Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Cuthbert Grant (1793-1854)

Cuthbert Grant (1793-1854)
(Courtesy of the Archives of Manitoba)
Installed 1970
Community Hall, PTH 26
St. François Xavier

Near here lived Cuthbert Grant, founder of Grantown, now St. François-Xavier. His father, Cuthbert Grant senior, was a prominent North West Company trader. Cuthbert Grant the younger became an outstanding leader of the Métis and led the North West Company forces at the massacre at Seven Oaks in 1816. The Hudson's Bay Company named him Warden of the Plains in 1828. His task was to marshal the Métis in defense of the Red River Settlement. Later he became Councillor, Sheriff and Magistrate of the District of Assiniboia.

The violent event which occured at Seven Oaks on June 19, 1816 between Grant's Métis and the Selkirk Settlers has been variously described as a "massacre", "battle", "skirmish", or "incident". The term "massacre", as used on this 1970 plaque inscription, is based upon oral accounts that wounded settlers were killed and the bodies mutilated. In today's context, "battle" or "skirmish" might be more appropriate, given that both sides exchanged gunfire and one Métis was killed. "Incident" in historical terms usually refers to a minor event with far-reaching consequences. Seven Oaks was, on its own, a crucial event in Manitoba's early settlement history.