Les multiples noms des Métis: un peu plus sur l’origine du Chicot

En tant que document d’accompagnement d’un blog précédent: Iles Dupas et du Chicot , je veux partager avec vous les origines du terme parfois utilisé pour désigner les Métis.

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source: http://www.metisnation.org

Auparavant mentionné, mes aïeux Jacques BRISSET et Louis DANDONNEAU étaient les détenteurs de la seigneurie:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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 

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Extrait:

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, St.Paul: 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.

The Many Names of the Métis: here’s more about Chicot

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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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“.

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Excerpt from:

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

Further readings:

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 HistoryNichole St-Onge, Carolyn Podruchny, Brenda Macdougall, University of Oklahoma Press, Dec 18, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions, Métis Nation of Ontario  (click for link)

 

#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!

 

La question: Aaniin odoodemaayan?

 

Aaniin odoodemaayan?

Je ne peux pas répondre à cette question. Je sent parfois comme si la réponse m’a été volée. Mais je continue à la chercher.

Le nom d’origine de la rivière St-Maurice était “Métabéroutin”, nom Algonquin qui signifie “décharge du vent”; la Nation Atikameks de Haute-Mauricie la nomme toujours “Tapiskwan Sipi”, la “rivière de l’aiguille filée”.La Nation Abénaquis la nomme “Madôbaladenitekw” ou la “rivière qui se termine”.

Une rivière. Plusieurs noms. Des noms qui veulent dire quelque chose, qui informent du terrain. Des noms Autochtones.

En cherchant ma généalogie matriarchale, beaucoup de mes ancêtres “apparaissent” de nulle part. Des irrégularités d’orthographe dans les registres de l’Église, des entrées manquantes, des espaces vides. Pleins de culs-de-sac.

État et l’Église; Église et l’État. Travaillant ensemble en étroite collaboration aussitôt les Jésuites remplacés par les Sulpiciens en tant que curatelle des registres de Kebec / Nouvelle-France / Bas-Canada / Canada-Est / Québec. La Société Notre-Dame de Montréal, fondée par De la Dauversière , avait pour but de convertir et civiliser les Peuples Autochtones, suite aux directives du Roi Louis XIV et la dissolution de la Compagnie des Cent-Associés de la Nouvelle-France.  

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Séminaire Saint-Sulpice, Tiohtià: ke.

Comment pourraient-ils civiliser mes ancêtres?

Traduire leurs noms, il semble. Les * Franciser *, peut-être?

En lisant les “Relations des Jésuites” (1632-1673),  on peut conclure que Lallemont, LeJeune, Bréboeuf et autres ont fait une tentative d’enregistrer les noms sous la forme écrite plus proche possible. On peut reconnaître les protagonistes communs des différents auteurs même si l’orthographe diffère.

Par exemple, Noël Negabamat, Tekouerimat, Tek8erimat était un guide constant des premiers Jésuites. Plus tôt dénommé Noël Negabamat, Père LeJeune a veillé expliquer son changement de nom qui refléta son ascendant au rôle de capitaine de sa communauté. Ironie du sort, capitaine dechasse est le terme également utilisé par les Métis Otipemsiwak des Prairies.

Comme nous pouvons constater dans la correspondance plus tard, Capitaine Noël Negabamat Tekouerimat pouvait converser en français et en anglais – après avoir passé du temps avec les Anglais dans la terre des Abénakis:

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Correspondance entre Noël Negabamat Tekouerimat, Capitaine Chrétien, à Père LeJeune en France, Relations des Jésuites, 1654.

Qu’en est- il de *l’autre* Noël? Mon ancêtre Noël Langlois?

Enregistré en tant que Pilote (capitaine) du Fleuve Saint-Laurent et pêcheur. Dont l’ identité est vivement débattue, mais dont la généalogie est bien documentée. Dont les descendants vivent sur la terre Atikamekw de Nitaskinan que les colons appellent Lanaudière et Mauricie?

Un autre de mes ancêtres et l’ancêtre de nombreux Voyageurs, Hivernants et de Métis Otipemsiwak.

C’est peut-être seulement qu’une coïncidence que ces 2 Noël du même âge vivaient côte à côte à Kamiskoua-Ouangachi – la Mission de Sillery. un Chef chrétien Autochtone et un Colon. L’un capitaine et pêcheur – l’autre un pilote et pêcheur.

Regardons d’autres noms Autochtones qui ont été francisé par les missionnaires sulpiciens:

LAMONTAGNE – Watso

PISSENNE:

MICHEL:

Aaniin odoodemaayan?

I can’t answer that question. Sometimes it feels like the answer was stolen from me. But I keep trying to look for it.

The original name of the St-Maurice river was “Métabéroutin”, given by Algonquin, which means “discharge of the wind”; the Atikameks of Haute-Mauricie still call  “Tapiskwan Sipi”, the “river of the threaded needle”. The Abenaki call it “Madôbaladenitekw” or the “river that ends”.

One river. Multiple names. Indigenous Place Names.

So many of my ancestors just “appeared” out of nowhere. Spelling irregularites in Church Registries, Missing Entries, Blank Spaces. Dead Ends.

State and Church; Church and State. Working closely together since the Jesuits were replaced by Sulpicians as curators of Kebec / New France / Lower Canada / Canada-East / Québec records. The Société Notre-Dame de Montréal, founded by De la Dauversière, aimed to convert and civilize Indigenous Peoples.

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Séminaire Saint-Sulpice, Tiohtià:ke.

How would they CIVILIZE my Ancestors?

Translate their names, it seems. *Frenchify*, if you will?

Reading “Relations des Jésuites” (1632 to 1673) from the first year the annual diary was published, one can tell that Lallemont, LeJeune, Bréboeuf et al tried to record a person’s name in the closest written form of how Indigenous Peoples called themselves. Common protagonists of the different authors are recognizeable, even if the spelling differed.

An example, Noël Negabamat, Tekouerimat, Tek8erimat was a constant guide to the early Jesuits. Earlier referred as Noël Negabamat, Père LeJeune made sure to explain his change of name to reflect his ascendance to the role of Captain to his community. Ironically, Captain of the Hunt is the term also utilized by Otipemsiwak Métis out in the Prairies. 

Studio_20160401_190129.pngThe Western Abenakis of Vermont: War Migration, and the Survival of an Indian People by Colin G. Calloway UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA PRESS | March 1, 1994 |

As we can see in later correspondence, Capitaine Noël Negabamat Tekouerimat could converse in both French and English – having spent time with the English in the land of the Abenaki:

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Correspondence between Noël Negabamat Tekouerimat, Capitaine Chrétien, à Père LeJeune en France, Relations des Jésuites, 1654.

What about the *other* Noël? Noël Langlois?

Recorded as a Pilote (Captain) of the Saint-Lawrence river and fisherman.  Whose identity is hotly debated, but whose genealogy is well documented. Whose descendants live on the Atikamekw land of Nitaskinan. Lanaudière, as the Settlers call it.

Another Ancestor of mine and of many Voyageurs, Hivernants and Otipemsiwak Métis.

It is perhaps coincidental that these 2 Noël lived side by side in Sillery: one Indigenous man and one Settler. One a Captain, a Chief and fisherman – the other a Pilote and fisherman.

But then we look at other Indigenous names that were Frenchified by the Sulpician missionaries:

LAMONTAGNE – WATSO

PISSENNE:

MICHEL:

JEAN / AZÔ

ANÉN:TAKS and L’HÉRISSON means porcupine in Kanien’kéha and French

And she was also recorded in Latin as SILVESTRI:  “De la Forêt” or “of the Forest”.

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The missionaries at Sillery used the term to refer to either baptisms in the forest and as reference to Indigenous Peoples who had been baptised:

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And the name of her father on her marriage record was Nicolas ARENDAKE:

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Could Nicolas ARENDAKE also be known as SILVESTRI?

 

There are probably more Indigenous men with Frenchified historical records since the creation of the Sulpician Order. While they may not be solely responsible for our enfranchisement, their assimilation techniques set the tone.

Source: Solving the Indian Problem www.omfrc.org › specialedition8

As I look for clues to help me answer which odoodem my ancestors belonged to, my sadness about the past and my uncomfort and anger grows at any present-day assimilation tactics.

With gratitude to Rebekah Ingram, linguist and PhD candidate. Her enlightened approach to reclaiming Indigenous Place Names and her allyship with Indigenous Peoples inspired me to look for these clues. 

With gratitude to Thohahente for the gift of Sacred oien’kwa – in a Red pouch.

Niawen’kó:wa. Tiatén:ro

 

 

 

 

 

Niska – Bernaches – Geese

Niska are flying due North this Miroskamin (Spring). They aren’t even pausing on the shores of Kitchi Sipi (Saint-Lawrence river) near Moriak.

Niska is the Atikamekw word for Geese. In French, they used to be known as Bernaches, but now are called Outardes.

My grandfather would take down the taps out of the maple trees whenever Niska flew due North without stopping. The rain would soon start and the sap would loose its sweetness.

Bernaîche is the name my early ancestors took when they were required by Colonists to take a last name.

Bernaiche ascendance
Bernèche, Bernaîche, Bernache

Sîkon is over; Miroskamin is upon us.

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Perce-neiges. Moriak (Montréal), taken March 27th, 2016.

Îles Dupas et du Chicot, Eastern Métis Capital, or Voyageur Hub?

Please Bear with me. I have to go back before getting to my point.

What I have found through my research for empirical evidence to match my oral history of the migration of the first offspring of the unions of First Nations women and Settler men has been posted previously. Here’s a quick overview of timeline:

1637 – 1686: Jesuit Mission of Sillery – meeting place of Atikamekw, Abenaki, Innu and refuge of survivors of the Huronia Massacre.

Sillery

 

1670 Birth of Louis DURAND, son of Catherine ANENONTA, Attignawantan  (Bear Clan) and Jean DURAND, French Settler at Sillery Mission, Québec

Anenontha Ancestry1690 Purchase of the Seigneurie des Îles Dupas et du Chicot by Jacques BRISSET et Louis DANDONNEAU, both French Settlers. Louis’ sister Marguerite was Jacques’ wife:

1696 Louis DURAND travels to Michilimakinac – see more here: The Legend of Louis Durand – is one of the first extensively documented Voyageur. His descendant, also named Louis DURAND, established himself out West, in present day Alberta – see more here: Louis Durand’s Travels

1740 Death of Louis DURAND in Lanoraie, Lanaudière, Québec.

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So, that just proves ONE Indigenous ancestor, right? ONE does not make a COMMUNITY, right?

I absolutely agree. Let’s look at other First Nation women and their descendants: (I have more, but unfortunately cannot provide mariage records, or other empirical proof they were from a First Nation community)

Highlighted below are the communities of (in the order they were occupied by the descendants of these First Nation women) Sorel, Berthierville, Lavaltrie, Sainte-Elisabeth, Saint-Cuthbert, Saint-Norbert, Mandeville and Saint-Gabriel de Brandon. 

I haven’t found any empirical proof (yet) explaining how these First Nation women came to be neighbours, despite being from many different First Nations. The mariage records, if found at all, never indicated the names of the unbaptized parents of the First Nation spouse.

All recorded births, mariages and deaths, all contracts and other legal documents were made by men, with men and for men. Under the French Regime, only men could legally transact – it was only in 1976 that women fully gained our Rights under the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedom.

One thing that seems apparent, is the geographic position of les Îles Dupas et du Chicot, making it the perfect location on the Voyageur hydrographic superhighway linking in all cardinal directions.

My ancestors, Jacques BRISSET and Louis DANDONNEAU, Seigneurs Courchesne and duSablé, appeared to attract many First Nation offspring to the Îles Dupas et du Chicot, and the other neighbouring islands of the Archipelago and linking Nitaskinan -Atikamekw land, Nistassinan -land of the Innu – Wâbuna’ki – land of the Abenaki, Kanien’kehá:ka – land of the Haudenosaunee and Waabanakiing – land of the Anishinaabe.

One thing is for sure when I look at my own First Grandmothers, Métis from Lanaudière are the product of much métissage between many Indigenous Nations.

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Blessings of Love and Peace for Ostara, Passover and Easter.

Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ.

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Durand’s Travels

My direct ancestor, Louis.

He came from a long line of Métis. From East to West, uniting Indigenous Peoples.

From the union of our earlier ancestor, French Settler Jean (1636-1671) and Catherine Anenonta (1649-1709), Attignawantan – People of the Bear, comes a long line of Métis.

For over 100 years, each generation explored the waterways West of  Kahnawáʼkye – Big Waterway.

Born in Berthier in Lanaudière, Louis, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, traveled to and from the Western part of Gichi gumi – Lake Superior.

In the 1784 to 1801, Louis took three contracts with McTavish Frobisher & Co. – which later became the North West Company. to Gichi-onigamiing – Grand Portage.

 

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In 1803, he would take contract to travel further West to Gojiji-zaaga’iganLac à la Pluie

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In a book by Joachim Fromhold titled: Pakisimotan Wi Iniwak – The Western Cree, a written history of Jacques Cardinal – one of the first of the famed Mountain Men of the West, we find several passages referring to Louis.

It appears from these memoirs that Louis traveled to Iyaghchi Eennu Sipi Lesser Slave River and Atikameg – Tête-Blanche – Whitefish:

The name-place Atikameg hit me like a jolt. I have other ancestors from Atikamekw communities in Tapiskwan Sipi –  Mauricie and Lanaudière.

Niw’hk’m’kanak – All Our Relations.

 

ALL OUR RELATIONS

The Lakota saying: Mitákuye Oyás’iŋThe phrase translates in English as “all my relatives,” “we are all related,” or “all my relations.” It is a prayer of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, and even rocks, rivers, mountains and valleys. (p.160,  ISBN 0-8061-3649-9.)

We are all related. All my relations.

What does that mean to me?

As the eldest of the eldest of the eldest, I benefited from knowing five of my great-grandparents – three of them with verifiable connections with a First Nation ancestor. All from the same historic communities in Lanaudière, Québec. All of them with kinship connections: cousins, aunties, uncles who settled in the West. All of them with kinship to Voyageurs, or Voyageurs themselves.

As every generation passes, as more of the elders passed on, the thread between kinship becomes thinner. To the glee of Colonizers. To the glee of Settler Governments.

Here are a few kinship connections. No matter which ancestor I choose, I can link them to each other, no matter where their travels have taken them and their descendants:

Here are a few examples: (click to see)

 

Our ancestors who were alive during the hanging of Louis Riel and who were able to recount our kinship connections passed on.

Settler Governments were able to begin to legislate the Rights of Métis.

1982: Enter Section 35 of the Constitution Act:

35. (1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.

(2) In this Act, “aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

(3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) “treaty rights” includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

1993: Enter the Powley Test.

Let’s see if I can answer it with empirical evidence:

1. The characterization of the right claimed (eg: was it hunting for food?): Not claiming anything – yet.

2. Whether the claimant is a member of a contemporary Métis community:   Yes.

3. Identification of the historic Métis community:                    Lanaudière, Québec

4. Identification of the contemporary Métis community:         Lanaudière, Québec

5. The historical time-frame of the practice:                                 17th C to present

6. Whether the practice is integral to the culture of the claimant:                Yes.

7. Whether the proposed practice is continued by the Métis community:    Yes.

8. Whether the right was extinguished:                                              No. Occurring on unceded land. 

9. Whether the right was infringed upon:                                          To be continued

10. If the right was infringed, can that infringement can be justified:     To be continued

This exercise has allowed me to verify the empirical proof of my family’s oral history. It’s a pretty big deal to me. I wish to express gratitude to Dr. Sebastien Malette, Professor of Indigenous Law (Métis Rights) at Carleton University in Ottawa. I met Sebastien on the comment board at http://apihtawikosisan.com/2015/03/the-mythology-of-metissage-settler-moves-to-innocence/#comments on March 11, 2015. He has since then become a good friend, mentor and ally. If I would ever do a PhD, he’d be the guy who I’d beg to be my Advisor. Merci, cher Seb.

Why is “who I am” important now?

Also a complicated question. Did I mention that I was almost at the half-century mark?

Over the last 3 or 4 years, my father became more interested about the focus of my genealogy research. We began talking about who we were and he talked quite a bit about his early life and he started helping me with my genealogy research (my favorite Winter pastime).

His uncle had devoted the early years of his life recording the names and collecting information of our male ancestors. The family tree was pretty complete. Except that the women were almost footnotes!

I’m certainly not going to place blame here. I love my great-uncle dearly and at almost 97 years old young, I have only great admiration for this virtuous man!

My goal in building our family tree was to focus on my female ancestors and develop and highlight their existence.

Anyways…

We never questioned our Métis identity. Whether it was through my dad’s talks with his grandmother about the “cousins” Dubois, Beaugrand-Champagne and others that settled West, or having met my grandfather’s cousins from Odanak and Manawan. We just were.

Then my dad passed away, very suddenly. It was a year ago today.

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