Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Jean-Édouard Darveau (1816-1844)


Born at Quebec on 17 March 1816, he studied at the Petit Séminaire de Québec and subsequently became a sailor. He returned to Quebec in 1838 to study for the priesthood. Soon after his ordination he headed for Red River, where he learned Ojibwa with Father Belcourt. Beginning in 1842 he made lengthy missionary trips into what is now northern Manitoba, meeting much opposition from rival Anglicans, especially Henry Budd. He died on 4 June 1844, rumours circulating that he had been murdered by Indigenous people who saw him as a windigo. He is commemorated by a monument near the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Church.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Father Darveau Monument (Camperville, RM of Mountain)

Jean-Edouard Darveau 1816-1844, first martyr priest among the missionaries to the Indians in Western Canada by Alfred A. Sinnott, CCHA Report, Volume 17 (1950), pages 13-20.

Jean-Édouard Darveau, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VII, 231-33.


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

We thank Dennis Thompson for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 April 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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