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Lveill, Pierre Sr.

(1829-1884)
Pierre was one of the Metis at Fort Walsh who submitted a petition, on behalf of the
Metis of the four districts of Assiniboia to join Treaty 4, on September 7, 1876. In 1878,
Pierre and other Metis buffalo hunters at Cypress Hills wrote a petition asking for a
special Metis reserve of land. Pierres brothers, Joseph, and Gabriel were also part of this
hunting brigade and signed the petition.
Pierre Lveill; born 14 January 1829 St. Francois Xavier; married Genevieve
Fagnant, daughter of Jean Baptiste Fagnant and Josephte Monet dit Belhumeur on 15
September 1856 St. Francois Xavier. He was the son of Pierre Lveill, born June 1783 at
La Bois-St.Paul, Comte Charlevois, Quebec and Julie McKenzie, the Metis daughter of
Alexander McKenzie and his wife Marie. He died on 16 February 1884 at St. Francois
Xavier, at age 55.
Pierre became a fur trader in the west. He had his own train of Red River carts. He
thus became familiar with the routes across the prairies prior to 1873. By all accounts
Pierre was an influential Metis of Red River. He temporarily opposed Riel in 1869-70
and kept Riel from obtaining the credentials of Donald A. Smith. In 1869, after
Lieutenant Governor designate William McDougall was stopped at Pembina by the
Metis, led by Ambroise Lepine and Toussaint Lucier, McDougall sent his 350 rifles and
10,000 rounds of ammunition to Georgetown (now Grand Forks, N.D.). On the 25 th of
November 1869, McDougall wrote to Joseph Howe, the Secretary of State noting that he
had received information from his spies that the Metis intended to send horsemen to burn
the HBC warehouse at Georgetown and destroy these arms. He then took immediate
action to send the rifles and ammunition to Major Hunt (U.S. Army) at Fort Abercrombie,
about 40 miles from Georgetown. McDougalls next move was to have Col. Dennis and
Major Wallace enlist the Indians in a military move against the Metis. However, Pierre
Lveill was instrumental in thwarting these plans as reported by the local newspapers
[The New Nation, January 7, 1870, pg. 2].
Pierre helped negotiate the treaty with the Metis and Saulteaux Indians at the Lake of
the Woods in 1873. Pierre was apparently renowned for his size and strength. He was an
influential colonist of the Red River, according to historian Alexander Begg. At the
provisional governments November 16, 1869 Convention of 24, Pierre Lveill was a
delegate, chosen to represent St. Francois Xavier.
Pierre Lveill from St. Francois Xavier was the guide who led the advance party of the
newly-formed NWMP on their westward trek in 1874. After several weeks of traveling
they arrived at Old Wives Lake (now named Johnson Lake, Saskatchewan). There they
met Pierres brother Louis and his family. Louis Lveill took Pierre's place and Pierre
returned to Fort Garry.

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell


Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research
Louis Riel Institute