Friday, June 5, 2009


This isn't the usual type of photo one has of their relatives. My Great Grand Uncle, Emmanuel Beaugrand dit Champagne was one of Louis Riel's councilors during the North West Rebellion 1885.
(L-R):IgnacePoitras, Pierre Parenteau, Baptiste Parenteau, Pierre Gariepy, Ignace Poitras Jr., Albert Monkman, Pierre Vandal, Baptiste Vandal, Joseph arcand, Maxime Dubois, James Short, Pierre Henry, Baptiste Tourond, Emmanuel Champagne, Kit-a-wa-how (Alex Cagen-ex chief of the Muskeg Lake Indians) Taken Aug 1885, Regina, Saskatchewan by O.B. Buell. Taken from the Canadian National Archives.

The rebellion was a culmination of discontent of the Metis, Aboriginal and White settlers which had gone on for some time.In 1866 the government started the surveying of lands in and around the Red River Settlement. This of course became a source of tension. This was the Metis and Indians land and the government was coming in and drawing lines on it. Louis Riel spoke in August of 1869 to call the Metis to organize themselves against this.

The problems continued for some years with Louis Riel eventually suffering mental exhaustion which in 1876 saw him admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Quebec. He then went to the US where he became an American citizen in 1883.

There were several battles through the years. Duck Lake saw a skirmish between the Metis and the RCMP. Duck Lake was the only clear victory for the Metis. The Frog Lake Massacre saw whites and Metis in the community killed or taken hostage as sympathizers with the Cree led by Big Bear. Fish Creek, Cut Knife Hill, Frenchman's Butte were also unsuccessful for the Metis although the death tolls were thwarted by the ability of the Metis to retreat through the muskeg where the militia could not pursue them.

The Battle of Batoche was the end. For four days- May 9-12, 1885 less than 300 Metis and First Nations people led be a returning Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont sought to defend themselves from the troops.

On the first day the troops sought to attack by coming across the river on a steamer ferry. The Metis simply lowered a ferry cable across the river cutting off the smokestacks of the steamer and it floated downstream without power. They then defended their postitions with gunfire until daybreak. Over the next couple of days the gunfire was returned by the troops with bigger weaponry. The ammunition stores of the Metis were running low by this time.

On May 12 some of the troops attacked from the north drawing the Metis out of their rifle pits signalling to the remaining men to attack from their position. The winds were loud and on the side of the Metis and the remaining troops did not hear the attack signal and failed to attack on time. This was not enough of a setback for the troops however. A third contingent came in from the side and broke through the lines. The battle was over in minutes. The Metis ammunition was gone and they were firing nails and stones from their rifles. Louis Riel escaped with Dumont. Riel gave himself up and was later hanged. Dumont fled to the US.

This is how my Great Grand Uncle, Emmanuel Beaugrande dit Champagne ended up in the photograph above, in handcuffs and leg irons. He is I believe the second man from the right in the front row. He was one of the twelve counselors or exovede (latin: flock) of the Riel government during the North West Rebellion in 1885

Emmanuel and his family were enumerated in the 1850 census of the Minnesota Territory, in which Emmanuel declared that he was a hunter.He was born about 1823 in Pembina, North Dakota and died in Batoche, Saskatchewan September 29, 1904.He was married to Marie Letendre dit Batoche
In the 1854 treaty list of Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior and the Mississippi, he is listed as a mixed blood of the Pembina band who had lived at Saint Joseph (Walhalla, N. D.) for over ten years.

Emmanuel fought for his rights and the rights of the other Metis and it could have cost him his life and his freedom.


lindalee said...

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Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Lori, this is such an exciting story! I'm sure to have my students look at his post next Fall when we study Riel. I always love to show my students connections between historical events and what they call "real life". My 12 year students are firmly anchored in the NOW-NOW-NOW and I'm always looking for ways to connect them to the "THEN".
Evelyn in Montreal

Susan said...

Hi I have this account of Emmanuel dit Champagne my gr gr Grandfather- this was compiled for me by:

Genealogical Summary Report
Prepared by Janice Nickerson
drawing upon research by Patrice Hartman and Susan Leitch

I have him identified as old bearded gentleman- front row- on right? I have a copy of pix from the RCMP Museum in Regina- and they have different listing of names of men in photo??

The Sessional Papers for 1885 contain the following deposition on behalf of Emmanuel Champagne, who was arrested following the North West Rebellion: “Emmanuel Champage I have known since 1861. He was then a resident of Dakota, and was doing a considerable business at Pembina during the horrors of the Sioux massacre in 1862, and has a wife and seven children. Champagne saved the lives of many white men and women at the risk of his own life and property, and is gratefully remembered by many of the white people of Dakota to this day. After living in Red River Settlement and Manitoba, respected for many years, he came to the Saskatchewan about six years ago, and lived at Batoche, where he had a very fine place and a large business. I believe he was north at the time of the breaking out of the rebellion. He was worth at least twenty-five thousand dollars – today he is a ruined man. When Riel proposed to the old man to join the movement of the half-breed rights he promptly refused to do so. Persuasion of all kinds failed to induce him to go in with Riel. When Riel and his followers came to Batoche, Champagne was again solicited to join the movement, and on positively refusing to do so, threats were used instead of words. Unless you consent to become a member of the council your whole property will be pillaged, your life will not be safe, your will be at the mercy of those who wish to abuse you, and by threats and force the old man was kept there, but he acted as he always had done, defended those who were in danger. To him Tom McKay owes his liberty, if not his life, and to McKay’s speedy suppression of the rebellion. I have no hesitation in declaring that Champagne, instead of being in prison as a malefactor, ought to be distinguished by the Government as one who was loyal and true to his Queen and country in a time of trying danger. One thing is certain – a very short time longer in prison and death will deliver him, as he is sick, old and failing fast.”
*Canada op. cit

I would very much like to compare notes share stories and relatives.

email me at

Susan Didier

Susan said...

Hi Lori Emmanuel Champagne was my would very much like to communicate on our shared family history.
email me at

Anonymous said...

I was hoping you could tell me if Emmanuel was related to Louis Riel at all.

Shawn Carrier said...

He Was Not Related to Louis Riel, His First Cousin...Moise Carriere Jr was also at Botache. and Damase Carriere was a First Cousin to Moise...he was there and was Killed there....they Drug him behind a Horse till he Died...some claim he was mistaken for Riel.

Emmanual was my GGreat Uncle, Mosie Carriere was My GGreat Uncle and Damase was my Great Uncle
Shawn Carrier

Lori E said...

Thanks Shawn. I had responded to her comment directly in an email advising her the same thing. I have heard however that one of the daughters may have married Riel's son. I don't have the time lately to check out the details.

Shawn Carrier said...

I need to make a Correction to my previous post....Moise & Damase Carriere....who were both at Botache...were my Great Grandpa's first cousin's....being my 1st cousins 3 times removed!

Charles Richardson said...

this is great! My mother and I are compiling a genealogy report to submit to the Metis nation. Emanuel is my Great-Great-Great Grandfather.

Anonymous said...

the story i was always told was that Emmanuel supplied Riel with horses. He married Madeline Laderoute in 1847. One of their children was my great great grandmother Esther.

Lori E said...

Would love to share info with you Charles but you didn't leave a link or email.

Shawn Carrier said...

It was Emanuel sr. who married Lateroute but This Emmanuel was Emmanuel Jr. and his Mother was a Larouque...she passed away and Sr. remarried a Laderoute.

EMMANUEL CHAMPAGNE, born September 20, 1823 in Pembina, Dakota Territory; died September 29, 1904 in Batoche, NWT; married MARIE LETENDRE; born December 20, 1823 in St. Boniface, Red River, Rupertsland; died Aft. 1911.

Lori E said...

Thank you for the response to the comment by "anonymous" Shawn.
It would be very helpful to get an email with questions so we could help the person directly with information wouldn't it.

Rachelle LaFramboise Montague said...

My great great grandfather was Maxime Dubois. Do you know which row he is in in the picture and where I can find more information about him as as I'm sure you can understand, I would consider each nugget worth more than all the gold in the world. I recently finished "Riel by Siggins" and read zealoulsly hoping to find my grandfather mentioned but to no avail(yet to my surprise I found my father's surname though I question if there is any relation), eventhough he was one of his cousilors in the northwest rebellion and fought along with the 250 other men. I am also curious if he was originally an inhabitant of the Red River initially. In addition, I am curious about his two marriages and am happy to share that he was released from prison to care for his nine orphaned children. I do know that he was married at least twice and would like to clarify this as well as to who his children were from each wife and who they eventually married. I am also curious to know if he was a Metis as I had been led to believe that he was a belgian immigrant which I now question(perhaps his father was) and were his wives natives or metisses. Again, any nugget would be worth more than anything I could ever buy. Dates are also of extreme importance. I believe one of his wives was a Parenteau(was she a descendent of the Parenteau's of the Red River) and the name Lamontagne may be the other but as for either I'd love something more concrete than the memories of a child and I am also interested if my lineage is from Dubois first wife or second. Upon looking at my maiden name you may realize that it is the same as Gabriel Dumont's mother. I am doubtful that my father's lineage is a descendant of Gabriel's mother however that would be interesting as well. His father was olivier and his father was Joseph who worked in the Coeur D'Alene area before settling in Legal, Alberta area. I have recently been informed however that Dumont was married to my great great grandmother's sister at some point. Any info would be relished by anyone reading this and as to his position as one of Riel/Dumont's counsilor's as I was surprised to read of several other of the counsilor's but nothing of my grandfather's. P.S. I was also told that he was among the first to bring red river carts of supplies to Fort Edmonton. Thanks to anyone who can be of some help. It really bothers me that so much of these incidents were forgotten and the information purposely destroyed. I believe it is time to have our own rebellion of sorts with words and truth that the scholar's did not know about till the recent past to show how unfairly not only Riel was treated but all those involved. If no one has any info, I'd be very thankful to be given any direction as to where I should start my search.

Lori E said...

Rachelle, please contact me with an email address so that I (or anyone else with information) can get hold of you if I find any information. There is no link to your email or blog or anything here.

Rachelle LaFramboise Montague said...

Dear Lori;
I have a little more information and a correction to make. Found a site that stated that Maxime Dubois was born on Dec 20, 1853 at St. Vital. Son of Francois Jr. and Madeleine Laberge. He first married Catherine Ledoux, born in 1856 at Moose Mountain (Moose Jaw). They had seven children who were born across the prairies as it is suggested that they followed the buffalo; who was born where I would be curious to find out as it states they were born at St. Albert, Fort Qu'Appelle, Swift Current and Batoche. Ironically, I have resided in St. Albert since I was 8 years old with a brief stay in Saskatoon after marrying and have resided in St. Albert again since 1986 after my brief departure in 1984. Needless to say, when I read that one or more children were born where I call home it sent shivers down my back but I digress. Catherine only lived to the young age of 30, how I don't Know (I guess not so young back then) but before dying she obtained a scrip for land in Fort Qu'Appelle while my Great Great Grandfather Maxime serve approximately two years in prison before being released. At the trial Father Andre is quoted as saying: "Maxime I have known since he was a boy. He has a family of 7 children. He was in my service for some time and he proved honest, faithful and reliable, and always proved very worthy of being trusted. This poor man was induced to surrender himself by the Father Vegreville and is now a prisoner for that reason above. He is about 36 years of age (sic) and his wife is a cripple." Unfortunately Catherine Ledoux died the following spring at 30. Some time after his release he married Marie Pelagie Parenteau, the widow of Damase Carriere. Would really like to know if there were anymore children from this union and go figure, if I come from that union I may be related to your other bloggers who have Carriere's in their past through her previous arriage. Furthermore, I have first cousins and an aunt who married a Champagne but who knows if they are of the same lineage. Anyway, would be very thankful for any information about any of the people mentioned or directions to continue my search. Thanx in advance. Email me at

Anonymous said...

Very interesting I am a descendent of Beaugrand Champagne on my mother side she was a descendent of Lucie Beaugrand Champagne married to Thomas Harrison

Lori E said...

I would love to share information with you. Email me privately if you wish.

Gilles Saindon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Correction on my previous post Lucie Beaugrand Champagne was married to Augustin or Auguste Harrison (son of Thomas Harrison junior)Lucie was my great grandmother, their daughter's name was Marie Harrison married to Andre Nault my grandparents.

Anonymous said...

hello im jesse carriere my gggreat uncle was damase carriere do you know leo carriere from winnipeg?? email me

Anonymous said...

my names jesse carriere my gg great grampa was damase carriere i was looking to find more info on him and maybe a picture or some family i am related to please email me

tom p said...

Hi Lori what a great site. Emmanuel was also my great great great grandfather. Just wondering if it was clarified which person he is - in the national Archives photo you have attached on the site. I note the Archives have him listed, as you do, as 2nd from far right- but i have just happened to see a different biography that uses a identifies him differently picture. Just tryn to make sure - thanks

Lori E said...

There is actually more to this picture than what is commonly seen. Can you email me privately so I can send you the list and a different photo.

tom p said...

Hi Lori - sorry forgot to include my email last night (and sent you privately this a.m.)
I am @ and would love to share / compare research


Anonymous said...

Yes, they were cousins. They shared grandparents a couple of generations before them. They were Marin Boucher and Florence Gareman.
Emmanuel is my ggg grandfather through his daughter Angelique. I have been researching this family for a long time.

Anonymous said...


I am wondering if you know of Emmanuel's other daughters. Possibly a Sarah Gosselin. Or Sarah's son Alfred Joseph LaRocue.

I am interested in knowing more about my family tree. It sounds like we are possibly related. Thank you for answering my questions.

Celeste Volz said...

Hi,does anyone have a list of Emmanuel Champagne's children's names? I think he was my gg or ggg grandfather.

Anonymous said...

came across this site and realize thet i may have names of Emmanuel's children
4.Jean Baptiste
5. Pierre
8. David

I learned this information in a document from the province of Manitoba on the 21 st day of december 1876 regarding an allotment of land in said provinceof Manitoba

Anonymous said...

also it states that he had a widow Madeline Beaugrand dit Champagne and 10 children my connection may be Emmanuel's son Jean Baptiste but not sure yet my gg grand mother was Lea Pelland? who was married to a Jean Baptiste Beaugrand champagne

Lori E said...

Hi there Anonymous commenter.
You have made a common mistake and listed the siblings of this Emmanuel and not his children.
This Emmanuel's father was also named Emmanuel and he had 2 wives. Margarite Laroque and Madelaine Laderoute.
The 2 names you are missing are Sarah and Rosalie. Also you have the name Maxime, which is a man's name listed incorrectly as the a woman's name. (Maxine).
Thanks for stopping by. I hope this helps you with your family history.

Gerald said...

Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

Your article is very well done, a good read.

SLM LaRocque said...

Hi, was this ever answered? According to my tree, Sarah would have been emmanuel's grand daughter (daughter of Marie who is not listed here). Alfred is my grandfather, making Sarah my great grandmother.

Anonymous said...

My name is Paul Dorion, my great grandfather was Charles Champagne, a lawyer from Montreal who allegedly represented Louis Riel. When Champagne died the Brandon Manitoba newspaper lamented the loss of another member of the rebellion. It was rumoured by family that Riel gifted his pistols to Champagne and they were stolen from the apartment of Champagne's eldest daughter in Montreal after WWI. ANY INFORMATION APPRECIATED.

Lori E said...

Hello Paul,

I haven't heard this story before, sorry. I don't have any information. Perhaps somebody else might.

Anonymous said...

Paul Dorion again,
Have discovered Charles champagne was private Secretary to Louis Riel in 1870

Stephanie Querel said...

Emmanuel Champagne was my 4th great grandfather

Lori E said...

I do have info on the Champagnes.Please email me directly and tell me who your 3rd Great grandparents were so I can follow the line better and share information with. My email is accessible at the top of the page on the left.