(1823–94). Born in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, ordained in 1845, bishop (1853–71) and archbishop (1871–94) of St-Boniface, he was a legendary figure in his own time, arriving in the Northwest in 1845 and travelling extensively as an Oblate missionary before white settlement. The Canadian government recalled him from the Vatican Council in Rome to help quell the Riel uprising (1869), promising amnesty to the insurgents. Taché publicly condemned Ottawa's failure to honour this commitment and its negligence in handling Metis and Aboriginal land claims, which triggered a second Riel uprising (1885). He helped craft the Manitoba Act (1870), although its linguistic and religious balance would quickly be overturned by massive Anglo-Protestant immigration. His sustained efforts to bring sufficient numbers of French speakers and Catholics to settle the Prairies having failed, Taché was not surprised when Manitoba created a common school system in 1890. Although he fought hard to have Ottawa disallow the legislation, he also missed a golden opportunity to focus attention on it during the federal election of 1891, confident that politicians would do the right thing. Taché's dream of a bilingual West comprising Aboriginal, North American, and European peoples endowed with equal opportunities and rights remained unfulfilled.
From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: History of the Americas.