Red River Métis Farming, 1810–1870

18 thoughts on “Red River Métis Farming, 1810–1870”

  1. Most grateful as well for the *like and twitter support from poet, ethnographer, and essayist, Lorri Neilsen Glenn (@neilsenglenn): a prairie native who has taught across Canada, in Ireland, Australia, Chile, and Greece and now teaches at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax; and whose latest book is the best-selling anthology of poetry and prose “Untying the Apron: Daughters Remember Mothers of the 1950s” (Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2013).

    Update: Congratulations to Lorri on the publication of Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (Wolsak & Wynn), a rich journey, richly described.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Norma–I have been using _Casualty_ (which is a great piece of work) to gain some perspective on the hay privilege and Metis land tenure. I would like to cite it properly in my book when it comes out, but am not sure how to do that. Can you email me at with a suggestion?

    trevor herriot


  3. Hi there, I am the minister at Little Britain United Church and am researching some of our history and in particular Emma Garrioch Gunn. In your slideshow of Red River Women, there is an image labelled Emma Garrioch-Gunn, but the clothing and hair style are more like the styles of the 1890s (puffier sleeves and the hair style as well). If it is the 1890s Emma GG would have been in her 70s by then and this woman is definitely not in her 70s!
    Just wondering if it’s possible it could be John and Emma’s daughter Emma? Emma (jr) was born in 1863 and would have been in her late 20s if this was taken in the 90s and this seems possible to me.
    I wondered what your source was for the photo and if there is a way to find out when/where it was taken. One of the confusing parts of researching Emma’s life is that her children were all named after other family members including herself and her husband! Also to make it harder, the daughter, Emma, never married and her last name remained Gunn. Both Emmas (and many other Gunns) are buried here at the LBUC cemetery.
    I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks – great resource!!


    1. Hi Shelly and thank you for the note! I have been meaning to post the sources for each of the photos in the slide show, and your note has been a good reminder that the task has been on my to-do list for too long :)
      The photo of Emma (reputed) was printed in The East Side of the Red: A Centennial Project of the Rural Municipality of St. Clements, 1884-1984 (p. 569) a local history available online at the Manitobia site, The photo is captioned “Mrs. John Gunn.” It appears that the Mr. John Gunn who married Emma Garrioch is the husband meant, because the photo accompanies that family’s story. You are right though, the fashion does not fit that couple, and I agree that their daughter Emma is a more likely candidate. The original photo would have been supplied by whoever composed the history. The author is listed only as “slh”, who appears to be Felix Keuhn (see p. 20), but it is not clear whether the author was a family member, visited the Archives of Manitoba, or had another source for pictures of Gunns.
      I sincerely hope you can identify her — it would be a shame if a woman of such arresting countenance had to be nameless.
      All the best for your research!


      1. P.S. on rechecking my notes against the book, it looks to me as if the woman in the photo might well be Eleanor Flannagan, wife of John ‘J.J.’ Gunn and ‘slh’ is an abbreviation that refers to a local history committee, not Felix Keuhn.


  4. This is in response to a photograph posted in the “Red River Scrapbook” purported to be Julie Lagimodiere Riel. That is NOT a photo of Julie Riel, it is a photo of Madeleine Wilkie Dumont, wife of Gabriel Dumont. The original photograph and its provenance are available at Emmanuel d’Alzon Library, Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts. Please see:


      1. Hi Norma. If you would like to email your email address I will send you the 8-page provenance document that I prepared for the Madeleine Wilkie Dumont photograph. It includes a letter from Gabriel Dumont to Edmond Mallet referring to the photograph. This photograph is Madeleine Dumont beyond any possible doubt and I recommend removing any reference to Julie Lagimodiere Riel in order to help stop perpetuating the misinformation. Thank you.


  5. Hi Norma J. Hall,
    As I am researching my husband’s ancestors it was nice to come across your online book. Robert Logan(s) is who I am following.

    I wanted to let you know that the mention ( of Barbara Logan, Williams daughter, in chapter 3,
    ‘Red River Ranching: A Reasonable and Rewarding Endeavour’ where it says, “Independent merchants Edmund Lorenzo Barber (non-Aboriginal) and wife Barbara Logan (Jamaican Métis, niece of ‘young Logan’ the cattle drover;[241]” might be mistakenly mixed up with her aunt Barbara (Logan) Barber. As far as the records I have seen, the ‘first’ Barber Logan ( Young Robert Logan’s sister) was married to Edmund Lorenzo Barber. I am in touch with a descendant of William and she said that the next generation Barbara is a 2x great aunt. I do not know who she married or if she was married. She would have also been a niece to Barbara (Logan) Barber, wife of Edmund.

    I also noticed you have cited Cynthia Sweet’s information on Robert Logan the 2nd. She included info for his correct birthdate. The baptismal records show to confirm 1778 for his birth because it gives his age 2 years 9 months at the time of Robert’s and his brother Thomas’ baptism in 1781. I think you have 1773 at 1 point and another one is written up as 1783. Nevermind, (unless there is anotger mention) that was the links to the bio and census. :)
    Thanks again!



  6. norma merci a son livre! je veux le lire en hard copy et je veux l’acheter.
    I can’t seem to find where i should buy a hard copy.
    I know i’ve seen it on your site, but aahh my spring break reading (this site) has been freaking amazing!
    i just need to print it out so i can write all over it and learn about my ancestry as a proud Métis woman and Anisinaabe-kwe.
    :)Shirley Delorme Russell


  7. My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog.
    He was once entirely right. This post truly made my day.

    You can not imagine simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!


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