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Memorable Manitobans: Georges Antoine Belcourt (1803-1874)

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Georges A. Belcourt
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Born in Lower Canada (now Quebec) and educated at the Collège de Nicolet, in 1831 he came to western Canada as a missionary and stayed until 1858, returning east in 1859. He was a supporter of the Métis and their land claims, drawing up a petition to London in French in 1846. He thereafter withdrew to Pembina (North Dakota), where from he advised the Métis in the Sayer trial of 1849.

After his enforced departure from the Red River Valley he was sent to Rustico on Prince Edward Island, where he helped found the Farmers’ Bank of Rustico in 1864, perhaps the smallest bank ever chartered in Canada. He drove the first steam-driven vehicle on the island.

Belcourt died in New Brunswick on 31 May 1874 and was buried in the cemetery of the Saint-Thomas Parish in Memramcook, New Brunswick. He is commemorated by Belcourt Bay in Winnipeg.

Author of:

  • Principles de la langue dessauvagés appeles Sauteux, 1839
  • Itineraire de Lac des Deux-Montagnes a laRivière-Rouge in Bulletin de la Societe Historique de Saint­Boniface, V.IV, 1913
  • Dictionnaire Sauteux, no date

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Old Baie St. Paul Cemetery (RM of St. Francois Xavier)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Francois Xavier Roman Catholic Church and Cemetery (St. Francois Xavier, RM of St. Francois Xavier)

Georges-Antoine Belcourt, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch, 1984.

George Anthony Belcourt: Pioneer Catholic Missionary of the Northwest, 1803-1874 by James Michael Belcourt, 1955.

Georges Antoine Belcourt, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank Gerard LeBlanc (La Société historique de la Vallée de Memramcook) for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 July 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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