Weak City, Manitoba: Metis Road Allowance Community
Metis Genealogist Rosemary Morrisette-Rozyk who works for Manitoba MetisFederation is a descendant of the Branconnier and Morrisette families who lived at Weak City. It was Rosemary who brought the existence of this road allowance community toour attention.Weak City was a Metis road allowance community in St. Charles, Manitoba located closeto the present day Perimeter Highway bridge on the west side of St. Charles, it hadexisted there since the 1820s, located next to a buffalo crossing that later was the site forthe ferry. It was situated on what was later surveyed as River Lot 73.Many Metis families lived here but the primary families squatting there were those of Jean Baptiste Branconnier and Pierre and Adelaide Morrissette. The community historyrecorded by the La Fleche family says: “Many Metis families lived here, and they workedfor the surrounding farmers, especially during harvest. Some of them were ferrymen atSt. Charles.” Branconnier had lived as a squatter in a log cabin near the river on Lot 73.Jude LaFleche (living on Lot 74) bought the squatters rights to the Branconnier propertyon part of lot 73 in 1885. Branconnier then moved further south on Lot 73. At that timethe Morrissettes were already living there.Louis LaFleche recalled that old Mrs. Morrissette remembered the flood of 1826, whenthe only dry areas were Bird’s Hill, Stony Mountain and St. Charles. The Metis familieshad livestock, chickens and pigs. They cut cord wood to supplement their income. By the1940s most of the Metis families had sold their land and moved to Charleswood.
Adelaide Caroline Branconnier Morrissette.
(1832-1919)Adelaide was born on September 6, 1832 in St. Boniface Manitoba, to Jean BaptisteBranconnier and Elise Louise Beauchemin (b. 1790). Elise’s father, André Millet ditBeauchemin was born January 19, 1791 in Quebec, and her mother was an Indianwoman.Adelaide’s father, Jean Baptiste, was a voyageur with the North West Company. Hesigned a contract with the company in 1804, and came to the forks of the Red Riverduring that time. In 1815, he was captured and wounded at Fort Gibralter by the HudsonBay Company. He was placed on a ship,
The Prince of Wales
, and was sent to England tobe prosecuted. However, during this voyage a second ship, containing all the evidenceand prosecution documents, came into trouble and sank. As a result, Jean Baptiste wasreleased and returned to North America.Adelaide was raised in St. Boniface and later resided at Weak City in St. CharlesAssiniboia. Adelaide was very religious throughout her lifetime. It is recalled that shewaited on the banks of the Red River in St. Boniface in order to greet the Grey Nunsupon their arrival.