July 3, 2020

25° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast


Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

Historic Manitoba photos repatriated

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/3/2013 (2673 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A photo of Louis Riel (middle row, centre) with his councillors, circa 1869. It's one of eight photos sold to the U of M.


A photo of Louis Riel (middle row, centre) with his councillors, circa 1869. It's one of eight photos sold to the U of M.

Ahistoric photo of Louis Riel was returned to Manitoba on Friday, as was the spirit of the Métis leader.

A photograph of the Métis leader and his councillors, dated around 1869, is among a collection of eight historic photographs known as cartes de visite, which were taken by several photographers in the 1860s and 1870s in the Red River Settlement.

The photos came from an auction of civil war memorabilia in South Yarra, Australia, and were sold to a collector in Vancouver, who sold them to the University of Manitoba.

Together, the eight photos are worth about $6,500. "It's significant that Louis Riel would have shown up just when a historic decision was made by the Supreme Court of Canada. It's uncanny that when he's needed, he showed up again," said Shelley Sweeney, head of the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections, which will house the exhibit in the U of M's Elizabeth Dafoe Library.

"The cartes de visite will give people a good sense of their Manitoba heritage and to celebrate Manitoba heritage. We have the aboriginal people, Métis, other settlers (in the photos) and it's a community that was getting along. Through the council of Assiniboia, they had everybody represented and they were able to pull together and organize themselves in such a way that they could negotiate with the Government of Canada. I think it's really the story of Canada in a nutshell. People from different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities being able to come together and work together in a constructive way."

Sweeney said the cartes de visite were originally thin paper photographs mounted on a thicker paper card, which friends and visitors traded at the time.

Riel, who died by hanging on Nov. 16, 1885, was buried in the cemetery of Winnipeg's Saint Boniface Cathedral.


Cartes de visite

  • Eight rare historic photographs;
  • Depict scenes from what is now Winnipeg and Manitoba;
  • Dated in the 1860s and 1870s;
  • One includes Louis Riel surrounded by his councillors, who were part of the Métis Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, estimated date of 1869 and possibly taken by photographer Ryder Larsen;
  • To view the photographs on line go to: http://www.umanitoba.ca/libraries/archives/digital/red_river_cartes_visite/;
  • To view the photographs in person: University of Manitoba, Fort Garry campus, third floor of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library, archives and special collections section from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us