Community connections between the Chicot and West Nipissing: “li Mitifs sont tissés serrés comme la Fléchée”

Up until the World Wars, people who left communities were oddities. People grew deep roots in their community; in the case of Métis communities, these roots even predate the arrival of European Settlers.

Voyageurs, well, were travelers – yet as we’ve seen in records, they came back, they kept ties with their kin and their communities. These connections survived through many generations, despite the difficulties in communication. The postal service was a lifeline between kin. Many pints of maple syrup made their way West while lots of Serviceberry Pellican (how us kids called Pemmican) made its way East.

Kin were remembered by nicknames, stories, songs and tall tales; as time passed, everything was embellished and exaggerated to keep the listener enthralled and ensure the story was passed down to the next generation. Yet, the tales stayed true enough that if you did meet the subject in question, you instantly recognized them and felt like you’d known them forever.

By the early eighties, which coincides when the beginning of modern technologies, most of our town folk who were the storytellers had left us. As time passed, the stories became more and more doubted and modern day amenities made the idea that it was possible to keep connected became seen as ludicrous. Funnily enough, before technology, we had no way of verifying these stories – yet we knew them to be true. Today, we’re programmed to see everything through the fake news lens.

It always give me a thrill me when someone who I don’t know personally, but with whom I share many kinship connections, shares stories we’ve both heard from different yet common sources.

Here is one case. This picture and story was posted by Mrs Viviane Roberge, who maintains a wonderful Facebook page about events past and present of the town of St-Gabriel de Brandon, where I was born.

Most of these names are all very familiar to me: although not direct ancestors, Celina Corriveau and Calixte Courchesne are the grandparents of my uncle, Rolland Desrochers. We are related through his wife, my aunt Jeanne Mathews.

I had the pleasure of spending many of Summer vacations with Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Rolland. Although they had moved down to Florida back in the 50s or 60s, they came back almost every Summer and stayed with my grandfather while they visited with their respective families. Uncle Rolland’s brother owned the garage in town and the family was well-known hotel and shopkeepers.Uncle Rolland’s family were seasoned travelers. Like many families from our community, they had been to many places, like the Voyageurs our ancestors all were. Uncle Rolland regaled us with stories of cousins they’d meet during their many travels in a succession of fancy home on wheels.Uncle Rolland’s grandfather Calixte Courchene had left St-Gabriel de Brandon several times, going as far South as Lowell, Massachusetts before setting roots West in the Temiskaming town of Lavigne, where Calixte passed away in 1940. His son Télesphore made sure that all of Calixte’s six wives were named in his burial record.CalisteCourchesnesepulcre

Télesphore Courchesne war born in St-Gabriel de Brandon in 1897, of Calixte’s second wife, Marie Louise Allard:telesphorecourchesnebirth

Telesphore Courchesne


Télesphore married Marie Anne Aubin in 1920. Himself recognized as a Knowledge Keeper by the Centre franco-ontarien de folklore: son, Narcisse, followed his father’s footsteps and became the region’s Knowledge Keeper. He published over a dozen books on the region of West Nipissing and is also co-founder of the Sudbury Area History and Genealogy Society. Having become an expert in this field, he helped several members of his community produce their family trees and obtain their Métis cards.

Narcisse Courchesne

     Until Mrs. Viviane Roberge posted in her group St-Gabriel de Brandon, d’une génération à l’autre, I had no idea of this Knowledge Keeper’s name, but I had heard stories of Uncle Rolland’s cousin who even made the trip all the way back to the Chicot to visit his father’s birthplace.I wish I knew this when I had the absolute privilege to visit the area at the invitation of members of Parliament Marc Serré of the riding of Sudbury and Paul Lefebvre of the riding of Nickel Belt back in the Summer of 2017!

mfc visit sudbury nickel belt 2017
Gathering of concerned MNO citizens and the Metis Federation of Canada, August 2017 from left: Robert Pilon, Saskatchewan Métis, President Johanne Brissette, Chicot river Métis, Treasurer Dr. Keen Savard, French river Métis, Consultant Marc Serré, MP for Sudbury Paul Lefebvre, MP for Nickel Belt

If you are related to Calixte, Télesphore and Narcisse and would like to chat about our communities, please drop me a line!



Baptêmes MITIF & MITIVE Baptisms


MARIE JOSEPH MITIVE  le quatre avril mil sept cent quatre vingt trois par moy, prêtre soussigné de l’agrément de monsieur le curé a été baptisée Marie Joseph, née aux pays d’en haut de père français et de mère Sauvagesse agée de onze ans et trois mois, présentée par le Sr Charles L’AVOINE CHEVALIER. Le parrain a été Mr. Henry Nicolas CATIN, curé de St-Cuthbert et la marraine a été Marie Joseph DÉNOMMÉE femme d’Étienne FRAPPIER qui a declaré ne savoir signer ainsi que le dit Charles L’AVOINE de ce requis.
the year 1860, september 7th by me, undersigned priest was baptized Michel, aged four years and three weeks and born in the Upper Country, of Michel Belhumeur Voyageur currently in this parish who presented himself and a mitive. The godfather Pierre Martin signed. The godmother Thérèse Charron -Payet declared not to be able to sign as well as the father of this (?) Pouget
MICHEL BELHUMEUR L’an mille huit cent six, le sept septembre par moi, prêtre soussigné a été baptisé Michel, agé de quatre ans et trois semaines et né aux paix d’en Haut de Michel BELHUMEUR Voyageur actuellement en cette paroisse qui a présenté lui-même et d’une mitive. Le parrain Pierre Martin a signé. La marraine Thérèse Charron -Payet a declaré ne savoir signer ainsi que le père de ce (?) Pouget


nineteen October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine by the undersigned priest, was baptized Marie-Angélique, three years old, mitive belonging to Louis GUIBEAU, son. The godfather was Antoine Guibeau and the godmother Guibeau who said they did not know what to sign. Pouget ptre
MARIE-ANGÉLIQUE MITIVE Le dix-neuf octobre mil sept-cent soixante dix neuf par moy prêtre soussigné a été baptisé Marie-Angélique agée de trois ans, mitive appartenant à Louis GUIBEAU fils. Le parrain a été Antoine Guibeau et la marraine Guibeau qui ont déclaré ne savoir signe de ce requis. Pouget ptre
On February 4th, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two by the undersigned priest was baptized CHARLOTTE MITIVE, aged about eight years, belonging to Charles LAVOINE dit CHEVALIER. The godfather was Jean-Baptiste COUTU and the godmother Marguerite LAVOINE dit CHEVALIER wife of Jacques LESAGE who declared not knowing how to sign this required. Pouget ptre
CHARLOTTE MITIVE Le quatre février mil sept cent quatre-vingt deux par moy prêtre soussigné a été baptisée CHARLOTTE MITIVE agée d’environ huit ans appartenant à Charles LAVOINE dit CHEVALIER. Le parrain a été Jean-Baptiste COUTU et la marraine Marguerite LAVOINE dit CHEVALIER femme de Jacques LESAGE qui ont déclaré ne savoir signer de ce requis. Pouget ptre
On September 29, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two by the undersigned priest was baptized LOUIS MITIF born in the Pays d'en Haut, aged three years owned by Louis THIVIERGE the godfather was Antoine CARDRON dit ST-PIERRE and the godmother Marguerite VAUDRY woman of Pierre ETHIER who declared not to know signed of this required - Pouget ptre
LOUIS MITIF Le vingt-neuf septembre mil sept cent quatre vingt-deux par moy prêtre soussigné a été baptisé LOUIS MITIF né au Pays d’en Haut, agé de trois ans appartenant à Louis THIVIERGE le parrain a été Antoine CARDRON dit ST-PIERRE et la marraine Marguerite VAUDRY femme de Pierre ETHIER qui ont déclaré ne savoir signé de ce requis – Pouget ptre
The third of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four by the undersigned priest, was christened NICOLAS, born in the upper country of a CANADIAN father and mother SAUVAGESSE belonging to NICOLAS MONTOUR resident in the said upper country, already three years old and presented by Joseph FAGNAN the godfather was Antoine DÉSROSIERS and the godmother Elizabeth PAGÉ who with the presenting declared not knowing to sign this (?).
NICOLAS MITIF MONTOUR Le trois octobre mil sept-cent quatre vingt quatre par moy prêtre soussigné a été baptisé NICOLAS, né aux pays d’en haut de père CANADIEN et de mère SAUVAGESSE appartenant à NICOLAS MONTOUR résident aux dits lieux d’en haut, déjà agé de trois ans et présenté par Joseph FAGNAN le parrain a été Antoine DÉSROSIERS et la marraine Elizabeth PAGÉ qui on avec le présentant déclaré ne savoir signer de ce (?enquis).
GUILLAUME MITIF L’an mil huit cent sept le quatre octobre par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisé GUILLAUME agé de six ans né aux pays d’en haut et présenté par Pierre MAILLOUX au nom de JEAN MCGILIVRAY. Le parrain Joseph BONDY écuyer et la marraine Marie Stuar Mcferlan ont signé et le présentateur
The year 1832, the tenth of August, by I, the undersigned priest, was a Baptist, about twelve years old, born in the upper country of Antoine COLIN and a SAUVAGESSE, presented by Joseph Ambroise Olivier, farmer of this parish to whom Colin said it entrusted him for his Christian education. His godfather Pierre OLIVIER could not sign. The godmother Rosalie DEROSIER wife of the aforementioned Joseph Ambroise OLIVIER to sign with him * baptized Jean;
JEAN-BAPTISTE MITIF L’an mil huit cent-six le dix aoust par moi prêtre soussigné a été *baptiste agé d’environ douze ans né aux pays d’en haut d’Antoine COLIN et d’une SAUVAGESSE, présenté par Joseph Ambroise Olivier, cultivateur de cette paroisse a qui le dit Colin l’a confié pour son éducation chrétienne. Son parrain Pierre OLIVIER n’a pu signer. La marraine Rosalie DEROSIER épouse du susdit Joseph Ambroise OLIVIER a signer avec lui *baptisé Jean;
MAXIME MITIF L’an mil huit cent sept le quatre décembre par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisé Maxime agé de quatorze ans, né aux pays d’en haud de père CANADIEN et de mère SAUVAGESSE, présenté par Alexis PIET au nom de Louis DUCHÊNE dit LAPRAIRIE. Le parrain Augustin COTTIN et la marraine Marie-Joseph PARENT épouse du dit Cottin ont signé.
PIERRE MITIF L’an mil huit cent sept le trois novembre par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisé PIERRE agé de douze ans né aux pays d’en haut d’un père EUROPÉEN et d’une mère SAUVAGESSE, présenté par PIERRE MAILLOUX marchand Voyageur au nom de WILLIAM MCGILIVRAIE (Hgt?) Le parrain CHARLES PIET n’a su signer; la marraine MARIE ANNE HUBARDEAU GRENET a signé avec le présentateur.
ANTOINE, MARIE-JOSEPH, ROSALIE MITIFS L’an mil huit cent huit le vingt-deux octobre par moi, prêtre soussigné ont été baptisés ANTOINE, agé de six ans, MARIE-JOSEPH, agée de deux ans et ROSALIE, agée d’un an, nés aux pays d’en haut de père CANADIEN et de mère SAUVAGE, présentés par François MORIN de cette paroisse arrivant des pays susdits. Le parrain et la marraine du garçon ont été AMABLE CHARON et GENEVIÊVE COTTIN PIET, laquelle a signée; ceux de MARIE-JOSEPH ont été ANTOINE MATTHE et THÉRÊSE ROBILLARD MATTHE qui n’on su signer ainsi que PIERRE GALLIEN (sp?) et MARIE-JOSEPH LEBLANC, parrain et marraine de ROSALIE et le présenteur de ceux-ci
JEAN-BAPTISTE MITIF L’an mil huit cent huit le vingt-neuf février moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisé JEAN-BAPTISTE, agé de douze ans né aux pays d’en haut d’un père CANADIEN et d’une mère SAUVAGESSE, présenté par FRANÇOIS MANDEVILLE. Le parrain AMABLE CHARRON et la marraine MARIE-JOSEPH LAURENCE ENAUD ont déclaré ne savoir écrire.
ANNE-LOUISE MITIVE L’an mil huit cent neuf le vingt huit novembre par moi, prêtre soussigné a été baptisée ANNE-LOUISE agée de six ans née aux pays d’en haut de père CANADIEN et mère SAUVAGESSE présenté ici par Jean-Baptiste FALARDEAU qui ne sait écrire. Le parrain Louis Marie OLIVIER écuyer et la marraine Marie-Anne FALARDEAU qui ont signé.
JEAN-BAPTISTE MITIF L’an mil huit cent onze le trente septembre par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisé JEAN-BAPTISTE agé de trois ans né aux pays d’en haut de père CANADIEN et mère SAUVAGE, présenté par Jean-Baptiste DUBORD dit LATOURELLE. Le parrain Joseph DUBORD et la marraine Marie-Angélique GILBERT ont déclaré ne savoir écrire, ainsi que le présentateur
ANNE MITIVE ANGLO-CANADIENNE SAUVAGE L’an mil sept cent quatorze le vingt six juillet je soussigné prêtre ay supplie les cérémonies du baptême à une fille imbécile agée de dix ans, l’ayant ondoyé à la maison en danger de mort. Elle est née aux pays d’en haut de père ANGLO-CANADIEN et de mère SAUVAGE. Elle a été nommée ANNE par mtre Jean-Baptiste MCBEAN notaire public et GENEVIEVE PAPIN YZERHOFF ses parrain et marraine qui ont signé. SUSANNE MITIVE L’an mil huit cent quatorze le vingt six juillet par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisée SUSANNE MATHILDE agée de huit ans née aux pays d’en haut de père ANGLO-CANADIEN et de mère SAUVAGE. Le parrain Louis Joseph GAUTHIER et la marraine FRANCOISE BERGEVIN DELIGNY ont signé. MAGDELEINE MITIVE L’an mil huit cent quatorze le vingt six juillet par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisée MAGDELEINE agée de cinq ans née aux pays d’en haut de père ANGLO-CANADIEN et de mère SAUVAGE le parrain François KNAIGT et la marraine Marie Charles MCKAYE-JACQUES ont signé.


ANGELIQUE MITIVE L’an mil huit cent quinze le seize octobre par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisée MARIE-ANGÉLIQUE agée de cinq ans née aux pays d’en haut et présentée par Louis FALARDEAU. Le parrain Jean-Baptiste FALARDEAU et la marraine Claire PETIT-SAVIGNAC ont déclaré ne savoir écrire ainsi que le présentateur de se enquis.
ALEXIS MITIF MCKAY Le trente et un juillet mil sept cent quatre vingt six par moy prêtre soussigné a été baptisé ALEXIS MITIF présenté par Ignace MCKAYE Voyageur qui le reconnait pour sien. Le parrain a été Jean-Baptiste PIET qui a déclaré ne savoir signer et la marraine Marguerite FORTIN femme de Joseph LECLAIR qui a signé avec le père. GENEVIEVE MITIVE MCKAYE Le trente et un juillet mil sept cent quatre vingt six par moy prêtre soussigné a été baptisé GENEVIÈVE agée de trois ans et cinq mois MITIVE présentée par Ignace MCKAYE Voyageur qui la reconnait pour la sienne. Le parraine a été Prisc (?) FERLAND et la marraine Marie-Joseph DUBORD femme de Pierre DOSTALAIRE qui ont signé avec le père.

L’an mil huit cent quinze le trente septembre par moi prêtre soussigné a été baptisée MARIE HENRY née aux pays d’en haut de père CANADIEN et de mère SAUVAGE au rapport de François PIET habitant de MASKINONGÉ et présentée par lui. Le Parrain Augustin NAUD et la marraine (?) GERMAIN ont déclaré ne savoir écrire ainsi que le présentateur.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Update on Métis baptisms absent from recorded History

This post is an update of my December 28, 2018 post which lists and provides original Métis baptisms.

There’s a claim that Québec’s study of its inhabitants has been thoroughly examined since 1966, when the Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH, Research Programme in Historical Demography) at the Université de Montréal undertook the exhaustive reconstruction of the population of Quebec from the beginnings of French colonization in the seventeenth century. This objective has been realized in the form of a computerized population register.
This basic information is complemented by various socio-demographic characteristics drawn from documents: socio-professional status and occupation, ability to sign his or her name, place of residence, and, for immigrants, place of origin. (direct quote from their website)

The PRDH continues to be an important reference tool used by genealogists, researchers and academics worldwide. Its claim to have computerized each and every baptisms, marriages and burials have directed the course of all modern-day theses on french colonization.

After more than 10 years of inquiry concerning the lack of inclusion of Métis baptisms in the parish of Ste-Geneviève de Berthier, I received a casual response from one of directors and founders of the PRDH, Professor Bertrand Desjardins:

Translation: Cf. the PRDH: The acts of the Métis have been raised like all the others, but we do not consider “Mitif” and “Mitive” are surnames. We add them to the Genealogical Dictionary when the father can be identified”

Two sentences. No official response from the group who purports to rely basically on exhaustive gathering of data from the parish registers of old Quebec. By systematic attribution of baptism, marriage, and burial certificates to the respective individuals – a “family reconstitution” made on the basis of names and family ties.

That’s all I received. Two casual sentences that say so much about patriarchy and erasure that plague the mindset of Academics.

How many such records have been excluded from the tool used by academics who study Indigenous Peoples who lived in the territory of “Nouvelle-France” prior to effective control and whose conclusions project the erasure of Indigenous Peoples and historic communities?

Nouveau conflit territorial entre Premieres Nation au Québec: mon opinion personelle en tant que Métis

Ici au Québec, les gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux ont à nouveau réussi à s’impliquer dans la gouvernance territoriale des peuples autochtones et ont réussi à se diviser pour conquérir.

Le gouvernement a transformé un traité de paix et d’amitié de 1760 entre la nation Wendat et les Britanniques en un conflit foncier territorial.
Voici le document en question:

“Ceci certifie que le chef de la tribu des Indiens Hurons, venu à moi au nom de sa nation, pour se soumettre à sa majesté britannique afin de faire la paix, a été reçu sous ma protection avec toute sa tribu; et aucun officier ou parti anglais ne doit les molester ou les interrompre en revenant à Lorette, et ils sont reçus dans les mêmes conditions, avec les Canadiens, être autorisés à faire librement de leur religion, de leurs coutumes avec la liberté de commercer avec les Anglais – recommandant aux officiers commandant les postes de les traiter avec bonté sous ma main à Longueuil, ce 5 septembre 1760.
Par ordre du général, John Cosman, adjut. Genr.

Je ne peux même pas imaginer les pertes en vies humaines et la terreur que la nation Wendat avait traversée pour parvenir à ce point de soumission, après plus d’un siècle de protection des Français.

Depuis des temps immémoriaux, bien avant l’arrivée des colons européens, les Premières nations Innu, Maliseet, Abenaki et Atikamekw ont vécu de façon continue sur le territoire de leurs ancêtres.

Historiquement, en ce qui concerne les zones de chevauchement, ils ont toujours été en mesure de partager et de gérer l’utilisation des terres de manière harmonieuse. Il appartient aux peuples autochtones de décider ce que nous voulons ou ne voulons pas sur leurs territoires.

En tant que peuple de contact post-européen, les Métis qui partagent les territoires doivent respecter le fait que les Premières Nations sont les premiers intendants de la terre et que nous devons suivre leurs conseils sur ces questions.

La population autochtone du Québec ne représente que 2,29% (1,43% si l’on exclut les Métis de la population autochtone totale); déjà moins de la moitié de la moyenne canadienne de 4,87% – (2016).

Nous séparer en groupes encore plus petits et distincts facilite leurs objectifs de division qui régissent depuis longtemps.

Pire encore: ils nous obligent à nous battre pour chaque morceau de terre nécessaire à la continuité de nos traditions. C’est l’enfer.

Nous sommes plus forts quand nous sommes unis.

My humble opinion for Métis in Québec, as we face a new territorial battle between First Nations.

Here in Quebec, the provincial and federal governments managed again to involve itself into Indigenous territorial governance and succeeded in its regular operation of dividing to conquer.

The government turned a 1760 Peace and Friendship Treaty between the Wendat Nation and the British into a territorial land dispute.
Here’s the document in question:

“This is to certify that the Chief of the Huron Tribe of Indians, having come to me in the name of his Nation, to submit to his Britannick Majesty, to make peace, has been received under my protection with his whole Tribe; and henceforth no English officer or party is to molest, or interrupt them, in returning to their settlement at Lorette, and they are received upon the same terms, with the Canadians, be allowed the free excursion of their Religion, their Customs with Liberty of trading with the English – recommending it to the Officers commanding the posts to treat them kindly given under my hand at Longueuil, this 5th day of September 1760.
By the General’s command, John Cosman, adjut. Genr.

I can’t even imagine the loss of lives and the terror the Wendat Nation had gone through to get to this point of submission, after more than a century of protection from the French.

“From time immemorial, well before the arrival of European settlers, the Innu, Maliseet, Abenaki and Atikamekw First Nations have lived continuously on the territories of their ancestors.

Historically, when it came to areas of overlap, they have always been able to share and manage land use harmoniously. It’s up to Indigenous Peoples to decide what we want or do not want in their territories.”

As a People of post-European contact, Métis who share the territories need to respect that First Nations are the the first stewards to the land and we need to follow their guidance on such issues.

The Indigenous population of Quebec is only 2.29% (1.43% if we exclude Métis from the total Indigenous population); already less than half of Canada’s average of 4.87% – (2016).

Separating us into even tinier, distinct groupings facilitates their longstanding goals of division to rule.
Even worse: they force us to fight each other for every piece of land necessary for the continuity of our traditions. It’s Hell.

We are stronger when we are united.

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:



“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.

Nicholas Montour: Premier député autochtone du Québec

L’assemblée nationale du Québec se doit de modifier sa description du premier représentant autochtone, Nicholas Montour:

Ils ont blanchi son identité.

Nicholas est le fils de Sarah (Sally) Ainse, diplomate de la Nation Oneida, et de Sattellihu Andrew Montour, un interprète et négociateur important en Virginie et en Pennsylvanie.

Les arrière-grands-parents de Nicholas Montour étaient Marie Mite8agami8k8e de la Nation Algonquine et Pierre Couc, de la petite mission au fief Pachirini Trois-Rivières.

Cet homme autochtone, décrit dans son temps comme étant Métis, a fait fortune dans la traite de la fourrure et fût un des actionnaires de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest.

80 ans après que la petite mission accordée au Sachem Pachirini de la Nation Algonquine a été retirée des autochtones, Nicholas a choisi utiliser sa fortune afin d’acheter une seigneurie à la Pointe du Lac, près des Trois-Rivières, où il a bâti des maisons, “à ses dépens et sur un terrain à lui appartenant, pour y réfugier des Sauvages errants et vagabonds” (HISTOIRE DE LA PAROISSE D’YAMACHICHE (PRÉCIS HISTORIQUE) — PAR — L’ABBE N. CARON PRÊTRE, CHANOINE, CURÉ DE MASKINONGÉ, 1892.

Nicolas fût juge de paix et député pour le grand comté de Saint-Maurice, qui à l’époque couvrait le territoire entier de Berthierville jusqu’à Batiscan.

La famille Montour demeura responsables de leurs censitaires jusqu’à l’abolition du régime seigneurial en 1855.

L’assemblée nationale du Québec se doit de modifier la description de ce Grand Homme afin de célébrer l’identité du tout premier député autochtone du 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.


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.


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 (, 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
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

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
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

Le calcul du coût d’une reconnaissance de l’identité métisse: trop cher, mais nécessaire?

Je me suis réveillé en pensant aux économies d’échelle et à l’identité autochtone.

Je pense que le nombre de Métis est gonflé pour une raison financière.

Voici pourquoi:

Afin qu’une communauté métisse soit reconnue, ses membres doivent avoir recours aux tribunaux.

C’est généralement pour faire face à des accusations relatives aux droits de récolte ou de l’occupation territoriale des terres de la Couronne.

En passant, les terres de la Couronne devraient automatiquement être restituées aux Premières Nations et aux Inuit.

En général, cela commence quand une personne est arrêtée pour «chasse illégale» ou parce que des «cabanes de chasse» étaient réputées être illégalement sur les terres de la Couronne.

C’est ainsi que débute un long parcours le système judiciaire – qui sera garanti se rendre jusqu’à la Cour suprême du Canada.

Chaque niveau doit être financé par des centaines de milliers de dollars. Le ou les défendeurs doivent engager des avocats et des témoins experts et assumer tous les coûts associés.

Les témoins experts doivent fournir des preuves empiriques de l’existence historique d’une communauté – avant la vague notion coloniale de «contrôle effectif», qui est une date non définie et différente partout.

Chaque membre de la communauté doit fournir au moins une lignée ancestrale validée reliant un ancêtre «indien», avec les enregistrements de naissance et de mariage.

Les documents civils sont difficiles à obtenir (voir ma publication concernant les registres de baptêmes non-indexés de ma communauté) et obtenir une généalogie complète avec ses documents coûte plus de 250 $ chacun.

À ce propos, même les Métis de la rivière Rouge doivent avoir *une* seule ligne ancestrale vérifiée. La famille Powley aussi.

Ensuite, une communauté doit démontrer des preuves de son existence jusqu’au moment de «l’infraction».

La défense poursuivra ses efforts pour prouver que la communauté était réellement “absorbée” par le pouvoir en place, c’est-à-dire par la gouvernance anglaise ou française du temps.

Les tribunaux veulent que cela soit prouvé comme s’il existait une sorte de «club» doté de rôles d’adhésion, de procès-verbaux et d’assemblées générales annuelles.

Tout cela coûte beaucoup d’argent. Au moment où une affaire est jugée auprès de tout le système judiciaire, nous estimons que la facture totale se situe à près d’un million de dollars, voire plus.

Il y a beaucoup de tactiques de blocage. Parce que le temps égale plus de frais d’avocats.

À moins qu’une société avec un intérêt acquis ou une sorte de bienfaiteur soit prêt à payer la facture, les membres d’une communauté doivent supporter les coûts.

Bien entendu, les tribunaux prennent rarement en charge ces coûts.

C’est tellement pernicieux et cela ouvre la porte à ce que les communautés s’entraînent avec des sociétés d’extraction de ressources qui offrent des services de consultation:

Cette liste publiée par le gouvernement de l’Alberta est une compilation de consultants en recherche autochtones reconnus. Vous remarquerez les grands acteurs habituels tels que Stantec et SNC Lavalin:

Ainsi, dans des endroits comme le Chicot, sans ressources commercialisables connues, la quête de la reconnaissance de notre communauté, avec seulement environ 300 ménages qui s’identifient comme Métis, nous devrions en supporter les coûts nous-mêmes.


$1 000 000 ÷ 300 = $3 333 par ménage

3 333 $ par ménage pour prouver l’existence d’une communauté métisse.

C’est un coût trop difficile à supporter pour une région économique où le revenu moyen des ménages est inférieur à 50 000 dollars par an.

Ainsi, la seule option serait de créer une sorte de société ou de club, d’ouvrir un registre et de choisir des abonnements à 50 dollars la carte pour générer un revenu permettant de couvrir les coûts.

$1 000 000 ÷ $50 = 20 000 membres.

Environ 1 200 personnes s’identifient comme Métis au Chicot.

En tant que planificateur financier, ces chiffres n’ont aucun sens.

Un million de dollars n’est même pas un investissement, car il n’y a aucune récompense autre que la reconnaissance à la fin de décennies de procédures judiciaires.

Cela amènera seulement le gouvernement à “reconnaître” l’existence du Chicot.

Alors, entre-temps, moi-même et les autres Métis Chicot continuerons de nous appeler des faux, des fétis, des appropriateurs culturels.

Et le gouvernement colonial se réjouit.

Fétis, 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:

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.