Fief Pachirini: terres volées – stolen lands.

Place d’Armes, aux Trois-Rivières.

Le ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec déclare que:

La valeur patrimoniale de la place d’Armes réside dans son intérêt historique. Il reflète le riche passé de la ville de Trois-Rivières et son premier développement urbain. Le fief initial, concédé au chef algonquin Charles Pachirini (Baazhińiniwish) en 1648, est avant tout un campement autochtone. Il est cependant géré par les jésuites qui octroient de petits lots aux colons à partir de 1656 et devient ainsi une demeure française.

En 1722, le terrain est converti en marché public. Devenu une place d’Armes dans la seconde moitié du 18ème siècle, il fut utilisé pour des exercices militaires jusqu’au début du 20ème siècle. Le canon en bronze fabriqué en Russie et découvert en 1828 aurait été rapporté par des soldats de Trois-Rivières ayant participé à la guerre de Crimée (1853-1856). Le site conserve encore le nom de Place d’Armes, bien qu’il soit maintenant utilisé comme parc urbain.

La valeur patrimoniale de la Place d’Armes repose également sur son intérêt pour l’histoire de la conservation du patrimoine au Québec. Contrairement à la “loi sur la conservation des monuments et des œuvres d’art d’intérêt historique et artistique” adoptée en 1922, la “loi sur la conservation des monuments, sites et objets historiques et artistiques”, sanctionnée en 1952, intègre des paysages et des sites de intérêt artistique ou historique dans les biens susceptibles d’être protégés. La place d’Armes, classée en 1960, est le premier lieu protégé au sens de cette loi.

Cependant, dans le contrat de 1699 ci-dessous, nous voyons que la terre a été transférée aux jésuites, sans aucune consultation des peuples autochtones qui avaient occupé la terre:

23 Octobre 1699
Concesfsion
De la Seigneurie de Sillery
Aux Révérends Pères Jésuites

HECTOR de CALLIÈRE, Chevallier de L’Ordre de Sainct Louis, Gouverneur & Lieutenant Général pour le Roy en toute France Septentrionale.

JEAN BOCHART, Chevallier Seigneur des Champigny, Norroy et autres lieux, Conseiller du Roy en ses Conseilz, Intendant de Justice Police et Finances au dit pays.

VU LA REQUESTRE à nous présentée par le Révérend Père Martin Bouvart, Supérieur de la Compagnie de Jésus, en ce pays, et le Père François Vaillant, son Procureur, tendante à ce qu’il nous plust leur transférer en propre les fief, terre et Seigneurie de Syllery, donts ils n’on jouy jusques à présent que comme administrateurs du bien des Sauvages Chrétiens, à qui le dit fief avoi testé donné par Sa Majesté, au mois de Juillet 1651, et que les dits Sauvages ont été obligéz d’abandonner depuis dix ou douze ans pour s’establir ailleurs, tant parce que les terres en culture y estoient tout a faict usées, que parceque les bois de chauffage, coupéz depuis prez de quarante ans, se trouvent beaucoup éloignéz de leur demeure, commes au foy, de leur transférer pareillement en propre et en fiefs, quatre perches de terre de front, sur huict de profondeur, concédées par fe Monsieur de Montmagny, et vingt toises en quarré d’augmentation concédées par feu Monsieur Dailleboust, tous deux Gouverneurs Généraux de ce pays, à feu Pachiriny, Capitaine Sauvage dans le lieu des Trois Rivières, dont les dits pères Jésuites ont donné depuis plus de quarante ans, comme tuteurs et adminstrateurs du bien du dit Pachiriny, des contractz de Concefsion à divers particuliers François, pour les occuper et y bastir, comme ilz ont faict, moyennant quelque petite redevance; lequel Pachiriny est mort, et les ditz Pères Jésuites sont demeurez dans la jouifsance des ditz emplacements, dont ilz nous requèrent de leur donner la Concefsion; et estans pleinement informéz des bonnes intentions des ditz Pères de la Compagnie de Jésus, des grands secours spirituelz et temporelz qu’ilz rendent aux Sauvages de ce pays, et des grandz soins qu’ilz ont pris, et des dépenses excefsives qu’ilz ont faictes pour soustenir les mifsions des ditz Sauvages, et pour travailler solidement à leur Salut, et particulièrement à l’égard de ceux qui estoient établis audit lieu de Sillery, pour lesquelz depuis qu’ilz en sont sortis, ilz on achepté à leurs propres frais d’autres terres en divers lieux de ce pays, afin de les y establir; sans quoy ilz se seroient disperséz.

Pour ces raisons, nous avons donné, concédé, et octroyé en propre aux ditz Pères Jésuistes, les dits fief, terre et Seigneurie de Syllery d’une lieue de large, sur le fleuve Sainct Laurens, et d’une lieue et demie ou environ de profondeur jusques à la Seigneurie de Sainct Gabriel qui la termine par derrière, commençant du costé du Nord Est à la pointe de Puifseaux, et du costé du Sud Ouest à une ligne qui la sépare du fief des Gaudartville; lesquelles lignes ont esté tirées, l’une il y a environ vingt cinq ans, et l’autre il y a environ quarante; avecq tous les droictz et privilèges condédéz autrefois aux ditz Sauvages; pour tenir le tout en véritable fief, ne relevant que du Roy, avecq droit de haulte, moyenne & bafse justice, ainsy qu’ilspofsèdent toutes les autres terres que Sa Majesté leur a bien voullu accorder en ce pays; et pareillement, nous leur donnons, concédons et octroyons, en mesme titre de fief, et avecq les mesmes droitz et privilèges cy defsus spécifiéz, les dites quatre perches de terre de front sur huict de profondeur, concédées par few Monsieur de Montmagny, et les vingt toises en quarré d’augmentation concédées par few Mr Dailleboust, tous deux Gouverneurs Généraux de ce pays, au dit feu Pachirini, Capitaine Sauvage, pour du tout jouir par eux en propriété à toujours, en suivant la Coustume de Paris; à la charge que les apellations de la justice du dit Syllery resortiront devant le Sr. Lieutenant Général de la Prevosté de Québecq, et que les ditz Pères Jésuites seront enus de prendre de Sa Majesté ratiffication des présentes dans un an. En témoin dequoy nous les avons signées, à icelles faict apposer les sceaux de nos armes, et contrisigner par nos Sécrétaires. Donné à Québecq, ce vingt troisième Octobre, mil six cent quatrevingt dix neuf.

Signé « Le Chevallier de Callières. »
Et « Champigny. »
Scellées du cachet de leurs armes et contresigné
Par Monseigneur, « Hauteville »
Et Par Monseigneur, « André. ».

Et ensuitte est escript :

EXTRAIT de la Lettre du Roy aux Sieurs Chevallier de Callières, et de Beauharnois, Gouverneur Général et Intendant de la Nouvelle France.

Sa Majesté a accordé aufsy, celle de la terre de Syllery, demandée par les Pères Jésuites, quoyque cela soit contre la règle qu’elle s’est faicte de ne plus donne de terre du Canada à des Communautéz Ecclésiastiques.
Collationné à l’Original par nous Intendant, au dit pays, le vingt cinquiesme Novembre mil sept cent deux.
Signé, « Beauharnois. »
Et plus bas Par Monseigneur « Trehard. »

AUJOURD’HUY, le Titre de Concefsion et l’extraict de la Lettre du Roy dont conppies sont cy devant, ont esté régistréz au Greffe du Conseil Souverai, suivant son arrest de ce jour, par moy commis audit Greffe soubsigné à Québec, ce deuxiesme Juillet, mils sept cent trois.
(signé) « Hubert, » avec paraphe

I do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the original, as on record in the Office of Enrollments at Quebec, in a French Register, intitulated, “Registre d’Insinuation Cons. Sup. B. No.2” verso 137. Provincial Secretary Office.
Quebec 5th of April 1847
DDalz
Sec

Place d’Armes, in Trois-Rivières.

The Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications, states that:

The heritage value of Place d’Armes lies in its historical interest. It reflects the rich past of the city of Trois-Rivières and its first urban development. The initial fief, conceded to the Algonquin Chief Charles Pachirini in 1648, is first of all an Indigenous encampment. It is however managed by the Jesuits who grant small lots to settlers from 1656 and thus becomes a French dwelling place.

In 1722, the land is converted into a public market. Became a place d’Armes in the second half of the 18th century, it was used for military exercises until the beginning of the 20th century. The Russian-made bronze cannon found there, dated 1828, was reported to have been brought back by soldiers from Trois-Rivières who participated in the Crimean War (1853-1856). The site still retains the name Place d’Armes although it is now used as an urban park.

The heritage value of Place d’Armes is also based on its interest in the history of Québec’s heritage conservation. Unlike the “Law on the Conservation of Monuments and Works of Art of Historical and Artistic Interest” adopted in 1922, the “Law for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Monuments, Sites and Objects”, sanctioned in 1952 integrates landscapes and sites of scientific, artistic or historical interest in the properties likely to be protected. Place d’Armes, ranked in 1960, is the first protected place under this law.

However, buried in this 1699 contract below, we find that the land was transferred to the Jesuits, without any consultation with the Indigenous people who had occupied the land:

October 23, 1699
Concession
of the Seigneurie of Sillery
To the Reverend Jesuit Fathers

HECTOR de CALLIÈRE, Chevallier of the Order of Sainct Louis, Governor & Lieutenant General for the King in all northern France.

JEAN BOCHART, Chevallier Lord of Champigny, Noraie and other places, Councilor of the Kingdom in his Council, Intendant of Justice Police and Finances to the said country.

BY THE REQUEST presented to us by the Reverend Father Martin Bouvart, Superior of the Society of Jesus, in this country, and Father François Vaillant, his Prosecutor, who is eager to see us. Moreover, it pleases us to transfer to them the fiefs, land and lordship of Sillery, which they have enjoyed until present only as administrators of the property of the Christian Savages, to whom the said fief has tested given by His Majesty, in the month of July, 1651, and that the said Savages were obliged to give up ten or twelve years ago to settle elsewhere, both because the cultivated land was quite worn out, and that because firewood, cut for almost forty years, is far away from their homes, as in our faith, to transfer them as their own and in fiefs, eight perches (unit of measure) by four perches deep, conceded by Monsieur de Montmagny, and the addition of twenty squared fathoms conceded by the late Monsieur Dailleboust, both governors general of this country, to the late Pachiriny, Savage Chief in Three Rivers, whose so-called Jesuit fathers given for more than forty years, as tutors and administrators of the land of the said Pachiriny, contract with various private French individuals, to occupy them and to build on them, as they have done, for a small fee; aforementioned Pachiriny is now deceased, and the say Jesuit Fathers are to remain in the enjoyment of the said locations, which we are asked to give them the Concession; and are fully informed of the good intentions of the said Fathers of the Jesus, in recognition of the great spiritual and temporal help which they render to the Savages of this country, and of the grounds the care they took, and the extraordinary expenses they made to support the missions of the Savages, and to work solidly on their salvation, and especially on those who were established in the said place of Sillery, for which since they came out of it, done at their own expense on other lands in various places from this country, in order to establish them there; without which they would have dispersed.

For these reasons, we have given, conceded, and granted to the said Jesuit Fathers, the said fief, land and lordship of Sillery of a league wide, on the Saint Laurence river, and a league and a half or so deep down to the Seigneurie of Saint Gabriel, behind, starting from the northeastern coast at the tip of Ruisseaux, and from the south-west coast to a line that separates it from the fief of Gaudartville; which lines were drawn, one about twenty-five years ago, and the other about forty; with all the rights and privileges once condemned to the said Savages; to hold the whole thing in true fief, falling only to the King, with the right of justice, middle and good justice, as well as all the other lands which his Majesty has been good enough to grant them in this country; and likewise, we give them, concede and grant, in the same title of fief, and with the same right and privileges specified, the so-called four perches of land abreast on the depths of the body of water, conceded by the defunct Monsieur de Montmagny, and the twenty fathoms in square footage conceded by Mr. Dailleboust, both governors general of this country, to the said late Pachirini, Sauvage Chief, to enjoy by all in their property forever, following the Coutume de Paris; to the charge that the appellations of the justice of said Syllery will spring before the Sr. Lieutenant General of the Prevost of Quebecq, and that the said Jesuit Fathers will be able to take of his Majesty ratification present in one year. In witness of which we have signed them, they have to affix the seals of our arms, and to compel by our Secretaries. Given at Quebecq, this twenty third of October, one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.

Signed “Le Chevallier de Callières. ”
And “Champigny. ”
Sealed with the seal of their arms and countersigned
By Monseigneur, “Hauteville”
And By Monseigneur, “Andre. “.

And below:

EXTRACT from the Letter of the King to Sieurs Chevallier de Callières, and Beauharnois, Governor General and Intendant of New France.

His Majesty has granted also, that of the land of Sillery, demanded by the Jesuit Fathers, that it is against the rule that it has made itself no longer to give land of Canada to Ecclesiastical Communities.

Collated with the Original by us Intendant, in the said country, the twenty fifth of November, one thousand seven hundred and two.
Signed, “Beauharnois. ”

And below By Bishop Trehard. ”

TODAY, the Title of Concession and the extract from the Letter of the King, of which it is in the foreground, have been registered with the Registry of the Sovereign Council, following his arrest of that day, by means of the said registry at Quebec, this second July, mils seven hundred and three.
(signed) “Hubert,” with initials.

(The following was entered in English)

I do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the original, as on record in the Office of Enrollments at Quebec, in a French Register, intitled, “Registre d’Insinuation Cons. Sup. B. No.2” verso 137. Provincial Secretary Office.
Quebec 5th of April 1847
DDalz
Sec

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White people: stop defining us and defiling our symbolism.

I first saw this picture last week. Several people alerted me to this image. The graphic rates well for shock effect. It was published to accompany an article published in the September edition of Maisonneuve magazine, to go along with Halifax’s Saint-Mary University professor Darryl Leroux’s article “Self-Made Métis,” in which he writes how tens of thousands of Canadians have begun calling themselves Métis, and now they’re trying to get the courts to agree. 

I can’t tell you who the artist is or whether s.he is Indigenous. It’s obvious that whoever made this drawing knows something about Indigenous symbolism and was going for a shock factor.

Everyone should be concerned about this image.

Who might fit a stereotypical image of the Noble Indian?

Before you continue reading, stop. Ask yourself if your grandchildren’s grandchildren would loose claim to your Nation, to your community, based on how s.he may physically appear on the outside.

The drawing is being used as a commentary on identity politics between First Nations without status and Métis from outside the branded Métis “Nation” (a specific geographic area that excludes parts of BC and Ontario, as well as all of the NWT, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.)

Let’s face facts:

This picture is violent in nature. It’s blasphemous. It’s full of imagery and innuendos intended to send a clear message of segregation. The image clearly mirrors disrespect for Indigenous symbolism by way of poking fun of sacred objects such as the Medicine Wheel and traditional Regalia. It uses the stereotype of a Caucasian, Aryan-looking male desecrating the Peaked Hood  worn as part of the women of the Wabanaki Confederacy Regalia.

Studio_20180920_103756

Traditionally embroidered with beaded swirls, the Peaked Hood is sacred to the woman of the Confederacy. In this case, a Christian crucifix that looks like a Nazi cross replaces the bottom embroidery.

The Peaked Hood is placed on top of a camouflage-coloured baseball cap that would somehow imply that everybody seeking to assert Indigenous identity is doing so for hunting privileges.

Studio_20180920_103457

Along with the rappala fishing lure that misappropriates the use of the Sacred Medicine Wheel, while featuring colours of the four directions in wrong order, the graphic seeks to reaffirm the trope that Indigenous Peoples get free, unlimited money and harvesting rights in Canada.

The Fleurs de Lys: an image associated with the French-Indian war, a symbol used by Louis Riel’s provisional government. The Fleur de Lys was a symbol of resistance to the Hudson Bay Company and to British colonization.

Studio_20180920_105951

In what should be seriously examined as an affront to all Métis, the artist misuses the Fleurs de Lys, a symbol close to the heart of every Métis with French ancestry as well as every First Nation  who held alliances with France.

S.he makes it about how Québécois identity is not compatible with Indigenous identity and reduces the history of Indigenous Peoples to British colonial rule.

Last but not least, the red nose. Symbolism of the drunk native. Reducing to a stereotype the blood quantum theory at the basis of the Indian act.

Studio_20180921_122252

One can assume the image content displays that whatever DNA is left in a mixed-blood native individual is a genetic leftover of generational alcohol dependency. The drunken Indian stereotype, one of the most harmful discriminatory tropes associated with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, seemingly is what remains during Whitewashing, all cultural traits diminish and are lost yet only the worst stereotype remains, carrying forward to future generations.

I’m sure I’m missing a few more imageries in this egregious art piece. I’ve relied on the keen eye of a few Métis and First Nation artists (who wish to remain anonymous).

Readers may or may not agree on the definitions of Indigenous identity.  These are important, crucial discussions that should not be influenced by White academia, in my opinion, no more than the criteria that states community acceptance be dictated by its Own People and not by the Settler’s governments.

We owe it to ourselves to speak out. We need to do it for our grandchildren’s grandchildren; those not yet born, for whom we hold land, traditions and culture.

The image has been made public and no copyright infringement is intended during this artistic critique and study of this work. 

Culling the Indians: A Timeline

Everybody tends to refer to 1876 as the benchmark of Canada’s legacy of colonialism. But the intent to terminate Indigenous rights began 103 years prior to the Indian Act.

Here’s the timeline:

1763: The Royal Proclamation. Proclaimed as the “Indian Magna Carta“. It guaranteed certain rights and protections. It established how Britain could acquire lands.

1850: An Act for the better protection of the Lands and Property of the Indians in Lower Canada. Included are all descendants of such people, non-Indians who “intermarried with such Indians,” people whose parents were considered Indians, and “all persons adopted by them”

1857: An Act to Encourage the Gradual Civilization of the Indian Tribes in the Province was passed by the fifth Parliament of the Province of Canada. Any Indian who can read or speak English or French, has no debts and is of good character becomes considered as a “legal Person” and “civilized” in the eyes of the British government.

1869: An Act for the Gradual Enfranchisement of Indians, the Better Management of Indian Affairs, and to Extend the Provisions of the Act. This further restricted definition of who was regarded a Indian. Only persons of one quarter Indian blood could be acknowledged Indian.

1870: The Manitoba Act.  Individuals residing in the vicinity of present-day Winnipeg were offered Scrip, a promissory note giving each individual a private ownership of 64 hectares in exchange of their Indian land title.

1876: The Indian Act. Meant to consolidate all the previous ordinances aiming to terminate First Nations culture in favour of assimilation into Euro-Canadian society. Much of the Act pertaining to identity and the exclusions based on gender have since been repealed and the act has gone through several amendments.

Any descendants of the people who became excluded by any of these laws remain victims of historic injustices as a result their colonization. We are prevented from exercising, in particular, our right to development in accordance with our own needs and interests and denied our right to self-determination.