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Laurent Garneau

Laurent GarneauLaurent Garneau at Niagara Falls, New York, with his wife, Eleanor. September 1911. Image copyright the Glenbow Archives PA-2218-6

Laurent Garneau was born into a French-American fur trading family. His Métis background is Quebec French-Canadian and Sioux First Nation Garneau traveled through the Missouri River territory from Sault Ste-Marie in1869. He made his way to the Red River Settlement where he met his wife Eleanor Thomas. He volunteered for military service and was a soldier for Riel's provisional government. He eventually settled in Edmonton, but a land dispute caused his move to Saint Paul des Métis.

Garneau was a volunteer soldier. He first fought against the Fenians. He then was a soldier for Riel during the Red River uprising. He moved further west in 1874 and settled in Strathcona. He made charcoal for the HBC. He was arrested in 1885 for his past connections with Riel, was condemned to death, and was to be shot. Father Lacombe intervened and his life was spared.

In Strathcona, Garneau had a conflict over land ownership with John Walters. Garneau lost his case and then moved with his family to Saint Paul des Métis. He ranched there, and became a merchant or many services and products.

He died in 1921 and was buried in St. Paul. A district of Edmonton near the University of Alberta is named in his honor.


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