Biography of Taché, Alexandre A. (Alexandre Antonin), 1823-1894
Alexandre-Antonin Taché Born in 1823 in Rivière-du-Loup, Lower Canada, Alexande-Antonin Taché studied in Saint-Hyacinthe and Montreal, then entered the Oblate novitiate at Longueil. In 1845, he and Pierre Aubert were sent to take charge of Catholic missionary work in the new vicariate apostolic of Hudson Bay and James Bay, administered by Bishop Provencher. Taché was ordained by Provencher shortly after his arrival and made his final vows as an Oblate. He studied the Saulteaux language and spent five years among the aboriginal populations of northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. In 1850, Taché was named bishop and Provencher’s coadjutor with rights of succession. He became Bishop of St. Boniface following Provencher’s death in 1853. In 1871, he became Archbishop when Rome raised St. Boniface to an archdiocese. In addition to his missionary work and the establishment of parishes, Taché worked tirelessly to secure Métis and Francophone rights in Manitoba. A member of the Council of Assiniboia, Taché attempted to secure a peaceful settlement of the grievances advanced by the inhabitants of Assiniboia during the events of 1869-70. At his insistence, the list of rights which served as a basis for negotiating Manitoba’s entry into Confederation included a clause regarding the establishment of denominational schools. He also sought a guarantee of amnesty for the leaders of the Resistance From 1870 to 1880, Taché worked to attract Francophone and Catholic immigrants to the West. He supported the creation a colonization society, requested that the federal government appoint immigration officers in Quebec, sent recruiting agents to New England and to France, Belgium and Switzerland to promote the advantages of western Canada, and urged the catholic clergy to do the same. When the Manitoba government abolished separate schools in 1890, Taché led the resistance movement and published several brochures defending Catholic education rights. He died in 1894.