Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Guillaume Joseph Charette (1884-1952)

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Guillaume Joseph Charette
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Lawyer, folklorist, historian.

Born in the RM of Cartier on 5 October 1884, son of Guillaume Charette and Sarah Perreault, he attended the Grey Nuns’ School and the Collège de Saint-Boniface, receiving a BA degree in 1910. He graduated from the Manitoba Law School in 1914 and practiced law with E. M. Beaudry. After military service during the First World War, he worked in the immigration department for 25 years, being posted at Emerson, Gretna, and Kingsgate (British Columbia).

On 27 December 1924, he married Agnes Marie Courchaine (1901-1994) in the RM of Ritchot and they had a son and four daughters. He stood as a Liberal candidate for Springfield in the 1917 federal general election but was defeated by Robert Lorne Richardson. President of the Union Nationale Métisse Saint-Joseph, he wrote often on Métis history and folklore. He was co-author of Histoire de la nation métisse.

He died at his St. Boniface home, 463 Ritchot Street, on 20 August 1952 and was buried in the St. Boniface Cemetery. A typescript of his biography of Louis Goulet is at the Archives of Manitoba.


Birth registration [William Joseph Charette] and marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

“Indian lawyer is fighting for empire,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 February 1916, page 5.

“St. Boniface man, Metis historian, dies at 68 years,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 August 1952, page 26.

Obituary [Agnes Marie Charette], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 1994, page 45.

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

We thank Jim Busby for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 July 2021

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