Liens entre les communautés de la Chicot et du Nipissing-Ouest: “li Mitifs sont tissés serrés comme la Flechée”

click here for English

Jusqu’à la guerre mondiale, les gens qui quittaient les communautés étaient des êtres d’exception. Les gens ont développé des racines profondes dans leur communauté; dans le cas des communautés métisses, ces racines étaient profondes même avant l’arrivée des colons européens.

Les Voyageurs, eh bien, ça voyageait – et pourtant, comme nous l’avons vu dans les registres, ils sont revenus, ils ont gardé des liens avec leurs parenté et leurs communautés. Ces liens entre communautés ont survécu à travers de nombreuses générations, malgré les difficultés de communication entre elles. Le service postal était une bouée de sauvetage entre parents et amis. Beaucoup de pintes de sirop d’érable se sont dirigées vers l’ouest, tandis que beaucoup de pemmican aux amélanches se dirigeaient vers l’est.

Les surnoms, les histoires, les chansons et les contes rappelaient notre parenté; au fil du temps, tout a été embelli et exagéré afin que l’auditeur reste captivé et pour que l’histoire soit transmise à la génération suivante. Cependant, les contes sont restés suffisamment vrais pour que si vous rencontriez le sujet en question, vous les reconnaissiez instantanément et vous sentiez comme si vous les connaissiez depuis toujours.

Au début des années quatre-vingt, ce qui coïncide avec le début des technologies modernes, la plupart des vieux habitants de nos communautés, qui étaient les conteurs et les porteurs de traditon nous avaient quittés. À mesure que le temps passait, les histoires devenaient de plus en plus douteuses et les technologies modernes faisaient penser qu’il aurait été impossible de rester connectés. Curieusement, avant la technologie, nous n’avions aucun moyen de vérifier les histoires orales – nous savions pourtant qu’elles étaient vraies. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes programmés pour tout voir à travers la lentille de fake news.

Cela me passionne toujours lorsque quelqu’un que je ne connais pas personnellement, mais avec qui je partage de nombreux liens de parenté, partage des histoires que nous avons toutes deux entendues de sources différentes et pourtant communes.

Voici un cas. Cette photo et cette histoire ont été publiées par Mme Viviane Roberge, qui tient une page Facebook merveilleuse sur les événements passés et présents de la ville de St-Gabriel de Brandon, où je suis née.

La plupart de ces noms me sont très familiers: bien qu’elles ne soient pas des ancêtres directs, Celina Corriveau et Calixte Courchesne sont les grands-parents de mon oncle, Rolland Desrochers. Nous sommes liés par son épouse, ma tante Jeanne Mathews.
J’ai eu le plaisir de passer beaucoup de vacances d’été avec tante Jeanne et oncle Rolland. Bien qu’ils soient déménagés en Floride dans les années 50 ou 60, ils revenaient presque chaque été et restaient chez mon grand-père pendant qu’ils rendaient visite à leurs familles respectives. Le frère de l’oncle Rolland était propriétaire du garage en ville et la famille tenait un hôtel et étaient des commerçants réputés.

La famille de l’oncle Rolland était composée de voyageurs chevronnés. Comme beaucoup de familles de notre communauté, elles étaient allées dans de nombreux endroits, comme les Voyageurs que nos ancêtres étaient. Oncle Rolland nous a régalé d’histoires de cousins qu’ils auraient rencontrés au cours de leurs nombreux voyages dans une succession de maisons de rêve sur roues.

Le grand-père de l’oncle Rolland, Calixte Courchene, avait quitté St-Gabriel de Brandon à plusieurs reprises, allant aussi loin au sud que Lowell, dans le Massachusetts, avant de s’enraciner avec ses plus jeunes enfants à l’ouest dans la ville de Lavigne, au Témiscamingue, où Calixte y décède en 1940.

Son fils Télesphore s’est bien assuré que les six épouses soient nommées à l’acte de sépulture.

De son union avec sa deuxième épouse, Marie Louise Allard, naquit Télesphore à St-Gabriel de Brandon en 1897.

Télesphore a épousé Marie Anne Aubin en 1920. Il est toujours reconnu comme Porteur de Traditions par le Centre franco-ontarien de folklore: https://www.cfof.on.ca/porteurs-de-tradition.

Un fils, Narcisse, suivit les traces de son père et est devenu Porteur de Traditions pour la région. Il a publié plus d’une douzaine de livres sur la région du Nipissing Ouest et est également co-fondateur de la Société d’histoire et de généalogie de la région de Sudbury. Devenu un expert dans ce domaine, il a aidé plusieurs membres de sa communauté à produire leur arbre généalogique et à obtenir leur carte de Métis.

BIOGRAPHE DE NARCISSE COURCHESNE

Jusqu’à ce que Mme Viviane Roberge ait postée dans son groupe St-Gabriel de Brandon, d’une génération à l’autre, je n’avais aucune idée du nom de ce Porteur de Traditions, mais j’avais entendu parler du cousin de l’oncle Rolland qui avait même fait le voyage en terre natale de son père au long de la rivière Chicot.

J’aurais aimé savoir cela lorsque j’ai eu le privilège absolu de visiter la région à l’invitation des députés Paul Lefebvre du comté de Sudbury et Marc Serré du comté de Nickel Belt à l’été 2017!

Rencontre de citoyens Métis concernés et de la Fédération Métisse du Canada en août 2017. De gauche à droite: Robert Pilon, Métis de la Saskatchewan, président; Johanne Brissette, Métis de la rivière Chicot, trésorier; Dr. Keen Savard, Métis de la rivière aux Français, consultant; Marc Serré, député de Sudbury et Paul Lefebvre, député de Nickel Belt

Si vous êtes lié à Calixte, Télesphore et Narcisse et que vous souhaitez discuter de nos communautés historiques, envoyez-moi un message!

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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

telesphorecourchesneetmarieanneaubin

Télesphore married Marie Anne Aubin in 1920. Himself recognized as a Knowledge Keeper by the Centre franco-ontarien de folklore: https://www.cfof.on.ca/porteurs-de-tradition.One 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!

 

The Sillery “reduction” and Pachirini’s fief: first reserves for christian Indigenous

In 1637, missionaries of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, found a mission outside the village of Kébec. The Jesuits choose an important site for the First Nations, known as Kamisk8a 8angachitthe eel tip and the place to fish (known as Sillery).

Initially, the reduction of Sillery is called the St. Joseph Mission (not to be confused with its namesake created in 1680 in the Country of the Illinois Nation). The goal is sedentarization, conversion to Catholicism, and the education of the neighboring First Nations – Innu Nations, Atikamekw, Algonquin, the Wendat Nation, and even some converts from the Mohawk and Abenaki Nation. At the same time, unions between Nations, including that of the Settlers, are encouraged by missionaries because this type of union

will oblige all savages to love the French as their brothers. They testify to wish it with passion, for they never have more satisfaction with our speeches when we promise them that we will take their daughters in marriage, for after that there is a thousand applause. They tell us that when we do this marriage, they will hold us as their nation, considering the descent and kinship of families by their wives and not by men, all the more so, say he, that we know that the mother of the child, but not sternly who is the father.

At first, the Jesuits think that

These marriages can not produce any bad inconvenience, for never will savage wives seduce their husbands to live miserable in the woods, as do the peoples of New France, and the children who will be born of these marriages may be none other than Christians, nourished and raise up among the French and in their dwelling, besides that there is no appearance, in the docility of this people who is not warned of any other religion, that the married woman can not easily be solved. to follow the religion of her husband, in which, when she considers only the diversity of life, she will embrace a life of angels instead of the misery of other savage women

In the first decade, the mission was renamed in honor of Noël BRÛLARD de Sillery, a Frenchman turned Jesuit who donated his property to establish a mission to evangelize the First Nations of New France. Houses, a chapel, a mill and a bastioned enclosure are built there.

Thanks to the Sillery Register, which contains marriages and baptisms, the list of residents of 1666 and the Confession and Enumeration of 1678, we can see the acts of some 400 men, women and children who lived at the Mission.

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The Sillery Register reflects the “Pan-Indigenous” role of Sillery’s mission. Representatives of several Nations visit or stay there: in addition to Montagnais and Algonquins of the beginning, there are Attikameks, Hurons, Nipissiriens, Abenaki, Socoquis, etc., who come to learn about the faith. . The presence or stay in Sillery of great figures of the Amerindian world like Noël Negabamat / Tekouerimat, Makheabichigiou, Pigarouich and Tgondatsa, confirm the role played by Sillery in Amerindian relations. Originally intended for the Algonquins and Montagnais, Sillery then welcomed the Abenaki, whose presence is reported from 1676 to 1688. This is the densest period of the register for the frequency of baptisms. In fact, most of the Aboriginal baptisms attributed to Sillery (1,099 out of 1,716, or 64%)

At birth, the child receives a Native American name of his own; at baptism, we give him a Christian name. Amerindians have no surnames and it is exceptional that the child has the same name as his father. Some
many Amerindians have inherited French nicknames, indicated in French in the Latin text: L’Arquebuze, Le Marchant, Castillon, Compere Colas, the great Jacques, etc.

From 1687, and for non-obvious reasons, the Pan-Indigenous families, now fluent in the French language, leave Sillery and the mission is abandoned.

At the same time, the Pan-Indigenous families of the late Charles PACHIRINI, Sachem of the Makwag clan of the WESKARINI Nation (nicknamed the Little Mission), leave the Montmagny Fief near the Tapiskwan River (known as the Saint-Maurice) where these Christian First Nations settled.

Trois Rivieres

From 1690 onward, we begin to find the families from these two sites at the Seigneury of the ile Dupas-et-du-Chicot, which Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye had conceded to Louis DANDONNEAU and his brother-in-law Jacques BRISSET. The site, which consists of a network of islands upstream of Lake Nebesek (also known as Angouleme and Saint-Pierre), had never been inhabited continuously before. The archipelago was a fishing and hunting area used by many neighboring First Nations.

In 1699, both Sillery and Pachirini’s fief were removed from the “Savages” and handed over to the Jesuits. The document indicates that the “Indians” had abandoned the sites near the Jesuit lands. The document was made between Hector de CALLIÈRES and the Jesuits, without any participation or consent of any First Nations representative or their descendants.


Further research is needed to examine the impacts of this legal document on the land claims of First Nations and Metis descendants who had their rights revoked in these territories.

Sources:

Pierre de SESMAISONS, Raisons qui peuvent induire Sa Saincteté à permettre aux François qui habitent la Nouvelle-France d’espouser dez filles sauvages, quoyque non baptisées ny mesmes encorre beaucoup instruictes à la foy chrestienne [avant 1635] MNFIII

Léo-Paul HÉBERT, Évangéliser les Amérindiens : Le vieux Registre de Sillery (1638-1688) Je me souviens… Numéro 31, automne 1992 URI : id.erudit.org/iderudit/8112ac

Jean COURNOYER, La Mémoire du Québec, de 1534 à nos jours, Stanké 2001

 

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.