Who was Cuthbert Grant

Cuthbert Grant was born in 1793 at Fort Tremblante ,Saskatchewan located on the Assiniboine River near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boarder. His father was Scottish and his mother was of Cree-French descent. His father died in 1799 and Cuthbert was sent to Scotland to be educated.

 

Cuthbert returned to the fur trade country about 1812 working for the North West Co. at a time of strife between the NWC and the HBC. This was also the beginning of a colony at the forks of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers(the Selkirk Settlers). Grant earned the respect of the Metis and they looked to him for leadership. Events in the Red River Settlement were such that the Metis felt their way of life was being threatened. They appointed him “Captain General of all the Metis" (thus he is considered to be the first leader of the Metis Nation). He led his people in the June 19, 1816 Battle of Seven Oaks.

 

In 1824, after the merger of the NWC and the HBC he was granted land along the Assiniboine River to establish a Metis community which he named Grantown. It was later renamed St. Francois Xavier. In 1828 he was given a special license to trade in the area and was appointed “Warden of the Plains" with his main duties to police the illicit fur trade.

 

In 1829 he decided to build a water mill on Sturgeon Creek to grind grain into flour. This was the first water mill in Western Canada. The current Grants Old Mill is a replica of this mill and is located close to the original mill. Later Cuthbert was made member of the Council of Assiniboia, also a Justice of the Peace, and a Magistrate. For many years he led the buffalo hunt involving up to 1000 Red River Carts.

 

He fell from his horse in 1854 and died on July 15 of that year. 

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