Saskatchewan News Index
Top News Stories

Conflict And Struggle

Riel Rebellion
The Metis Prisoners Before Their Honors,
Hugh Richardson, Col. McLeod, And Dr. Bond

Regina Leader
August 13, 1885. p.1

Monday, Aug. 4th -- Abouth three o'clock this afternoon a small army of mounted red coats arrived in full canter at the court-house in charge of twenty-six prisoners of war -- vanquished heroes of Duck Lake, Fish Creek and Batoche. Once in the court-yard the Metis were ushered thrugh the hall and into that memorable little building where, but a few days before, a highly interested and attractive audience gazed on the central figure of a North-West rebellion, and drank with silent eagerness draughts from the fount of forensic eloquence.

The public attendance was rather small and one fair figure only graced the ladies gallery.

As I leant back on my reporter's chair in the jury box I scanned the varied and reflective features of the wondering Metis -- the corpulent, lusty, broad featured fellow who had received his baptism of fire in the poplar-fringed and memorable coulee near Duck Lake, stood side by side with the rebel councillor who echoed Dumont's cry of Courage Mes Braves at Fish Creek, and took deadly aim from the echeloned buffalo-hunter now old, gray, lank, and weather beaten, vividly brought to mind a demoniac profile from Dante's Inferno, while the dark, frowning features of one of Gabriel's faithful henchmen recalled our schoolboy memories of some Scandanavian deity.

The prisoners arraigned were Pierre Paranteau, Pierre Garupy, Pierre Henry, Enamuel Champagne, Maxime Lepine, Albert Monkmen, Joseph Delorme, Phillip Gariepy, Joseph Arcand, Francis Tourond, David Parinteau, Andre Nolin, Maxine Dubois, Elyear Swain, Frederick Fiddler, Patrick Touround, Jim Short, Alexander Fisher, Baptist Vandale, Ignace Portras, Pierre Vandale, Joseph Pilon, Baptiste Rocheleau, Moise Paranteau and Alexander Cayer alias Kee-too-way-huw.

The charges were read in English, French and Cree by Judge Richardson, Mr. Marceaux, and Interpreter Houri, respectively.

The Judge asked each prisoner separately whether he wished to be tried by a stipendary magistrate alone or by a stipendary magistrate and a jury.


All elected to be charged before Judge Richardson without a jury.

Mr. Robinson, Q.C., submitted that sentence should not be ...the crowd were not equally guilty and evidence of each man's guilt in the rebellion would be prepared by the Crown and submitted for His Honor's consideration. Counsel paid a warm tribute to Pere Andre's wise advice to the prisoners. The reverend gentleman had materially assisted the Crown. Counsel then suggested the immediate release of four prisoners on their own recognissance to appear when called upon.

Mr. Maclise, Prince Albert, with whom were Messrs. Carey, Benson and Prendergast addressed His Honor at some length on behalf of the remaining prisoners. He contended they were the dupes of a wily arch-rebel and the victims of a systematic imposition.

Mr. Osler, Q.C., in Answer to Mr. Daniel Carey, Winnipeg, said in all probability sentence would be passed on the prisoners within ten or twelve days. He would say Friday week.

The four discharged prisoners are Andre Nolm, David Parenteau, Elzear Swaine, and Frederick Fedder. Amongst two or three of the prisoners noticeable for their unbecoming levity in court was Albert Monkman, of Batoche notoriety.