Lake band. The members of the Red Lake and Pembina Bands that appear to be Metis are: George Bassette b-1858, C.A.H. Beaulieu 1844, John Beaulieu b-1871, Jacob Red Bird b-1871, Pierre Bottineau b-1817, George P. Bottineau b-1866, Charles C. Bottineau b-1854, Sydney Bottineau b-1858, William Bottineau b-1861, Norman Bottineau b-1868, John English b-1864, Joseph Gerneau b-1866, Frank Gorneau b-1846, Francis Gurneau b-1869, Tom Gurneau b-1864, Peter Graves b-1848, Frank J. Johnson b-1850, George P. Johnson, Alexis Jordin b-1816, Joseph Jordin b-1820, Alexis Jordin b-1850, Alixis Jordin b-1858, Joseph Jordin b-1854, Peter Jordin b-1854, Louis Jordin b-1865, Frank Jordin Jr. b-1869, Patrice Jourdon b-1857, J. B. Jourdan b-1871, Francis Jourdon b-1845, A.R. Jourden b-1843, John Paptiste Lawrence b-1845, Bazile Lawrence b-1867, Bazile Lawrence Jr. b-1871, Baptiste Lawrence b-1871, Louison b-1864, Roderick McKenzie b-1853, John Bph Ray b-1820, John Reiche b-1854, J.C. Roy b-1862, William Sater b-1865, Johnny Spees b-1869.


The removal of all former titles of fur-trade to the Hudson Bay Company makes immigration easier. Many letters of inquiry are being received in the North West Territories from Dakota, telling of unfavorable conditions and about having been led astray by the Railroad Companies and land agents. These esquires are seeking assurance of stories of more favorable accounts of the Canadian North West. Dr. Alfred Shadd, son of a runaway black American slave, settled in Melford, North West Territories as a doctor and teacher. The natives said, "White man's medicine is good but black man's medicine is better." Four farmers met at Indian Head to begin the Farm Union of Western Canada.

The following year it spread to Manitoba and Edmonton.

Edward Cunningham is ordained to the priesthood, and some claim he is the first Metis. Father Lacombe, however, claimed to be a Metis and is the first.


(I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891), a Scott, leader of the New Liberal Conservative Party, died and ended a gloomy period for Native Canadians. The Canadian population stood at four and one half million.

July 28: One thousand, three hundred men from all parts of Canada and Britain, descended on the prairies for the annual harvest. The pay was a dollar fifty to two dollars a day.


Peter Wesley, a Metis Stoney Indian Chief, rebelled against the Indian Agent and took a number of followers to the Kootenay Plains. They refused to return until their lands were returned in 1947.


Walter Burchatt discovered a lead and zinc mine at Kimberley, B.C., and it is the oldest continuously producing metal mine in Canada. This Sullivan mine was not closed until December 2001.


Some consider slavery as being abolished a long time ago, but Meta Burger, described as a good little worker, is indentured; receiving no wages from her employee. After this little girl ran away for the fifth time from as many similar slave situations, she is labeled impertinent and sulky and, as a result, is committed to the Industrial School (Asylum) at Portage La Prairie.

David James Goggin (1849-1935), Superintendent of Education in the North West Territories (1893-1902), with the full support of the Government, is to make the schools the principle engine for assimilating the population into the dominant British Ontarian (Orange Order) of Protestantism. He required English only be taught, emphasizing the training in citizenship rather than the intellectual development of children. This religious focus would dominate the school system well in the 1960's, with only the French Catholics objecting at this time. The didn't object to the lack of intellectual development or the slave conditions of the inmates, but to the Protestant religious education.

Julien Ralph wrote "we must not call them Cajuns to their face lest they be offended, that the term is taken as one of reproach." The French Canadian Acadians are now commonly just called Cajun. The Americans used the term in a derogatory fashion but the Cajuns would come to consider it a badge of honor. The Cajun Metis continue to search for their roots. In 1921 the use of French in schools was effectively banned. The Cajun turned to Creole as a second language.


The gold reserve of the U.S. Treasury was saved when J.P. Morgan and the Rothschilds loaned $65 million worth of gold to the United States Government.


13 Mile School, Cove Oregon

Marie Alexazina Gauthier born June 20, 1888 Aurora, South Dakota, married April 28, 1908 Edmonton, Alberta a John Garneau (1885-1949), died 1980 New Westminister daughter Stanislaus Gauthier born 1850 and Lea Ouimette born 1850, attended Three Mile School, Cove Oregon when she was eight years old.

August 16: George Carmack, Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie find gold at Rabbit Creek, which was later renamed Bonanza Creek.


13 Mile School, Cove, Oregon

Marie Alexazina Gauthier (1888-1980) is still at 13 Mile School in Cove Oregon. They would depart for Edmonton, Alberta in 1903.

The Yukon Territory was created this year, but the present boundaries are set in 1901.

Archange Garneau (1876-1918) moved to Winnipeg and lived here until after 1901 to 1905 when she married.

Klondike gold wasn't the only way to strike it rich in Dawson in the Yukon. Milk was $16 a gallon, eggs $3 a dozen,. butter $3 a pound and onions $1.50 each. A good meal in San Francisco cost 25¢.

When Spain declared war on the United States, the U.S. in turn declared war on Spain but lied and backdated the declaration by three days so it would look more heroic to have declared war first.


Execution trains poured into Palmettoe, Georgia bringing thousands of people to witness a lynching. Slices of the victims heart were sold as souvenirs.

Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, a.k.a. Joseph Stalin (man of steel) (1879-1953) studied for the priesthood in Tiflis, Georgia for five years (1894-1899).

The Algonquian race withered to a shadow, leaving only a few thousand remain to rehearse the story of their ancestors. Their decedents- the Metis, however, multiplied and filled the land. These early prairie folks are a true cultural mix; hunting buffalo and living in tents or tepees part of the year, farming and living in frame houses the rest, and practicing both Indian and European rituals. The next century would cause a great split among the Metis. Some Metis would enter the Anglo-Saxon stream while others would choose the Native American stream. Our Garneau heritage emerged from this dynamic period, which greatly contributed to current and future beliefs, values and activities. Extensive Red River Territory lot surveys are conducted during the nineteen century, but very few records survived. Some believe they are destroyed to protect the interests of Government and land speculators who considered the original inhabitants, before 1870, as only winter squatters. During the period of 1874 to 1900, eighty-eight thousand homestead entries are filed in western Canada, many by the Natives; both Indian and Metis.

The next century marks a decision point for many Metis and Indians: assimilation into the white world, independence from the white world, or a third alternative: integration.

Some of the Garneau clan would try each alternative. The Garneaus of Red Lake, Minnesota and Pembina, North Dakota become part of the Turtle Mountain, Federal Indian Reserve, Rolette County, North Dakota. Tribal Headquarters is at Belcourt, North Dakota. The Turtle Mountain tribe is a Pembina Chippewa Tribe who originally migrated from the Saint Lawrence River to Sault Ste Marie, La Pointe and Red Lake.

January 1: Poundmaker's Reserve, birth Peter Tomkins Jr., Metis, died 1970 son Peter Tomkins and Marie Essawakapiw.

January 20: Two thousand and seventy three Russian Doukhobors, the largest number of immigrants to cross the Atlantic at one time, arrived at Halifax. They are believed to have originated from the renegade teachings of Danilo Filipov of the Orthodox Church. The Sect was persecuted for its heresy and pacifism. By summer the total was seven thousand four hundred and twenty seven and they would settle in the West with a one hundred and sixty acre homestead. The men went to work for the railway, and the only way the women could plant the soil to produce food was to organize themselves into groups of twenty, pulling a walking plow. In the next century the Sons of Freedom would cost the Canadian tax payers over twenty million in actual destruction, police and court costs. An Orthodox archbishop, in 1785, called them Doukhobours; meaning spirit-wrestlers against the Holy Spirit.

May 7: In Winnipeg, Manitoba a gasoline bicycle called a velocipede, owned by Professor Kenrick of St. John's College, is believed to be the first automobile in the North West. For more purists, on June 8, 1900 a locomobile (steam car) or horseless carriage reached Winnipeg.


St. Paul, Minnesota was the head quarters of the Canadian North West. Amos Warner and Colonel Davidson were commissioned by Mr. C. W. Speers of Brandon, backed by Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior, to create the Saskatchewan Valley Land Company. This company acquired major blocks of land for a dollar and seventy cents per acre. Much of the land is between the Saskatchewan Rivers, and other land blocks are north west of Regina. A. D. McRae became Secretary of the Company and, eventually, a Canadian Senator. The Winnipeg Tribune said, "Those fool Yankees can have all of it- it's not worth ten cents an acre." Only two Canadians joined in the investment: D. H. McDonald of Fort Qu'Appelle and A. J. Adamson. In four years the Company acquired and sold four million acres of land. Tracts of ten to twenty thousand acres changed hands before they were sold to individual settlers. Thirty years earlier, the Metis had requested the rights to much smaller tracts of land and were turned down as being absurd. Yet now it was all right to sell their lands to the Americans. Little wonder that the Native people still hold resentment against the English of Ontario, as they retreated northward before the inexorable advance of American land grabbers.


"We left Manitoba because we were not free, and we came here to what was still a wild country in order to be be free, and still they do not leave us alone." Gabriel Dumont

(1837-1906). Metis son Isidore Dumont.


March 2: A Sheriff's deed recorded against the (II)-John Salzl land in Zell, South Dakota, resulted in the land being sold for $2,000.00.


Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec expanded their borders to include their Northern Territories.


Reverend Louis Laronde, a Metis and clerical educator, was to be put in charge of a Residential School. The officials felt it was a high risk to put a Half-Breed in charge of a school. Besides, the school will be a success and we don't want a Half-breed getting the credit.