Gabriel Dumont and the Train Robbers: Reality vs Myth

If you should be concerned about danger from train robbers on Alberta Prairie’s steam excursion from Stettler to Big Valley, rest assured: Gabriel Dumont rides every train to keep an eye out for the dastardly Reynold’s Raiders Gang. You might wonder how one man could keep all the tenderfoots aboard safe from a dozen ruthless gunslingers, but maybe you don’t know about Dumont’s pedigree.

Grandson of Jean-Baptiste Dumont and his Tsuu-T’ina-Crow wife, Josette, Gabrielle Dumont was an accomplished shot with gun and bow, and a master horseman, by the age of twelve. Later, fluent in six languages, he became a guide, interpreter and Buffalo hunter, and was elected chief of his Metis band. But Dumont’s most significant contributions to Canada’s history were his actions in support of Metis rights in the 1870s and ’80s. Alongside Louis Riel, Dumont was a military leader in the uprisings of the Northwest Rebellion. Dumont’s generalship is credited with the Metis victory in the Battle of Fish Creek and he held off a much larger force for several of days during the Battle of Batoche. Outcomes might have been different, if Riel had allowed Dumont to carry out vital strategic actions such as damaging rail lines used by Canadian forces.

So…could one man singlehandedly protect an entrire train from the pirates of the prairies? Yes; if that man is Gabriel Dumont.

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