Gabriel Dumont was born in what is now Winnipeg in 1837 or 1838. His youth was spent following the hunt and learning the skills associated with that nomadic way of life, and becoming conversant with the languages of the Nations of the prairies and the Rocky Mountains: the Cree, Blackfoot, Sioux and Crow.
At the time Gabriel was elected chief in 1863, the Dumont band was using the Batoche area as a winter camp, and by 1868 they settled there permanently. As head of the band, he presided over the hunt, negotiated peace treaties and formed alliances with other prairie nations. As more settlers took up homesteads, commercial activity grew, the territorial government became increasingly active, and Dumont’s leadership took on a political and diplomatic role, culminating in his election as president of the St. Laurent council in December 1873.
During the “Métis Rebellion” of 1885, Louis Riel appointed Gabriel Dumont as Adjutant General of the new free and independent Métis nation of the Northwest.