james ross & margaret smith ross
This photo shows that there have been links between Seven Oaks House & Ross House for over 150 years.
James Ross was one of the first Metis lawyers called to the bar, and he served as Minister of Justice in Louis Riel's Provisional Government. He supported a union with Canada and helped draft a Bill of Rights outlining terms for Manitoba to join confederation.
Many saw him as a representative for the Anglo-Metis community. Families like the Inksters and Rosses had close ties on both sides of the conflict, and largely attempted to remain neutral. James even worked directly with both Louis Riel and John Christian Schultz in the lead up to the Red River Resistance. Writers remarked that St. John's parish (which includes Seven Oaks) was spared the violence and terror suffered by Franco-Metis parishes after the arrival of the Wolseley Expedition in 1870.
ellen Inkster mcdonald & archibald mcdonald
Photo by Ryder Larsen
Ellen 'Nellie' Inkster married a successful HBC trader named Archibald 'Archie' McDonald. They spent most of their lives at trade posts in Saskatchewan, and were witnesses to the signing of Treaty 4. Their home is now part of Fort Qu'appelle National Historic Site.
Although Archie was a Scottish immigrant, he dressed in peak Red River fashion for this family portrait. His moccasins were probably Nellie's work.