The Honourable Charles-Borromée Rouleau and his wife Elvina arrived in Calgary in 1886. This Canadian politician, lawyer, judge and writer performed the duties of Chief Justice and was one of the first judges in the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories.
The territories at that time included the Yukon, until 1898, and became the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan when they joined Confederation in 1905.
Judge Rouleau left his mark on the school system in the Northwest Territories when he proposed amendments to create a more balanced system for Catholic schools and the French language. These were integrated with the school ordinance of 1884. In 1885, Charles-Borromée Rouleau and Father Albert Lacombe became members of the Catholic section of the Office of Education, formed pursuant to the law, until 1892.
The only mark on Judge Rouleau’s excellent record was the Cree trial following their abuses at Frog Lake on April 2, 1885. Twelve White and Métis people who were at the Frog Lake settlement were rounded up while the First Nations pillaged the stores at the Hudson’s Bay Company post as well as the police barracks. They ultimately took the lives of nine men.
Unfortunately, the literature indicates that "the trials of the Crees arrested for their involvement at Frog Lake were short; in retrospect, justice seems to have been done arbitrarily. None of the Indians received legal assistance."
Sources: Dictionary of Canadian Biography; Suzanne de Courville Nicol - President of Bureau de Visibilité de Calgary; Denis Perreaux - Historian and Director of Société Historique Francophone de l'Alberta. Photo: Ms. Delores Rouleau Woolrich, Suzanne de Courvil Nicol - Bureau de visibilité de Calgary, portrait of the Judge Charles-Borromée Rouleau, 1891.