Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Theresa McDonell (c1833-1917)


Born in St. Andrews, Upper Canada, she was placed at the convent of the Sisters of Charity of Bytown and joined the order in 1851 as Sister Sainte-Thérèse. She was sent to Red River two years later. When the Grey Nuns ordered her to return east, the Métis, led by the elder Louis Riel, surrounded the cart that was carrying her away and refused to let her go. She subsequently taught school in St. Vital, St. Norbert, and St. François Xavier, often combining the roles of superior and teacher. The temporary hospital she set up in 1871 became St. Boniface General Hospital. She died in St. Boniface.

More information:

Theresa McDonell, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XIV, 694-95.


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

Page revised: 10 April 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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