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Veronique Gervais Fidler: Heroine of Batoche

Veronique Gervais Fidler: Heroine of Batoche

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A profile of Veronique Gervais, a heroine of the 1885 Northwest Resistance.
A profile of Veronique Gervais, a heroine of the 1885 Northwest Resistance.

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Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Sep 24, 2013
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Veronique Gervais Fidler: Heroine of Batoche
Véronique Gervais Fidler
(b. 1866). .Veronique was born on January 26, 1886, the daughter of Cléophas Gervais (b. 1847)and Catherine Ross, the daughter of Donald Ross
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 and Catherine Delorme. Veronique wasmarried to Jean-Baptiste Fidler (b. 1861) on September 21, 1884 at Batoche. Veroniquedied in 1958 at age 91 and is buried at Meadow Lake.They had the following children:
Joseph, born 1885 at Lebret.
Alexandre, born 1886 at Tourond’s Coulee, died 1887 at Prince Albert.
Louis, born 1888, died 1879.
William John, born 1889 at Duck Lake.
Marie Helene, born 1891.
John Thaddeus "Theodore" Fiddler (b. July 2, 1896) and was baptized October 18th 1896 in St Peter's Mission, Montana. Theodore died in 1965 on the WaterhenReserve, in Saskatchewan. He was known as Mush-kay-gaw Fiddler. He wasmarried twice and had a total of 16 children. He lived first on the Flying DustReserve and then moved to the Waterhen Reserve. He first married Marie Anne"Ange" Morin, born 1897 in Green Lake. She died between 1940-1941 on theFlying Dust Reserve.she was the daughter of Joseph Henri Morin (b.1866 at Ile ala Crosse) - a son of Cyprien Morin and Marie "Mary" Cook (b. circa 1836). Her Mother was Pelagie Linklater, born 1868 in Lac du Brochet - daughter of Peter Linklater (b.1828) and Marie Morin (b.1840).Marie Anne "Ange" Morin and John Thaddeus "Theodore" Fiddler were marriedin 1916. They had 9 children, who survived infancy. Theodore then marriedBernadette Opekokew about 1946 in the district of Meadow Lake. She died after 1980 on the Waterhen Reserve. They had 6 children.
Frank born 1902 at North Battleford, died 1978 at Spirit River.
Malvena, born 1908, married Harry Bruno Sansregret on April 10, 1928 atMeadow Lake., died in 1994.Veronique was one of the heroines of Batoche Resistance in 1885. During the battleshe recalled that: “They were melting the lead that came wrapped around the HBC goods,in frying pans over a fire.”
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Father Cloutier’s report mentions the women making bullets by cutting down the large canon balls that they retrieved from the battlefield.
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Donald Ross (1822-1885), also known as Daniel Ross, was born at St. François Xavier, the son of HughRoss and Sara Short. He married Catherine Delorme and they moved to a claim south of Tourond’s Coulee.Ross was a member of Riel’s Council (Exovedate) at Batoche during the 1885 Resistance. Ross was one of the men who came to the rescue of those trapped at Tourond’s Coulee. Ross fought at the Battle of theGrand Coteau in 1851, with the St. Francois Xavier hunting band led by Jean Baptiste Falcon.
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Journal of Abbé Cloutier, vol. 2, 5220. Cited in Nathalie Kermoal. “Les roles et les souffrances desfemmes métisses lors de la Résistance de 1870 et de la Rébellion de 1885.”
 Prairie Forum
, Vol. 19, No. 2,Fall 1993: 166.
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Manuscrit original, La Société historique de Saint-Boniface, Fonds Taché, Journal de l'abbé GabrielCloutier, 1886.
1
 
« Le soir où Nolin était prisonnier dans l'Eglise de Batoche il a vu des Métis fondantdu plomb à canard et des doublures de boîtes de thé pour faire des balles. »« Et ils semblaient Joyeux, contents, gais comme dans la plus grande sécurité - Lesmoules n'étaient que pour faire une balle à la fois - Et il est arrivé que des moulesétaient trop grands, ils faisaient des balles trop grosses; ils les diminuaient avec descouteaux. »« On a commencé à faire des balles quand le provisoire a été proclamé . »« La femme de Philippe Gariépy a fait des balles pour son mari. »He also recounts the dangers the women faced :The women dug pits to be safe from the bullets that whizzed through their temporary homes. « Les femmes ont fait des trous, mais dans leur camp, pour êtreà l'abri des balles qui sifflaient de temps à autre à travers ces maisonstemporaires. »The terror was everywhere, terrorizing mostly the women who were in a continualtrance-like state. «La terreur est partout, les bruits les plus effrayants pour ceuxqui ne peuvent en reconnaître la fausseté sont colportés et épouvantent surtout les pauvres femmes qui sont dans des transes continuelles-Plusieurs Métis etCanadiens se sont retirés à Carlton sous la protection du pavillon anglais - Pour les en punir on confisque leurs troupeaux et on menace de mettre le feu à leursmaison. »The women’s camp at the edge of the river was subjected to continuous fire, the bullets fell like hail.
«
Les femmes dans le camp sur le bord de la rivièreentendaient tomber les balles dans l'eau; ça tombait comme de la grêle: pioum pioum pioum pioum -En entendant venir le bateau, pish, pish, pish. »Veronique’s husband Jean Baptiste Fidler 
 
(b. 1861) and his brother Maxime were activein the 1885 Resistance. He is shown as # 13 on Philippe Garnot’s list of Resistance participants. After 1885, Jean-Baptiste and family moved St. Peter’s Mission, Montanathen to southern Alberta and ranched at Pincher Creek. Jean Baptiste died in 1949 at age87 and is buried at Meadow Lake.2

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