MAY 8, 1841


Born at St. Andrews, Manitoba (MB), Norquay spoke several languages, including English, French, Cree, and Saulteaux. After graduating from St. John’s Collegiate School, he taught school before entering the fur trade in White Horse Plains & farming at High Bluff. Elected to the legislature in 1870, he led a major bloc of Anglophone Métis & served on the Executive Council and as Minister of Public Works and Agriculture until 1874. Re-elected in 1874, he served as MB Provincial Secretary. In 1878, Norquay held the offices of Premier, President of the Executive Council, and Provincial Treasurer. His political fortunes waned in 1887 when he was unable to find financing for a Red River Valley Railway to link Winnipeg with the U.S. Norquay was re-elected in the 1888 general election and became leader of the Opposition. He was a founding member of the MB Historical Society, MB Club and Anglican Synod and Executive Committee of Rupert’s Land. Norquay died on July 5, 1889, in Winnipeg.

Source: “Memorable Manitobans: John Norquay (1841-1889), Manitoba Historical Society.  Retrieved 10/13/2021, Memorable Manitobans: John Norquay (1841-1889) (
Photo: Author unknown, circa 1878-87. Public Domain.  Source: Library and Archives Canada under the reproduction reference number C-020607 and under the MIKAN ID number 3623458.

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