Mathias Charette, also known as John Charette, was born about 1855 in the Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, to Jean-Baptiste Charette and Angelique Petit-Thomas. His mother passed away and his father later married Josephte Monette, granddaughter of the first Chief Little Shell.
His siblings were brothers: Alexandre Charette, Jean Baptiste Charette, Joseph Charette, William Charette, Francois Xavier Charette, Moise Charette, and Pierre Charette. His sisters were: Marquerite (Charette) Giroux, Marie Anne (Charette) Dupre, Adelaide (Charette) Frederick, and Eliza (Charette) Belgarde.
Mathias’ first wife was Virginie Ritchot, daughter of Joseph Ritchot and Marguerite Martel. Together they had two sons: Louis Victor Charette and Joseph Alfred Charette, who later moved to Montana and started families.
Mathias received scrip under the Manitoba half-breed scrip authority. On his application he stated, “I lived with my parents always on the plains and in red river settlement, and with them at Wood Mountain and Cypress Hills where they lived on the 15th of July, 1870. I now live at St. Joe (Walhalla) the past 6 years. I am told my father had lived at St. Joe before July 15th, 1870…I cannot say when myself.” He listed his occupation as “Hunter”.
He also received 160 acres of land under the provisions of Article 8 of the 1863 Old Crossing Treaty, which allowed half-breed members of the Pembina and Red Lake bands to select land in the Red River Valley as homesteads, but it is not certain what happened to his land there.
After the passing of Virginie, Mathias married Marie Ouellette in Walhalla. He spent the remainder of his life in Walhalla, Olga, Leroy, and at the Turtle Mountain Reservation.
Mathias died on November 2, 1937, in Belcourt, North Dakota.
Research by Gail Morin and Kade Ferris
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