Gabriel Dumont, son of Métis hunter Isidore Dumont and grandson of French Canadian voyageur Jean-Baptiste Dumont, was brought up to the free prairie life of the age before government entered the West. Though he could not read or write, he knew 6 languages; he was a good shot with bow and rifle, a splendid horseman and canoeist and an unrivalled guide. Gabriel Dumont was a leader of the Métis people of what is now Western Canada. In 1873 Dumont was elected to the presidency of the short-lived republic of St. Laurent; afterward he continued to play a leading role among the Métis of the South Saskatchewan River. He played a critical role in bringing Louis Riel back to Canada, in order to pressure the Canadian authorities to pay attention to the troubles of the Métis people. He was adjutant general in the provisional Métis government declared in the District of Saskatchewan in 1885, and commanded the Métis forces in the North-West Rebellion or North West Resistance of 1885.