Was Elzéar Goulet killed because of his race? After being beaten to death, no charges were ever laid against the person responsible. This tragic event is just one example of the discrimination faced by Métis people in Canada. Despite making up a significant portion of the population, Métis communities have often been left out of conversations about racism and colonialism. It's time for this to change.
Most of the Protestant Orangemen from Ontario who took part in the riots during the “reign of Terror” had been part of Colonel Garnet Wolseley's 1870 expedition from Eastern Canada. They wanted to get revenge for the execution of fellow Orangeman Thomas Scott on March 4, 1870, and catch the "murderer" and "traitor" Riel.
In September 1870, the Globe, a newspaper based in Toronto, said, "The wildest chaos ruled." "800 of the Canadian volunteers were Orangemen, and these men were very vocal about how much they hated and looked down on the Métis.
Among them were a number of people that Riel had kicked out of the settlement (including Canadian Party leader Schultz). These bigoted party members were hungry for the blood of half-French people.
A group of militiamen were in the Red Saloon in Winnipeg. Farquharson pointed out Elzéar Goulet, who was on the six-person court martial jury that found Scott guilty. This jury was the jury that found Scott guilty.
The Canada Hotel, at that time a nameless saloon. The place was frequented by Ontario Volunteers. Some of them were drinking in this saloon on the 13th September, when Goulet was pointed out by a person present, as “the man who shot Scott”.
The men became furious, and eager for revenge they rushed Goulet, who fled for his life to the Red River and plunged in to swim for the St. Boniface side. Fearing that they would be balked of their prey, the frenzied mob in pursuit hurled anything they could find at the Goulet and stoned him to death in the water. …
Sanders and Madigan from the Ontario Battalion, Robert Mulligan from the Red River Expedition, and a man named Campbell
no one was charged with killing the man.
The Toronto-based Daily Telegraph said, "A French Métis; that's one less criminal," when they wrote about the death of Goulet.
Goulet’s daughter, Lorette, 17, was raped by Red River Expedition soldiers … Those participating in the rapes were identified to Colonel Jarvis, whose reply was that it was none of his business. The Manitoba police took statements … but no charges were laid
We remember Elzéar Goulet today and everyday