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Memorable Manitobans: Norbert Gay (?-?)

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Norbert Gay
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A Frenchman who arrived in Red River mysteriously in January 1870, he claimed to be a correspondent for a Paris newspaper. It was rumoured that he was a spy, but no one was certain for whom he was spying. Known as “Captain Gay,” he became a loyal Riel supporter and attempted to instill European cavalry tactics into Riel’s few remaining armed horsemen in the spring of 1870. Gay was a member of the party of horsemen led by Riel that made the final reconnoitre of the Wolseley encampment before the expedition officially arrived at the Forks.


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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 April 2019

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