Bois-Brûlés! Sang Mélé!
Mais au fond de ce sang, j’ai des mots sauvages que j’entends encore, et des désirs qui marchent et qui vont bien au-delà de vos clôtures.
Élodie, dans La Dalle-des-Morts de F. A. Savard, 1965
Le 27 septembre 2017, le professeur de sociologie Darryl Leroux de l’Université Saint Mary’s a présenté une conférence à l’Université de Montréal, intitulée Le révisionnisme historique et l’autochtonisation : la création des « Métis de l’Est ». Le sujet de sa conférence, en lien avec ses travaux antérieurs, interroge l’existence des Métis des provinces de l’Est du Canada que Leroux accuse de fraude ethnique et d’intentions hostiles envers ce qu’il considère être les « vrais » Autochtones. En résumé, Leroux accuse les Métis des provinces de l’Est du Canada (et du Québec en…
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There are few historical events in our national story that solicit stronger opinions and create more debate than the disputes of 1870 and 1885 between the Métis in Western Canada and the Government of Canada. Various names refer to these two series of events, and their usage often reflects the loyalties, opinions and even biases of the user. Today, we see the application of such terms as rebellion, resistance, insurgency and disputes.
Louis Riel portrayed as a devil with angel wings, by Dale Cummings (MIKAN 3018796)
Arguably, the debate on the events of 1870 and 1885, Louis Riel, and the place of the Métis in our history and contemporary Canadian society has had an enduring effect on our national psyche. In March, 1885, an article published in The Globe of Toronto stated: “It is not given to every man to have caused two rebellions. In the history of…
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Auparavant mentionné, mes aïeux Jacques BRISSET et Louis DANDONNEAU étaient les détenteurs de la seigneurie:
Le nom Chicot a été documenté en 1860, lorsque Johann G. Kohl a décrit dans un passage de son livre: Kitch-Gami, Vie Parmi les Ojibwés Lac Supérieur dans lequel il raconte sa discussion en français avec un homme métis qu’il rencontrait lors de ses voyages:
En l’absence d’autres informations, Kohl et beaucoup après lui déduit que Chicot signifiait sa traduction française comme “souches mi-brûlées”, et associé avec le teint des Métis qu’il rencontrait.
Chicot, comme beaucoup de noms donnés aux Peuples Autochtones tels que Nipissing, Ahousat, Yellowknives, Mississaugas etc., est en fait un nom de lieu. Chicot est une rivière qui se jette dans l’archipel entre Trois-Rivières et Montréal, entre Berthier et Sorel à l’île Dupas.
La rivière Chicot, en amont, prend son départ entre St-Gabriel de Brandon et St-Didace court en direction Sud à travers les communautés de St-Cuthbert, Saint-Norbert et se décharge dans le Saint-Laurent à l’île Dupas. Il est l’un des nombreux cours d’eau utilisés par les Voyageurs, ayant connus sa navigation à partir de leurs famille des Premières Nations. Comme les îles et les villes voisines étaient devenues bondés de colons attirés par le poste de traite à proximité, les Métis et les Premières Nations pagayèrent leur chemin en amont et se construsirent des communautés le long de ses rives.
Il est remarquable de souligner les noms des communautés qui ont été utilisés par les Chicots lorsqu’ils s’installèrent dans les communautés le long de la rivière Rouge dans ce qui est devenu le Manitoba: «Brandon» et «St-Norbert».
Le Centre du patrimoine au Manitoba, gardien du patrimoine francophone et métis de l’Ouest canadien a récemment souligné que la municipalité de Taché, Manitoba a récemment reconnu l’importance de Saint-Cuthbert non seulement comme lieu d’origine de sa famille mais aussi comme lieu d’origine de plusieurs familles. Cliquez ici pour plus d’informations
Une Langue of à Nous: La genèse du michif, la langue crie mixte-française des Métis du Canada, Peter Bakker, Oxford University Press, 5 juin 1997
Autres lectures: (version française non-disponible – titres traduits à titre informatif seulement)
Kitchi-Gami: la vie parmi les Ojibway, Johann Georg Kohl, : Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1985
One of the Family: Métis Culture in Nineteenth-Century Northwestern Saskatchewan, Brenda Macdougall, UBC Press, 1 janvier 2011
Contours d’un peuple: Metis famille, mobilité et d’ histoire, Nichole St-Onge, Carolyn Podruchny, Brenda Macdougall, University of Oklahoma Press, 18 déc 2014
Foire aux questions, Métis Nation of Ontario (cliquer pour le lien –en Anglais seulement)
Je dédie cette pièce à Claude Samson, président de la Nation Métisse Contemporaine, décédé mercredi, le 13 juillet. Mes profondes condoléances à Monique, Karine, Mélanie et leur familles.
As a companion piece of a previous blog: Iles Dupas et du Chicot, I want to share with you the origins of the term sometimes used to designate Métis.
As previously mentioned, Jacques BRISSET and Louis DANDONNEAU were the holders of the title to the area:
The name Chicot was later documented in 1860, when Johann G. Kohl wrote a passage in his book: Kitch-Gami, Life Among the Lake Superior Ojibwa in which he retells his discussion in French with a Métis man he encountered during his travels:
With no other information, Kohl and many after him deduced that Chicot meant its literal translation from French as “half-burnt stumps”, and associated it with the complexion of the Métis he met.
Chicot, like many names given to Indigenous Peoples such as Nipissing, Ahousat, Yellowknives, Mississaugas etc., is in fact a place-name. Chicot is a river that runs into the archipelago between Trois-Rivières and Montréal, between Berthier and Sorel and known today as île Dupas.
The Chicot travels downstream, beginning between St-Gabriel de Brandon and St-Didace and flows South through the communities of St-Cuthbert, St-Norbert to discharge into the Saint-Lawrence at île Dupas. It is one of the many rivers used by Voyageurs, who learned to navigate it from their First Nations kin. As the islands and neighbouring towns became crowded with Settlers attracted to the nearby trading post, Métis paddled their way upstream and built communities along its shores.
It is noteworthy to highlight the names of the communities that were used by Chicots who set up communities along the Red river in what became Manitoba: “Brandon“, “St-Cuthbert” and “St-Norbert“.
A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Métis, Peter Bakker, Oxford University Press, Jun 5, 1997
Kitchi-Gami : life among the Ojibway, Johann Georg Kohl, St.Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1985
One of the Family: Metis Culture in Nineteenth-Century Northwestern Saskatchewan, Brenda Macdougall, UBC Press, Jan 1, 2011A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Métis, Peter Bakker, Oxford University Press, Jun 5, 1997
Contours of a People: Metis Family, Mobility, and History, Nichole St-Onge, Carolyn Podruchny, Brenda Macdougall, University of Oklahoma Press, Dec 18, 2014
Frequently Asked Questions, Métis Nation of Ontario (click for link)
Tcipaiatikw kicikaw, nicwaso Mikomin Pisimw – Friday, July 8th 2016.
Meema’s Atikamekw isn’t as good as yours – but I’m still learning. I hope to be fluent in the language of Nitaskinan and teach your Noko – my Nitanis.
In Miroskamin, the highest Settler Court rendered a decision which has impacted the way you live today. But it wasn’t easy: we really had to work hard at pulling away from all the brainwashing that happened over the course of several centuries.
You see, the Euro-Canadians had made laws which were fought successfully, beginning right when Indigenous Peoples were allowed representation in the Settler’s Courts. A lot has been written about that already, and I’m sure that technology at this point is so advanced that you can probably access it just by thinking about it. Just in case it hasn’t, start HERE.
You are Métis. You live on Nitaskinan, land of Nehiraw Iriniw. We worked hard to work together for the stewardship and economic development of this land we love so much. And we broke the mold of “efficient market theories” taught to us. We decided to do things differently – think outside the box.
First, we lovingly educated and sometimes people who called themselves Indigenous, yet whose goals seemed to be destructive or disrespectful towards others.
I don’t know this woman wearing a meaningless headdress. She called herself “Chief” – and Settler media used her to advance their objective of extinguishing Indigenous title based on blood quantum.
She opened the path to constructive discussions on reclaiming and lovingly educating our own.
You see, after SCC Daniels, people all over started coming out. They had no direction. The ruling was about two Métis men, a father and his son, as well as an Anishinaabe Ikwe and Mi’kmaq ge’tipnewinu. For a while, everybody focused on the Métis, but in reality, many more First Nations without status were affected by this ruling.
The government-sanctioned Indigenous organizations either remained quiet, or positioned themselves publicly against reclaiming people recognized as falling under the responsibility of the Settler’s Federal government. This led to the rise of many alternative organizations – some with good intentions, some as an occasion to steal from our “lost relatives”.
Then, we truly turned the clock back to a time before patriarchal focused laws, blood quantum, band enrollment and reserves. Because all of those had been imposed on our ancestors. We supported the Elders, who stepped up to the plate and they began to educate the “lost relatives”, challenge the leading First Nations and Métis organization and convinced the Federal government to facilitate Status claims lost because of their past objective to enfranchise all Indigenous Peoples.
We learned from Inuit qaujimajatuqangit, and reclaimed our own societal values. —Happy 75th Birthday, Nunavut!
We worked together, while respecting the rights of each other’s culture and language. We fought pan-Indigeneity.
We went back to kinship and land, while making space for those who chose to reclaim a nomadic existence. We stopped the pollution of our waterways, the environmental damages caused by unsustainable harvesting of resources.
It all began as soon as we got rid of the Indian Act and started creating our own rules of engagement.
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:
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:
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.
Catherine, Catharina gave birth to Marie Catharina – Kateri.
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.
All My Relations.