Nicholas Montour: first Indigenous member of Quebec’s National Assembly

The Quebec National Assembly must change its description of the first Indigenous representative, Nicholas Montour:

They have bleached his identity:

Source: http://www.assnat.qc.ca/fr/deputes/montour-nicholas-4543/biographie.html

Biography

“Probably born in the United States, in 1756, and baptized on October 31, 1756, in the Dutch Church of Albany, in the colony of New York, son of Andrew (Henry) Montour, Indian Agent and Interpreter, and his second wife, Sarah Ainse (was later a shopkeeper).

Trained as a clerk in the fur trade, most notably for Joseph Frobisher in 1774. He stayed in the West for many years and then, around 1792, settled in Montreal. Was a shareholder of the North West Company. Purchased in 1794 the Distillery Company of Montreal; also invests in real estate and real estate in Montreal, in the seigneuries and in the townships. In 1799, moved to Pointe-du-Lac, near Trois-Rivières. He was a justice of the peace.

Elected Deputy for Saint-Maurice in 1796; generally supported the Party of Bureaucrats. Not represented in 1800. Admitted in 1790 to the Beaver Club of Montreal.

Died in the lordship of Pointe-du-Lac, on August 6, 1808, at the age of 51 or 52 years. Buried in the Protestant cemetery of Trois-Rivières, August 8, 1808.

Had married Geneviève Wills, daughter of Meredith Wills, merchant, and Geneviève Dunière, on February 17, 1798, in Montreal’s Christ Church.

Father-in-law of Charles-Christophe Malhiot. Nephew by marriage of Louis Dunière and Pierre Marcoux.

Source: DBC.

Date of update of biography: May 2009″

Nicholas is actually the son of Sarah (Sally) Ainse, Oneida Nation diplomat, and Sattellihu Andrew Montour, a prominent interpreter and negotiator in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The great-grandparents of Nicholas Montour were Marie Mite8agami8k8e of the Algonquin Nation and Pierre Couc, from the small mission to the Pachirini Trois-Rivières fiefdom.

This Indigenous man, described in his day as Métis, made his fortune in the fur trade and was a shareholder of the North West Company.

80 years after the small mission granted to the Sachem Pachirini of the Algonquin Nation was removed from the Indigenous Peoples, Nicholas chose to use his fortune to buy a seigneury at Pointe du Lac, near Trois-Rivières, where he built houses, “at his own expense and on land owned by him, provide refuge of wandering and vagabond savages” (HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF YAMACHICHE BY ABBE N. CARON PRIEST, CHANOINE, CURÉ OF MASKINONGÉ, 1892.)

Nicolas was justice of the peace and deputy for the great county of Saint-Maurice, which at the time covered the entire territory from Berthierville to Batiscan.

The Montour family remained responsible until the abolition of the seigneurial regime in 1855.

Many of his descendants are recognized members of the Manitoba Métis Nation:

The National Assembly of Quebec must modify the description of this Great Man to celebrate the identity of the first Indigenous MNA in Québec.

A brief story of Élisabeth Couc, who became known as Isabelle Montour.

Translated from an article entitled “De remarquables oubliés – Isabelle Montour“, published by Radio-Canada in November 22, 2016.

A woman of rare intelligence and great beauty, Isabelle Montour is a prominent figure in the young history of the United States.

Élisabeth Couc was born in 1667 at the fiefdom of Algonquin Sachem Pachirini in Trois-Rivières. Her mother Marie Mite8ameg8k8e is Algonquin. Her father, Pierre Couc, from Cognac, is one of the first settlers.

In 1676, the family moved to Saint-François, on the other side of the river from Trois-Rivières. In 1679, Jeanne, the eldest child, was raped and killed by a man called Rattier, an employee of Lord Jean Crevier.

This tragedy illustrates the Settler’s disregard for the Métis. Elizabeth is 12 years old and she will never forget the incident.

From Couc to Montour

It is Elizabeth’s brother, Louis, who adopts the name of Montour when baptizing his children. In 1687, Elizabeth became Isabelle and she married Joachim Germaneau, a much older coureur des bois. Her sisters also marry coureurs des bois. The men know each other and do business together.

A desired woman

In 1692, Isabelle Germaneau and her two sisters moved to the Michillimackinac area, the strategic post between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, then ruled by Lamothe-Cadillac. In 1693, Isabelle’s husband disappears in the woods: she is widowed at 26 years old. Isabelle is very beautiful and leads a libertine life. Lamothe-Cadillac had her arrested and returned to Quebec.

A sparkle

In Quebec, Isabelle Montour is kidnapped by an Indian chief Ottawa, Outoutagan, a very handsome man, who brings her back to Michilimackinac. They marry. It is from this moment, in 1697, that Isabelle becomes an interpreter: she speaks Algonquin, Huron and Iroquois, which is unique. Around 1701, she separated and married a French soldier: she became La Téchenet and moved to Detroit.

The beginning of a saga

Étienne de Maubourg, who came from France to inspect the Cadillac colony, becomes Isabelle’s new lover, who is nearly 40 years old. Meanwhile, Louis Montour fur trade with the English who want to break to the west. He is very powerful. In Detroit, many people desert to follow him, including Isabelle and Etienne.

Maubourg had an affair with a married woman, Madame Tichenet, known as “La Chenette”, at Fort Pontchartrain. After his desertion in 1706, the couple met up and lived among a group of deserters on an island in Lake Erie

The French go after them. They do not find them, but their heads are priced.

In 1709, Louis Montour was murdered by Private Joncaire on the orders of Governor Vaudreuil.

A clan mother

Isabelle takes over from her brother. After having entrusted her daughter to her sisters in Trois-Rivières, she returned to Albany. She moved to Iroquois territory. She becomes accepted by the Oneida Nation and definitively adopts the name of Montour. She marries the chief Karontowa:nen, known also as Robert Hunter, of whom she is very in love. She is a diplomat who participates in all major conferences. Despised by the French, she is greatly respected by the English. She perpetuates the legend of her brother Louis.

Descendants of Marie Mite8ameg8k8e (click to enlarge)

A big liar

During her old age, her son Andrew manages to get her a big stone house. She receives a lot and likes to tell her life, but by inventing all sorts of stories! That’s why there are passages that remain unknown in this unusual life. Isabelle Montour died in 1751, at the age of 85.

She left a large Métis descent named Montour.

At the beginning of the story

In 1670, the population of New France was barely 6,700 people against 120,000 in New England. The Hudson’s Bay Company has just been created under the influence of Médard Chouart des Groseilliers and Pierre-Esprit Radisson. In 1676, the defeat of the Indians in New England gave European settlers control of the North American coast.

Epilogue

In 1850, in Pennsylvania, in memory of Madame Montour and her descendants, Montour County was created in the Susquehanna Valley named in honor of Madame Montour. In the United States, there are, in New York State, the Montour Falls and the city of Montour.

Meanwhile

In 1679: Cavelier de la Salle explores the Great Lakes region. Then he goes down the Mississippi River. He takes possession of Louisiana in the name of France.
In 1863: William Penn signs a peace treaty with the Delaware Indians.
In 1686: Pennsylvania attracts many German and French Protestants who chose exile after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
In 1691: a far cry from virginia condemns to banishment any individual who is married to a black man, a mulatto or an Indian.
In 1699: the first permanent French colony is established in Louisiana.

References and bibliography:

Madame Montour and her time, by Simone Vincens, published by Hébert publications.

Mrs. Montour, White Queen of the Iroquois, by George G. Struble, published at Lebanon Valley College.

Pachirini, Mite8meg8kwe, Couc, Lafleur and their offspring

Pachirini, an Algonquin appears as a young warrior wounded who was cared for by Jeanne Mance at the Hôtel-Dieu in Montréal in March of 1643.

He was baptized on April 2, 1643 in Montréal by Father Imbert Duperon. He was given the Christian name of Charles. One of the witnesses was Jeanne Mance.

His fellow tribesmen left for Trois-Rivières. Charles lived here for some time with the two Jesuits of the post and led them to explore the shore that was later to become Laprairie (a Jesuit mission). He rejoined his people at Trois-Rivières and, prior to 1648, became the captain of the Christian Algonquins, even during the life-time of TESSOUEHAT.

Sachem Pachirini was Chief of the Weskarini Band of the Algonkin Tribe. He was given a Fiefdom in Trois-Rivières. Governeur-general Montmagny had actually given him, for the use of the Algonquins, a plot with a frontage of four perches and a depth of eight, next to that of the Jesuits where the church was to be built. Governeur-general D’Ailleboust enlarged it and the land was called Pachirini’s fief, which is now the Place d’Armes.

Weskarini was an Algonquian tribe that lived on the north side of Ottawa river below Allumettes Island (Morrisson’s Island), Québec, with the people of which they appear to be closely associated in the Jesuit Relations.

They were known as Petite Nation des Algonquins, Little Nation of the Algonkin.”

The Weskarini Band also known Algonkin Proper, La Petite Nation, Little Nation, Ouaouechkairini, Ouassouarini, Ouescharini, Ouionontateronon (Huron word), Petite Nation were originally localed on the north side of the Ottawa River along the Lièvre and the Rouge Rivers in Québec.

Known variously as: Algoumequins de l’Isle, Allumette, Big River People, Gens de l’Isle, Honkeronon (Huron word), Island Algonkin, Island Indians, Island Nation, Kichesippiriniwek, Nation de l’Isle, Nation of the Isle, and Savages de l’Isle. Main village was on Morrison’s (Allumette) Island.”

It appears from PRDH documents that Pachirini had two wives. In any case, he fathered several children with two Algonquin women: Marie 8KI8TIABAN8K8E (Oukioutiabanoukoue – French spelling) and SEHAM8 (Sehamou).

One of my ancestors, Marie Mite8meg8kwe, aka MITOUAMEGOUKOUE (French spelling (pronounced: mee-tee-wa-mee-gou-kwee) was born around 1631-1632 in the “Nations des Ouionontateronon”(Huron word for Weskarini Band of the Algonkin Tribe), in the area between the Ottawa and the St-Maurice rivers in Québec.

She was baptized on November 6th, 1650 in Montréal.

Latin transcription  Anno D[omini] 1650 ego ide[m] baptizavi Mariam Mite8ameg8k8e nunc Kakesik8k8e dictam uxore[m] Asababich. Matrina fuit Maria uxor Lepine. 6 Novemb[ris]  Traduction française  En l'an du Seigneur 1650, moi, le même (Claude Pijart de la Société de Jésus, desservant de cette paroisse), j'ai baptisé Marie Mite8ameg8k8e maintenant dite Kakesik8k8e, épouse d'Asababich. La marraine fut Marie, épouse de Lepine. (Fait) le 6 novembre.  English Translation

Latin transcription Anno D[omini] 1650 ego ide[m] baptizavi Mariam Mite8ameg8k8e nunc Kakesik8k8e dictam uxore[m] Asababich. Matrina fuit Maria uxor Lepine. 6 Novemb[ris] Traduction française En l’an du Seigneur 1650, moi, le même (Claude Pijart de la Société de Jésus, desservant de cette paroisse), j’ai baptisé Marie Mite8ameg8k8e maintenant dite Kakesik8k8e, épouse d’Asababich. La marraine fut Marie, épouse de Lepine. (Fait) le 6 novembre. English Translation “In the year of Our Lord 1650, I, the same [Claude Pijart of the Society of Jesus], have baptized Marie Mite8ameg8k8e, now named Kakesik8k8e, the wife of Asababich. The godmother was Marie, wife of Lepine. [Executed] the 6 of November.

She, along with other members of the Weskarini tribe, lived in the Fiefdom Pachirini (today called Place d’Armes), in Trois-Rivieres.

She, along with other members of the Weskarini tribe, lived in the Fiefdom Pachirini (today called Place d’Armes), in Trois-Rivieres.

Marie caught the eye of the soldier-farmer, Pierre Couc dit Lafleur, who had purchased land and had established a farm in Trois-Rivieres.

Pierre had learned the Algonquin language and frequently served as an interpreter between the colonists and the Native Americans. Marie Mite8ameg8kwe had taken an interest and enjoyed his frequent visits to her village.

Pierre was 30 years old; Marie was an orphan and a widow who had lost two children. They married five winters (16 April 1657) after her family had been taken from her by the Agniers (Mohawks). The Jesuit priest, Father Paul Ragueneau officiated at this Christian-Algonquin marriage.
Their 1st child, Jeanne was born and baptized that year (1657). Pierre had purchased land from the Trottier brothers, enough to build a house and a small garden. He hired himself our as a laborer for Barthelemy Bertaux, ironsmith. Pierre and Marie had problems during those first years. Loans were reclaimed. Pierre injured himself and had enormous medical costs. He lost his employment as an ironsmith.

Two years after their marriage (15 Oct 1659), Pierre commissioned his friend Notary Severin Ameau to draw up a Marriage Contract to insure that his wife and children would be rightful heirs to his property.

That same year, Marie was pregnant with their 2nd child. Their son was born in the fall of the year and baptized as Louis.

The Agniers began their attacks once more. Pierre decided, two years later (1661) to move his family to Cap-de-la Madeleine where he had bought 4 arpents (acres) of land on the west bank of the river. This was an agricultural community where crops grew well and family life was better than at a trading post like Trois-Rivieres. Pierre built his house near the windmill and erected a palisade around it.

Marie Angelique, 3rd child of Pierre and Marie was born the year after the Couc family had moved to their new community (1662).

Two years later (1664), the 3rd daughter, Marguerite was born and baptized.
The quiet peace was again disturbed by Agniers raids. Over the next 5 years, the new governor convinced France to send soldiers, the Carignan Regiment, to finally quell the Iroquois attacks. Finally, a peace treaty was signed in the summer (1667) For the next 16 years, it was an era of calm and prosperity for everyone.

Elizabeth, the 5th child, was born and baptized that summer of the peace treaty, when the Iroquois finally renounced their domination of the Saint Lawrence valley.

Marie continued instructing her brood in the Algonquian language and culture; Pierre taught his children French and his heritage; and the Jesuits taught the children to read and write.

Over the next 6 years, two more children were born in the Couc family: Marie Madeleine and a son, Jean Baptiste.

During this time, the atmosphere in Cap-de-la Madeleine had begun to change dramatically. With the departure of the Jesuits in 1666, the Cap became contaminated by the illegal traffic of alcohol. On 10 Nov 1668, the sovereign Council granted permission for the legal sale of alcohol, even to the Natives.

The change in atmosphere undoubtedly prompted Pierre and Marie to move their family to the seigniory of Jean Crevier, in the Ile-de-Fort, which would eventually be known as St. Francois-du-Lac.

Jean Crevier had begun to distribute land grants in the fall of 1673. Marie must have been very proud of her husband, as one of the first five signers of a contract. Crevier had begun to clear the land, had built a village mill and had established justice for this seigniory. There was a poll tax system where a person paid for a right to farm and obtain 3 to 5 arpents (acres) in frontage by 30 to 40 in depth. The only charge was to leave the fourteenth milling as grinding costs.

There is no doubt that these favorable conditions prompted Pierre and Marie to decide to move their home to the other side of the river. Because of his revenues from land at Trois-Rivieres and Cap-de-la-Madeleine, the former soldier-peasant became a well-to-do land owner at St. Francois-du-Lac.

By the work of his hands during 15 years, Pierre Couc had the right to show justifiable pride in his home and land.

Life at St. Francois-du-Lac was very different than that at Trois-Rivieres and the Cap. The first 3 children had learned to read and write because the Jesuits took charge of teaching the basics. In St Francois there was total isolation. There were only traveling missionaries who came sporadically to administer the sacraments.

Marie Mite8meg8kwe’s quiet life was shattered in the fall of 1679 by the assault and death of her daughter, Jeanne. Marie’s husband had been wounded in coming to the rescue of his daughter. Jeanne’s assailant, Jean Rattier, was sentenced as a murderer. For the Couc family, life was not the same after the tragic loss of their daughter and the lengthy justice process. Pierre was a man of character, he respected the law and expected others to do so also. Justice had been carried out, but not to his satisfaction.

For the Couc family, life was not the same after the tragic loss of their daughter and the lengthy justice process. Pierre was a man of character, he respected the law and expected others to do so also. Justice had been carried out, but not to his satisfaction.

Marie and Pierre continued to see their family grow and become adults with a succession of marriages.

Angelique married Francois Delpee St.Cerny dit Belcourt. He was 35 years old and she was 20 years old. In the summer (30 Aug) 1682, they married and established a home on 12 arpents (acres) of land in St-Francois-du-Lac. They had 5 children.

Louis first married according to the Indigenous culture, a young woman from the Sokoki Nation named Madeleine (1681). This marriage was not recognized by the Catholic Church.

His first son, Francois, was listed as a natural child on baptismal certificate. Louis later married Jeanne Quiquetig8k8e in the winter of 1684.

Marie Madeleine married Maurice Menard dit Fontaine, the son of wheelwright Jacques Menard, They were married before the end of the year 1684.

Elizabeth married Joachim Germanau/Germano in the spring of 1684, at the same time as her brother Louis. She was also known as Isabelle. She was 17 and Joachim, who had arrived in 1665 with the Carignan Regiment, was in his forties. Germano had been a trader with the Indians for pelts, loading them on canoes to transport back to the colony.

During the winter of 1687, the French invaded the Seneca territory (one of the Iroquois Five Nations). A mediocre victory by the French only incited the summer raids of vengeance ravaging the banks of the Saint Lawrence. There was not one single fortified place to resist the enemy. Each seigniory was ordered to build a fort. Crevier received the help of the troops to build his fort. The village of Saint Francois was secure the following winter; the villagers followed their normal life. The summer of 1688, smallpox created havoc; the Mohawks forced themselves into Sorel, Saint Francois and Riviere-du-Loup (Louiseville). there were not many massacres, but the raids were enough to put fear in the inhabitants.

Elizabeth/Isabelle had been given land in Trois-Rivieres and settled there with a generous dowry from her father. Marie never learned to read and write. When she served as a witness to her daughter Isabelle/Elizabeth’s wedding, her mother simply affixed her mark-a totem of a bird to the marriage contract.
Marguerite married three times:

  1. Jean Gauthier dit Delisle, (b. 1632) who died in L’Assomption in 1683, shortly after their marriage
  2. Jean Fafard, (1657- Detroit 1702) Married in the winter of 1688 in Sorel, because there still was not a chapel at St.Francois-du-Lac.
  3. Michel Massé, (1671-1730)

Louis adoped the surname Montour. He had hired himself out to become a beaver hunter. He joined his two brothers-in-law Germano and Fafard who were experts in this field. The three men were on their return home during the following summer of 1689 when the massacre of Lachine, near Montreal spread its terror among the families. In November, St. Francois was attacked; the Iroquois did not attack the fort, but they killed two inhabitants and with flaming arrows burned the newly constrected chapel.

In 1690 Pierre died. Marie and Pierre had been married for 37 years and had combined two cultures into one unique way of life. Pierre Couc, one of the hard working founders of French Canada, in the presence of his family and a large friendly crowd, was buried at the age of 63 years, beneath the ruins of the chapel of St. Francois where he would stay while the rest of his family took refuge in the Trois-Riviere fort.
Jean Baptiste, the youngest child, married an Indigenous woman named Anne around 1705 in Lachine. She was either Algonquin, Sokoki or Abenaki.

Marie Mitew8meg8kwe is remembered in history by a simple Christian record, written by Elisee Crey, Recollet Priest, Pastor of Trois-Rivieres, on her burial certificate as a “Sauvagesse”-“a female Native or Savage.”

The year 1699, the eighth of January was buried in the cemetery of the parish of Notre Dame of Trois-Rivieres Madame Lafleur, native widow of Mister Lafleur after having received all the sacrements in the manner of a true Christian-by my hand, a Recolet priest having carried out the pastoral duties, Father Elisee Crey, Recolet.

Many thanks to Norm Leveillée (www.leveillee.net), Suzanne Boivin Sommerville, Mindy Ruffin for this research.

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

Can you spare $1,000,000? The Economics of proving Identity

I woke up thinking about economies of scale and Indigenous Identity.

I think numbers of Métis is inflated for a financial reason.

Hear me out:

To have a Métis community recognized, its members must use the Courts.

Usually, it’s over Harvesting rights or territorial occupation of Crown lands.

p.s.: Crown lands should automatically be returned to First Nations and Inuit.

Usually, it’s initiated when someone is arrested for an “illegal hunt” or because their “hunting cabins” were being deemed to be illegally on Crown land.

Hence, begins a long and drawn-out path thorough the Court system – which will be garanteed to be fought right up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Each level of Court take hundreds of thousands of dollars to see through. The defendant(s) must hire lawyers, expert witnesses and cover all costs associated.

The expert witnesses need to provide empirical evidences of a community’s historical existence – prior to a vague Colonial concept of “effective control” which is a non-defined date different everywhere.

Each member of the community must provide a minimum of one vetted ancestral line linking to an “Indian” ancestor, complete with birth and mariage records.

Records are difficult to obtain (see my posts regarding the un-indexed records of my community) and cost upwards of 250$ each.

By the way, even Red river Métis need to have *just one* ancestral line verified. So did the Powley family.

Then, a community needs to show evidences that it continued to exist right up to the time of the “infraction”.

The Crown’s defense will attempt to prove that the community was actually *absorbed* into the ruling power, i.e. either English or French rule.

The way the Courts want it proven is as if some kind of “club” existed with membership roles, minutes and Annual General meetings.

All this costs LOTS of money. By the time a case makes its way through the court system, we’re looking at close to, and even over a million dollars.

There’s lots of stalling tactics. Because time equals more money.

Unless some corporation with a vested interest or some sort of benefactor is ready to foot the bill, members of a community must bear the costs.

Of course, the Courts seldom provide for these costs.

It’s so pernicious, and opens the door to communities becoming embroiled with resource-extraction corporations who offer “consulting”:

This list published by the government of Alberta is a compilation of recognized Indigenous research consultants – you’ll notice the usual big players such as Stantec and SNC Lavalin in there:

https://open.alberta.ca/publications/list-of-alberta-historic-resource-consultants

So, in places such as the Chicot, with no known marketable resources, the quest to have our community recognized, with only approximately 300 households who identify as Métis, we’d have to bear the costs ourselves.

$1,000,000 ÷ 300 = $3,333 per household

$3,333 per household to prove the existence of a Métis community.

That’s too much to bear for an economic region where the average household income is less than $50,000 per year.

So, the only option would be to form some sort of corporation or club, open up a Registry, and shill memberships at $50 bucks a card to provide income to cover the costs.

$1,000,000 ÷ $50 = 20,000 members.

There are only about 1,200 people who identify as Métis at the Chicot.

I’m a Financial Planner and those numbers just don’t make any sense.

$1,000,000 isn’t even an investment because there are no rewards ither than recognition at the end of decades of Court processes.

It will only lead to the government “recognizing” that the Chicot exists.

So, meanwhile, myself and other Chicot Métis will continue being referred to as fakes, fétis, cultural appropriators.

And the Colonial government rejoices.

Métis Nation Colonizers

So we spent multiple generations and gathered from everywhere all the names we were known to call ourselves and how other people referred to us.

We then looked for all the research to prove that all these names meant we were not First Nations but were tied by kinship with the Original People.

We chose one name – Métis – that represented us all and had that name recognized by the government and included in the Constitutional Act.

Then, one group, representing a small portion within a delimited geographic area, took all the government money. They use it to campaign against people who shared everything: the names we call ourselves, the research to prove those names and the success in the recognition of the name.

That group trademarked the name Métis and also kept all the other names we called ourselves.

They tell you it’s about White people appropriating Indigenous identity.

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It’s not.

This group, and EVERY SINGLE OF ITS MEMBERS are now Colonizers. Anyone who participates, promotes, supports their actions are COLONIZERS.

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.

 

Three Kateri

Kateri Tekakwitha is an important, controversial Kanien’kehá:ka woman living in the early days of Colonization.

Kateri was a common name in these parts, it appears. But most of them were never elevated to the fame of Saint Kateri – Sainte Catherine in French. I highly recommend this piece from Canada’s History in their April/May 2014 edition (click for the article)

Much of Indigenous history was written by men; White men – mostly missionaries. I’ve previously mentioned reading some of the first books published about us – the “Relations de Jésuites”.

Reconnecting Indigenous women to the Nations they came is an arduous task- fitting puzzle pieces of three Settler languages – Latin, French and English  – several Indigenous languages, Nations who used no last names and lived semi and nomadic lifestyles and missionaries who named everything after Saints.

I feel it is a necessary exercise to find as much as I can about these grandmothers. History books rarely speak of the Indigenous grandmothers, great-aunts and cousins. Birth records offer scarce information about who they were, their community, nation, clan or kin. Meanwhile, their French, English, Scot or Orkneian partners and their male offspring often became famous – if only by their Voyageurs contracts with the fur trade.

I feel it is a necessary exercise to find as much as I can about these grandmothers – especially because my family’s oral history is so male-gendered-centric as to erase the very qualities of my Indigeneity.

At the Sillery Mission, many Nations coalesced, coming from afar to trade. Missionaries used the opportunity to introduce them to roman catholic teachings, convincing some to adopt the christian god. Eventually, First Nation women took Settler men as partners and the christian church recorded their unions, and the birth of their offspring.

Sometimes, missionaries wrote in French – sometimes they wrote in Latin. Retracing their steps becomes even more challenging:

For examples, here is the 1662 marriage record of my 8th great-grandmother – who was called Catherine La Huronne,  Catherine Annennontak – Anenontha  Anén:taks:

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For whatever reason, Catherine is portrayed as a tragic “Sauvagesse” who was married off as a child who had plucked her from a convent where she was abandoned after the tragic death of her father, Nicolas ARENDAKE and the disappeance of her mother Jeanne OTRIH8NDET.

Here’s the thing: there’s no FEU (term meaning dead parents) near their names, and no mention that Catherine is a MINOR. No matter what language a record is written in, those are ALWAYS indicated on marriage records.

Catherine wasn’t a child. Catherine wasn’t an orphan. Catherine’s parents chose to have her EDUCATED. Catherine could READ and could WRITE.

Catherine also bore more than the name spelled many ways. In this retranscription of the registers of the Sillery Mission, Catherine is called “Sylvestri:

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From Le Registre de Sillery (1638-1690), Léo-Paul HÉBERT, Presse de l’Université du Québec, p.199

June 4, 1666
Moi, Ludovic Nicolas de la société de Jésus, en acte solennel du rite de baptême dans la chapelle de Sillery, une fille née récemment du mariage de Jean Duran et Catherine Sylvestri(3) Huron. Parrain était Stephane LeTellier et marraine Marie Meseret. Marie Catherine fût le nom donné à cette fille.

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Catherine, Catharina gave birth to Marie Catharina – Kateri.

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In the Relations des Jésuites, people “disappeared” and were assumed either killed or kidnapped by “bad guys”. Jesuits seemed adept at writing a narrative to illustrate the fierceness of Nations they felt were threatening any plans of assimilation…

Marie Catherine disappeared from the history books, assumed dead or kidnapped. But Kateri actually went on to live a Onkwehonwehné:ha life, married to Kanien’kehá:ka man named Nikanerahtá:á. Their descendants live across Kaniatarowanenneh – I greet them everyday as the sun rises at the Eastern Door.

Niawen’kó:wá for your kindness, Istén:’a as you shared your ancestry with me. 

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All My Relations.

 

 

 

Would anyone ever dare write THIS?

The following is a Critical, Satiritical Comment of Settler Colonial construct of identity.

TUESDAY, 19 APRIL 2016
The Inuit Fantasy of Being ‘Indian’?:)

By Qallunette
Email: Qallunette@gmail.com
Website: http://www.Qallunette.com
Twitter: @Qallunette

This is a response to the piece which was published in Alberta Poliblog Monday, 18 ApriL, 2016 by Professor Daniel Leroux, and retrieved from http://albertapoliblog.blogspot.ca/2016/04/the-white-fantasy-of-being-indian-brief.html.

To illustrate the bias of the Writer and the agenda of exclusive Métis organizations, the author of the present piece simply interchanged Métis, metis and corresponding Indigenous community names with Inuit, inuit, Inuk, inuk and Inuit communities. ed: Inuk is and actual Indigenous word meaning “person“; Inuit means “many persons” or “People“.

It has been several days since the Daniels decision came down from the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), and not surprisingly, it is being welcomed by an incredible range of organizations and individuals. To be clear, I’m cautiously favourable to some of the decision’s likely impacts, but I want to take a moment to focus on the section that is getting the most attention among those organizations and individuals that I am familiar with given my research.

Let me begin with the following statement, offered by Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella on behalf of the court, which is being repeated over and over again by nascent “inuit” organizations a little bit all over: “’Inuit’ can refer to the historic Inuit community in Nunavut Settlements or it can be used as a general term for anyone with mixed European and Aboriginal heritage,” Abella wrote. “There is no consensus on who is considered Inuit, nor need there be. Culture and ethnic labels do not lend themselves to neat boundaries.”
The statement seems relatively inane, but taken to its logical conclusion – as these organizations and individuals wasted no time doing – it explicitly argues for a position that fulfills the always-appealing Inuit fantasy of being “Indian.”

In the immediate aftermath of the decision, Pam Palmater has explained the impacts well in, “Don’t partake in celebrations over new Supreme Court ruling on Inuit just yet”: “To my mind, the Daniels decision is less about reconciliation and more about erasure of Indigenous sovereignty and identity. It takes John Ralston Saul’s idea of ‘we are all Inuit people’ together with the newest Canadian slogan ‘we are all treaty people’ and opens the floodgates to every person in Canada claiming a long lost Inuk ancestor and asserting their identity and control over our lands and rights. It has the potential to effectively eliminate any real sovereignty or jurisdiction Indigenous Nations have over our own citizens and territories. It does not bolster Inuit claims, but instead confuses them. It does not address the discrimination faced by actual non-status Indians, but paints them with the Inuit “mixed identity brush.”

Indeed, demographic research in Québec has demonstrated that a significant majority of the descendants of 17th-century French settlers today have at least one Indigenous ancestor, likely from one of the 13 Indigenous women who married settlers prior to 1680. I am one of those descendants, who, due to intermarriage among French-Canadians for 11 generations, has multiple Indigenous ancestors. But keep in mind that having 2, 3, or 5 Indigenous ancestors in the 17th century or 10+ generations ago represents no more than 0.1-1% Indigenous ancestry, a fact borne out over and over again in both genealogical (family history) and genetic (DNA ancestry testing) research in Québec. – ed: This factoid is running contrary to the Esteemed Dr. Gérard Bouchard, Historian, Sociologist and writer actually from Quebec, Canada, affiliated with the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. His brother is Lucien Bouchard, founding member of the Quebec Sovereigntist movement. See Professor Bouchard’s article here: https://goo.gl/HDP8gp (translated via Google for Readers and Esteemed Unilingual Academia)

In fact, the same studies, conducted by Québécois researchers in French, strongly suggest that it’s still more likely that today’s French-descendant population have English ancestry and ancestry from another European ethnicity (e.g., German, Portuguese, Irish) than Indigenous ancestry. In my own ancestral history prior to 1700, I am related to the daughter of a German aristocrat who later became the proprietor of an infamous brothel in Montréal and to an English woman who migrated to New France with her French husband.
Of course, in today’s world, Inuit obsessively mark our long-ago Indigenous ancestry, often in order to claim Indigenous identity. It has become integral to Inuit strategies to dispossess Indigenous lands, as the days-old response to the Daniels case is making clear. The glee with which these new “inuit” groups are claiming a slew of “rights” and even territorial jurisdiction is breathtaking. What’s more, many of these organizations – for example, a couple of “inuit” organizations in NunatuKavut and the largest in Nunavik, Québec, – actively oppose Indigenous peoples today through a variety of innovative revisions to history and political claims. It’s disheartening to see these efforts come to fruition in the Daniels decision.

In, “The Supreme Court ruling on Inuit: A roadmap to nowhere,” a noted Inuk scholar laid out what’s at stake in the Daniels decision for the Inuit people, hours after the decision: “If Inuit identity really is simply about mixed aboriginal and non-aboriginal ancestry, can a distant ancestor located in an archival document or even a DNA test now serve as bases for adjudicating claims of Inuit identity rather than culture, community or link to the Inuit people? … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Thursday that the government of Canada plans to respect the Daniels decision and will work toward reconciliation – let’s hope that governments are clear on what it means to reconcile with historically rooted indigenous peoples rather than more recently identifying individuals.”

Without a doubt, the new “inuit” – who often openly admit to identifying as “inuit” either because they’re not accepted as Indigenous by those Indigenous peoples whose territories they inhabit and/or as a way to access Charter rights – are largely French-descendant people whose claims to Indigeneity must be challenged. While there are certainly parallel claims by peoples who have been unjustly disenfranchised by the Indian Act regime – and I am personally quite sympathetic to such claims – the new “inuit” employ the language of colonialism, violence, and victimhood as a symbolic weapon against Indigenous peoples.

I’ll leave you with this thought: under the SCC’s recent argument, upwards of 10 million descendants of the earliest French settlers now living in Rigolet, in Yellowknife, in Goose Bay, in Nain, and other locations, can be considered Inuit, simply because they have one Indigenous ancestor (often the same!) prior to 1700, a period in which no more than a few thousand French settlers lived in a dozen settlements along Northern rivers.
The SCC’s inability or unwillingness to adopt Indigenous forms of governance and self-determination – including when it comes to community membership and/or citizenship – in its own boundary-making exercise, speaks to its role as a colonial institution. I hope the ensuing conversation presents a coherent challenge to the white fantasy of becoming “Inuit” that Daniels has authorized.

capital M

Qallunette is an *actual* keeper of her family’s Oral History. As Métis from unceded Atikamekw Nation land of Nitaskinan, her grandparents did not let her forget her kinship. She grew up Métis with her parents in Lanaudière and Nunavut and currently resides at Tiohtià:ke unceded land.

Qallunette is neither Academia nor Polity, but grows increasingly irritated at its lateral violence while Indigenous Peoples attempt to Own Ourselves, and would like to see more effort on Decolonization of Academic spaces – or at a bare minimum, respectful discourse towards Indigenous communities who share land outside their own. Policing identity and belonging must be left to the communities who share common land.

If the Supreme Court of Canada does allow to do so, strange that Professor Leroux allow himself there from an external standpoint.
Whether Inuk, First Nation or Métis, it is our ties to the land that identify us – certainly not persons who are (or who have chosen) to self-identify as Easterners-White-With-Indigenous-Ancestor-Yet-White-Nevertheless-Pride.

Taima.

#Métis Ruling: So now what?

Yesterday was the Supreme Court Ruling about giving Thanks and acknowledgement to the people who sacrificed so much to get to the highest court in the land. For a plain language interpretation of the ruling, my friend Dr. Sébastien Malette, who helped the Métis Federation of Canada prepare their Factum for the cause, has taken the time to explain to me what the ruling means. Click here to see his take on it.

Today and henceforth, the hard work begins.

So now what?

This is where the Nation – or Community – comes to play.

Metis ruling

Nations AND CommunitiesPlural.

I refuse to wallow in negativity – it’s standing room only in there already. I have no desire , claim to fame or recognition because it’s not even close to being part of my wheelhouse. Notice: no PayPal button anywhere on my blog.

My community is Nitaskinan. My ties are tied to the land of my Indigenous ancestors. The home and hearth of my many First Nations ggggrandmothers. The Settler construct of ownership is not part of my wheelhouse either.

Treaty Métis (Otipemsiwak?) needs are different than Unceded-Land Métis (Abitawisiwak?). Even though some of us have indeed kinship connections, the land which claims us is as different as the harvest she gives to nourish us.

My community sits on Atikamekw land for which a Comprehensive Land Claim and Self-Government Negotiations currently being negotiated with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

My community may need to re-learn our Oral History. My community may need healing. My community may need Economic Development.

Settlers living on Atikamekw Land need Truth, Humility, Honesty, Wisdom, Respect, Courage and Love and implement all 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

My community will need to rekindle our kinship with the Atikamekw Nation and help our Community as Stewards of Nitaskinan.

Kwei. Qallunette nit icinikason!  Nitaskinan ni otcin. Ni mireriten!