Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine


Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Father Ritchot


In the Words of Father Ritchot...

The original diary was destroyed by fire, but luckily it had been photographed prior to its destruction. Without it, Father Ritchot’s central role in the negotiations of Métis rights to land and language would have been lost forever.

Although his role was almost equal to that of Riel, Abbé (Father) Noël-Joseph Ritchot, despite being Riel’s éminence grise, rarely merits more than a brief historical footnote.

Baptized as Joseph-Noël, he also signed as Noël or N.J. He was deeply involved with the Red River Settlement’s activist Métis before Riel became their leader and the voice of the resistance to Canadian rule.

From the summer of 1869, when he first helped to legitimize and to support Riel’s emergence as a leader, and continuing until the latter’s departure for Montana, Ritchot acted as Riel’s trusted confidant, mentor, chief diplomat, advocate, and lobbyist.

In 1965, the Manitoba Record Society published Volume I of their publications, entitled Manitoba: The Birth of a Provincelink opens in new window, edited by W.L. Morton. It included an excerpt of the translated transcription of Ritchot’s journal detailing the period of March 24 to May 28, 1870 when Ritchot was one of three delegates from Red River sent to Ottawa for negotiations with the Canadian government.

Morton describes Ritchot as “bearded, burly, bland with a touch of cunning, (he) was in fact the outstanding delegate of the three...

On Ritchot, then, fell the burden of the negotiations.”

Read the excerpt


Return to our History of the First Nations Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus