Manitoba Historical Society
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My Love Affair with Louis Riel: Louis Riel’s relative off on trip

by Lillian Gibbons

Winnipeg Tribune, 11 April 1968

Michele Lagimodiere is the latest member of the “first family of Manitoba” to make a great trek: the 17 year old Lorette girl is flying to Hollywood Tuesday of Easter week with her mother.

She won a contest, by attending Manitoba Centennial’s presentation of the Monkees, teen age singing rage, in October. In 10 words or less, said the forms at the door, describe what the Monkees do to you and win a trip to Hollywood.

What did Michele write? “I can’t remember,” she says. “At least, that’s what she told me,” says her father, Gabriel.

Her mother works at the Society for Crippled Children and Adults as a switchboard - typist. “That’s where Michele got the idea she wants to be a speech therapist. She’s seen their work with the deaf-mute children. Michele is in Grade 12 now and want to go to university,” says her Dad. “She’s completely bilingual. She wants a good education.”

It was Jean Baptiste Lagimodiere who set out in 1815 on a trek just about as long as Michele’s—to Montreal. Only, he traveled on snowshoes, in winter. The reason he went was to tell Lord Selkirk his infant colony at Red River was being burnt out and killed by the rival fur-traders to the HBC, the North West Company. As a result of his marathon run, Lord Selkirk himself came to Red River, 1817. But in the meantime the worst tragedy of the settlement’s history occurred, the slaughter at Seven Oaks, June 19, 1816.

All the time Lagimodiere was away in Eastern Canada his wife Marie Anne and his young family lived in the care of Chief Pegius.

He was away over a year.

In 1965 Diane Landry, St. Boniface, was the prettiest Miss Canada in many a year. She is Michele’s first cousin, a descendant on the distaff side. Diane is now studying voice in Toronto, with memories of world tours accorded her in her year of triumph.

Page revised: 10 June 2021

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