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Memorable Manitobans: Allan Macdonald (1832-1901)

Indian agent.

Born in Fort Langley, BC in 1832, the son of Archibald MacDonald and his country-born mixed-blood wife Jane Klyne, he was baptized in Red River in 1834. He subsequently lived with his family at Fort Colvile, Washington, and was sent to Lower Canada for schooling. He inherited the family’s farm at St. Andrews, Canada East, in 1853. He was in British Columbia for the Cariboo gold rush, selling out in 1862 to return to St. Andrew’s. Active in the militia against the Fenians, he was appointed a captain in the Wolseley Expedition. In Manitoba he acquired land in Ste Agathe, but became active in Indian affairs. In 1877 he became Indian agent in southeastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, based first at Swan River and then at Fort Qu’Appelle. He negotiated several Indian treaties and was part of the Qu’Appelle Syndicate, organized in 1881 among NWMP officers to acquire and deal in land. After the North-West Rebellion of 1885, he remained with a reorganized Indian Department as superintendent in the Qu’Appelle Valley. He supported Indian farming and was capable of opposing policy that he did not regard as appropriate for the Natives, becoming an Indian advocate in their continual struggles with settlers. Both his advocacy and his mixed-blood background hampered his promotion within the department. He was eventually transferred to Winnipeg to work as a clerk. He died at Winnipeg on 28 November 1901.

See also:

Allan Macdonald, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XIII, 622-24.

Sources:

Death registration [Allan Mcdonald], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 September 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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