METIS HISTORY 1900-2005
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"Our prisons are full of men who, despairing ever to get justice by peace, sought to obtain by war, who despairing of ever being treated like freemen, took their lives in their hands rather than be treated as slaves". Sir Wilfred Laurier (1841-1919)
The French Metis population of Red River dropped 24% from 1870 to 1886. The English Half-Breed (Metis) population dropped 12% during the same period. Most moved further west due to Ontario English suppression, real, perceived or in anticipation of. They moved by the hundreds to places such as Trail Creek des Metis, Lac Ste Anne, St. Albert, Fort Edmonton, Lac La Biche, Wood Mountain, Willow Bunch, Laboucane (Battle River), etc. It is noteworthy that in about 1875, the Trail Creek population reached a high of 2,000 people with 400 homes. If we count the settlements around Buffalo Lake, it was even bigger. It was the largest town west of Red River.
All Half-Breeds (Metis) and Indians not currently under sentence received a general amnesty. In 1887, Poundmaker (1842-1886), a Eagle Hills Cree adopted as a Blackfoot but born a Stoney, and Big Bear (Mistahimaska) (1825-1888), a Plains Cree, would be released from prison. Both men were broken in spirit and died shortly after being released.
John Heppner led twenty Jewish families to settle at Wapella, Saskatchewan. One Garnett held up the stage between Qu'Appelle and Prince Albert in what is now Saskatchewan. Believed to be the first such robbery netted him fourteen years in jail, W. C. Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, said we ought to erect a monument to Louis Riel (1844-1885) as its greatest benefactor.
The summer of the blue moon in the Great Plains marked one of the most severe blizzards in Montana, the Dakotas and Canada. The blue haze is caused by many fires which are due to the exceptionally hot summer. The following winter temperatures dropped as low as minus 66 F with blowing snow. Millions of cattle died, with one herd of 5,000 being totally lost in Helena, Montana. Many cowboys also died during this great blizzard.
Joseph Lapointe, b-1848 had all his horses stolen by American Indians. An old Metis Narcisse Lacerte (1842-1909) tracked the horses to Poplar River, Montana. A complaint was filed to the reservation Agent and the herd was returned but the Indian Agent exacted a price of $5.00 per head for his trouble. It is believed the Agent was an accomplices of the bandits.
November 22: (II)-Johaunes Salzl entered into a mortgage on his land at Zell, South Dakota in the amount of $900.00. This is recorded December 4, 1886. The mortgage would eventually end in default as the land is extremely poor; unable to sustain a family. I visited this farm to observe the small hill where the family first wintered in a cave. The land, even today, can't support a family and is agriculturally idle.
(II)-Henry John Moberly (1835-1931) born Penetanguishene, Lake Huron (Ontario) son (I)-John Moberly b-1789 Russia, and Mary Fock from Russia, joined HBC 1853-1891) Lake Huron, Saskatchewan District, Athabasca and Ille-a-la Crosse, assigned to Saskatchewan, Stanly, Rapid River and Ile-a-la-Crosse, retired 1894
There are only 100 Plains Buffalo (bison) remaining in all of Canada.
February 5: Chicago, Illinois, baptism (VIII)-Jean Baptiste Rose Anne Ste. Marie, Metis, son (VII)-Elie Andre Ste. Marie, Metis, b-1851 and Marie Rose Anne Cyr.
September 30: New York, birth (VIII)-Arthur Ste. Marie, Metis, died October 2, 1887, New York, son (VII)-Jean Baptiste Napoleon Ste. Marie, b-1843 and Zoe Plante, b-1852.
Mary Alexazina Gauthier is born on June 20, 1888 District of Aurora, South Dakota, baptized September 26, 1888 at St. Peter church, White Lake, South Dakota by Reverend J.B. Richter. Her sponsors are Xaveuia Gauthier and L. Gauthier. Alexazina is the daughter of Michael Stanislaus Gauthier born 1850 and Maria Lea Ouimette born 1850. A search of the Aurora homestead records leads to speculation that the family did not establish a homestead in this area. The family moved to Cove Oregon before 1898 and lived near Wallowa Valley which President Grant, in 1873, had set aside as a Nez Perce Indian Reserve. By 1885 the order to pacify white land grabbers is received, clearing the way for removal of the Natives. As early as 1877, the Indians were ordered out of their ancestral valley within thirty days, to be resettled in Idaho. The Nez Perce are horse breeders and trainers. They were proud of the fact that they had never killed a white man. They wanted peace, but are forced from their lands and forced to defend themselves. Later, harassment would ensue, and the Indians are driven on a one thousand seven hundred mile trek towards the Canadian boarder, north of Great Falls. It was cold, they had no blankets and little children are freezing to death. The local missionaries had supported this policy of extermination, and the People could fight no more. The lands were effectively cleared of savages to accommodate the Gauthiers and other eastern settlers.
(III)-Thomas Charles Moore Metis (1888-1939), born at Rupert House son of
(II)-William Moore Metis born Mattagami Post , blacksmith of Rupert House (Waskaganish)
Factory, married Jane McLeod Metis (William was the son of (I)-Thomas Moore of
Moose Fort) Thomas joined HBC 1903-1938)
James Bay, Nelson River, married Ellen Cheechoo, they had 7 Metis sons and 3 Metis daughters.
(IV)-Bertrand Cyril Augustus Moore Metis b 1906 Moose Factory, joined HBC (1927-1938) died as a prisoner of war after the Battle of Hong Kong.
One of the largest land companies, excluding the Hudson Bay Company and the C.P.R,. is by John Lister-Kaye who, with British capital, bought several ten thousand acre blocks of prairie land from the Canadian Pacific Railway. Hubert Pelham Clinton runs the company headquartered at Swift Current. In 1893 it became the Canadian Land & Ranch Company.
Ontario expanded its boarder to meet with the Manitoba boarder and would not expand north until 1912.
Manitoba stops funding French Schools.
Bishop Martin Marty, before the Minnesota Treaty, said that the lands not set aside for reservations would be sold to give Indians houses, farming implements and schools, and to make them a happy and prosperous people. Bishop Martin Marty is either naive, stupid or working with the advancing English settlers. As farmers and lumbermen moved in, the Indians are forced out.
It is estimated that only 1,000 bison (buffalo) survived by this year. It is suggested that five herds numbering only 77 bison (buffalo) are responsible for the survival of all present day bison (buffalo).
January 14: Chippewa (Ojibwa) Commission listing of chiefs and head men includes: Tom Gureau b-1864, Frank Gorneau b-1846, Frances Gurneau b-1869 and Joseph Gerneau b-1866 (all derived from Garneau aka Gurnoe, Gurno) of the Red Lake band. The members of the Red Lake and Pembina Bands that appear to be Metis are: George Bassette b-1858, C.A.H. Beaulieu 1844, John Beaulieu b-1871, Jacob Red Bird b-1871, Pierre Bottineau (1810/17-1895), George P. Bottineau b-1866, Charles C. Bottineau b-1853/54, Sydney Bottineau b-1856/58, William Bottineau b-1860/61, Norman Bottineau b-1868, John English b-1864, Joseph Gerneau b-1866, Frank Gorneau b-1846, Francis Gurneau b-1869, Tom Gurneau b-1864, Peter Graves b-1848, Frank J. Johnson b-1850, George P. Johnson, Alexis Jordin b-1816, Joseph Jordin b-1820, Alexis Jordin b-1850, Alixis Jordin b-1858, Joseph Jordin b-1854, Peter Jordin b-1854, Louis Jordin b-1865, Frank Jordin Jr. b-1869, Patrice Jourdon b-1857, J. B. Jourdan b-1871, Francis Jourdon b-1845, A.R. Jourden b-1843, John Paptiste Lawrence b-1845, Bazile Lawrence b-1867, Bazile Lawrence Jr. b-1871, Baptiste Lawrence b-1871, Louison b-1864, Roderick McKenzie b-1853, John Bph Ray b-1820, John Reiche b-1854, J.C. Roy b-1862, William Sater b-1865, Johnny Spees b-1869.
By 1890, the French Metis were only 14% of the population in Manitoba. Pre 1870 they were the majority. The purging process was highly successful and in the same year the elimination of French as a language of instruction in Manitoba was accomplished. The French and English Metis still remained the the majority in the North West Territories but every effort would be expended to eradicate this irritant. The good news was that the English and French Metis began to merge as one culture.
The removal of all former titles of fur-trade
to the Hudson Bay Company makes immigration easier. Many letters
of inquiry are being received in the North West Territories from Dakota,
telling of unfavorable conditions and about having been led astray by the
Railroad Companies and land agents. These esquires are seeking
assurance of stories of more favorable accounts of the Canadian North West.
Dr. Alfred Shadd, son of a runaway black American slave, settled in Melford,
North West Territories as a doctor and teacher. The natives said,
"White man's medicine is good but black man's medicine is better."
Four farmers met at Indian Head to begin the Farm Union of Western Canada.
The following year it spread to Manitoba and Edmonton.
Edward Cunningham is ordained to the priesthood, and some claim he is the first Metis. Father Lacombe, however, claimed to be a Metis and is the first.
July 5: " Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were taken up in the Circuit court in determining the legal heirs of Louis Gurnoe (1790-1865), who died some twenty-five years ago. It was claimed by the petitioner, John Gurnoe, son of Louis, and the representative of the children of Louis Gurnoe by Archange Cadotte, that his branch of the family are the only legitimate children and heirs at law of Louis Gurnoe. This was disputed by Isabelle Cota, and her descendants who contend that previous to the marriage of Louis Gurnoe and Archange Cadotte in 1820, Gurnoe had taken unto himself a lawful wife in the person of Angelique Defoe and that his children by her, to-wit: Isabella Cota, Frank, Louis and Joseph Gurnoe are his legal heirs. Many interesting features arose during the progress of the trial, as, in attempting to prove the marriage of Gurnoe and Angelique Defoe 1809, the marriage ceremonies as performed by the Indians, and by contract with witnesses in the early days of the Sault were pretty thoroughly described by witnesses, some of them so far removed from youth that their own ages had been long since forgotten. The Gurnoe family was represented by E. S. B. Sutton, C. C. Yerkes and M. J. Doyle and the Cotal branch by J. W. McMahon. Decision reserved." It would appear that Louis Gurnoe (1790-1865) had two and likely three wives.
Louis Boucher a Canadian prospector and miner, staked a claim to Hermit Point, Grand Canyon. Hermits Rest was built in 1914 on his claim.
Tom Williams, a trapper in the Yukon heading for the Chilkoot Inlet and a trading post at Ty-a (Deyea, Alaska) run by a man called the Chief of the Blackfoot, who was John J. Healy, and Williams died on the trip. He had in his possession several hundred dollars in gold dust.
A major crop failure encourages Ukrainian migration to the Western Canadian Prairies.
July 28: One thousand, three hundred men from all parts of Canada and Britain, descended on the prairies for the annual harvest. The pay was a dollar fifty to two dollars a day.
(I)-Ashton Alston (1866-1962) joined HBC (1893-1924) York, 1916 Lake Huron,
married 1902 Jane Faries Metis b-1874, daughter Angus Faries Metis (1840-1899)
and (II)-Mary Corston Metis (1850-1938)
(II)-Mary Adelaide Alston b-1904 married 1st George Findley 2nd Charles Taylor
(II)-Jessie Rosalee Alston Metis b-1906 married Russell Smith
(II)-Edith Mary Alston Metis
(II)-Amy Alston Metis
(II)-Alfred Alston Metis d-1983
Some consider slavery as being abolished a long time ago, but Meta Burger, described as a good little worker, is indentured; receiving no wages from her employee. After this little girl ran away for the fifth time from as many similar slave situations, she is labeled impertinent and sulky and, as a result, is committed to the Industrial School (Asylum) at Portage La Prairie.
David James Goggin (1849-1935), Superintendent of Education in the North West Territories (1893-1902), with the full support of the Government, is to make the schools the principle engine for assimilating the population into the dominant British Ontarian (Orange Order) of Protestantism. He required English only be taught, emphasizing the training in citizenship rather than the intellectual development of children. This religious focus would dominate the school system well in the 1960's, with only the French Catholics objecting at this time. The didn't object to the lack of intellectual development or the slave conditions of the inmates, but to the Protestant religious education.
Julien Ralph wrote "we must not call them Cajuns to their face lest they be offended, that the term is taken as one of reproach." The French Canadian Acadians are now commonly just called Cajun. The Americans used the term in a derogatory fashion but the Cajuns would come to consider it a badge of honor. The Cajun Metis continue to search for their roots. In 1921 the use of French in schools was effectively banned. The Cajun turned to Creole as a second language.
The first good gold strike on Birch Creek, Alaska resulted in the building of Circle City.
Harvey (Kid) Curry of Landusky, Montana in self defense shot and killed Powell (Pike) Landusky, fearing he wouldn't get a fair trial he fled. He joined outlaws who were refugees of the Johnson County cattle wars. He also joined up with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He was involved in the sensational train robbery of July 31, 1901.
July 14: D. Henry Starr wrote at Qu'Appelle Station, Assiniboia, N.W.T. that the past 2-3 years has seen quite a number of German emigrants settled here, who have turned out to be the very worst and lowest class of people under the sun, and who are considered quite a nuisance, and ought to be banished from the country. They steal and plunder whatever they can lay their hands on.
The Louisiana law code says anyone with one drop of non-white blood is considered colored.
March 28: Braggs, (Oklahoma), Indian Territory, Sam McWilliams aka the Verdigris kid (1876-1895) an ex member of the Cook Gang, along with Sam Butler and George Sanders believed to be a Cherokee Metis rode into town. Braggs was named after Solomon Braggs who married a Cherokee woman , built a gristmill and settled down to farm. The Fort Smith weekly reported "bad men" (the Verdigris Kid's gang) had full sway for a time, robbing trains, looting express and post offices and pillaging stores. The gang leisurely robbed the Madden's store and shot Sam Morrison dead. Young Joe Morris was also gunned downed trying to leave the store. The citizens called in help and rose up against the gang. When the fighting was over 13 men lay dead (5 outlaws and 8 citizens) as well as 27 horses.
October 22: Duck Lake, a young man named Shukweweetam or Almighty Voice, was jailed for killing a cow. Some suggest the cow night have belonged to the Indians but they were not allowed to kill a cow without the Indian Agent permission. He had rejected the request. A prison guard told Almighty Voice that they were "erecting a scaffold from which you will be hanged next morning ". This jest would result in the death of 7 people including 3 Royal Canadian Mounted Police and last 19 months.
October 29: Sergeant Colin Colebrook and Francis Dumont, Metis followed the escapee Shukweweetam or Almighty Voice, and his new 13 year old bride. Almighty Voice ordered the men to back off. Dumont complied and shouted for Colebrook to back off. Colebrook was a veteran of the Riel Rebellion and well versed in handling Indian lawbreakers and continued to advance. Almighty Voice for a second time told him to back off. Colebook continued to advance and when with 10 yards a heavy slug struck Colebrook in the neck, literally blowing him from his saddle, killing him instantly. Almighty Voice, wanted for no more than killing a stray cow on the reserve to escaping custody on fear of hanging to now killing a Mountie. A reward of $500.00 was raised but not a single lead was obtained as the sympathy was with the Indian.
April: Braggs, (Oklahoma), Indian Territory, Madden, a Cherokee store owner is gunned down. Another Texas man who married a Cherokee woman is shot at while at his dinner table killing his oldest Metis son.
December 17: A tsunami washed away part of the embankment and main boulevard of Santa Barbara, California.
May 26: Shukweweetam or Almighty Voice, and his cousin Little Salteaux and Dubling a brother-in-law are observed by Napoleon Venne killing one of his cattle. He reported the incident and Cpl. Bowridge returned to the scene. In the area they saw Almighty Voice and rode upon them when Napoleon Venne is cut down with a bullet to the shoulder. They retreated for medical aid.
May 27: Inspector John Beresford Allen and a dozen men rushed to the scene tracking Almighty Voice into the Minnichinas Hills. Raven and a constable volunteered to to establish the fugitives hiding place. Raven was the first to be hit with a shot to the hip. Inspector John Beresford Allen ordered a charge and was the second to be cut down with a shot in the shoulder. Captain C.H.S. Hockin assumed command. Hockin ordered eight constables and Ernest Grundy a former policeman from Duck Lake to form a mounted charge. The Indians cut down Cpl. Hockin, Const. J.R. Kerr and Grundy. Grundy and Kerr died instantly. Hockin was mortally wounded. At this time an Indian Tupean stood to take better aim and is cut down. The Mounties retreated for a second time. More reinforcements arrived including 100 men and two cannon.
May 30: The cannon fire eventually silenced Mighty Voice.
December: Yorkton, Saskatchewan, an epidemic of scarlet and typhoid fever hit the area. The Mason family were hard hit losing Eunice age 9, Georgia age 6 and Dora age 4. They had previously lost Mary in 1891 and called it quits and returned to Uxbridge, Ontario with their only surviving son Frank.
B.A. Blakeney stakes the Great Slave Lake area first gold mining claim on his
way to the Klondike gold rush.
The Yukon Territory was created this year, but the present boundaries are set in 1901.
Archange Garneau (1876-1918) moved to Winnipeg and lived here until after 1901 to 1905 when she married.
January 7: Battleford, birth Jean Hallen Richardson, Metis, alias Allen John Richardson, baptised January 11, 1898, Diocese of Prince Albert, Parish of St. Vital, child of Hugh Richardson of the NWMP and Maggie Thipakup (or Cthipakup also known as Margaret Thipakup, Maggie Arcand, Margaret Arcand, Margueritte Arcand). Maggie Thipakup had children by various Northwest Mounted Police and named each after their father, though never married.
Execution trains poured into Palmettoe, Georgia bringing thousands of people to witness a lynching. Slices of the victims heart were sold as souvenirs.
Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, a.k.a. Joseph Stalin (man of steel) (1879-1953) studied for the priesthood in Tiflis, Georgia for five years (1894-1899).
The Algonquian race withered to a shadow, leaving only a few thousand remain to rehearse the story of their ancestors. Their decedents- the Metis, however, multiplied and filled the land. These early prairie folks are a true cultural mix; hunting bison (buffalo) and living in tents or tepees part of the year, farming and living in frame houses the rest, and practicing both Indian and European rituals. The next century would cause a great split among the Metis. Some Metis would enter the Anglo-Saxon stream while others would choose the Native American stream. Our Garneau heritage emerged from this dynamic period, which greatly contributed to current and future beliefs, values and activities. Extensive Red River Territory lot surveys are conducted during the nineteen century, but very few records survived. Some believe they are destroyed to protect the interests of Government and land speculators who considered the original inhabitants, before 1870, as only winter squatters. During the period of 1874 to 1900, eighty-eight thousand homestead entries are filed in western Canada, many by the Natives; both Indian and Metis.
The next century marks a decision point for many Metis and Indians: assimilation into the white world, independence from the white world, or a third alternative: integration. Some of the Garneau clan would try each alternative. The Garneaus of Red Lake, Minnesota and Pembina, North Dakota become part of the Turtle Mountain, Federal Indian Reserve, Rolette County, North Dakota. Tribal Headquarters is at Belcourt, North Dakota. The Turtle Mountain tribe is a Pembina Chippewa Tribe who originally migrated from the Saint Lawrence River to Sault Ste Marie, La Pointe and Red Lake.
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents.
January 1: Poundmaker's Reserve, birth Peter Tomkins Jr., Metis, died 1970 son Peter Tomkins and Marie Essawakapiw.
May 7: In Winnipeg, Manitoba a gasoline bicycle called a velocipede, owned by Professor Kenrick of St. John's College, is believed to be the first automobile in the North West. For more purists, on June 8, 1900 a locomobile (steam car) or horseless carriage reached Winnipeg.
September: Bishop Langevin pleaded with the French descendants to speak French in their place of Business and in their homes. He went on to say, being French Canadian is being Catholic and that national prosperity and loyalty to the faith goes together. One can't be one without the other. The Metis of Alberta would be forced to choose between their faith and heritage by a racist Church.