MATTAWA NIPISSING MÉTIS HISTORICAL RESEARCH PROJECT FINAL SYNTHESIS REPORT - PDF

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MATTAWA NIPISSING MÉTIS HISTORICAL RESEARCH PROJECT FINAL SYNTHESIS REPORT SUBMITTED TO: THE STEERING COMMITTEE SUBMITTED ON: NOVEMBER 4, 2014 THIS REPORT WAS PREPARED BY STONECIRCLE CONSULTING AND KNOW

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MATTAWA NIPISSING MÉTIS HISTORICAL RESEARCH PROJECT FINAL SYNTHESIS REPORT SUBMITTED TO: THE STEERING COMMITTEE SUBMITTED ON: NOVEMBER 4, 2014 THIS REPORT WAS PREPARED BY STONECIRCLE CONSULTING AND KNOW HISTORY. IT IS THE RESULT OF A TRIPARTITE RESEARCH INITIATIVE FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED BY THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA WITH THE EQUAL PARTICIPATION OF THE MÉTIS NATION OF ONTARIO THROUGHOUT. ALL THREE PARTIES APPOINTED REPRESENTATIVES TO A RESEARCH PARTNERS GROUP AND A STEERING COMMITTEE THAT OVERSAW THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF MUTUALLY AGREEABLE TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE RESEARCH PROCESS, WHILE ALLOWING FOR INDEPENDENT RESEARCHERS TO CONDUCT THE RESEARCH AND ARRIVE AT THEIR OWN FINDINGS AS SET OUT IN THIS REPORT. DISCLAIMER: THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE FINDINGS OF INDEPENDENT RESEARCHERS. IN NO WAY DO THESE FINDINGS REPRESENT THE VIEWS OR OPINIONS OF THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT, THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, THE MÉTIS NATION OF ONTARIO, OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES. 2 Contents 1 Executive Summary Introduction Background Report Contents Terminology Métis The Fur Trade Matrix Sauvage Fluidity of Identity Labels Community Geography Research Questions Arrival of Europeans Métis from Early Contact Ethnogenesis and In-migration Ethnogenesis Elsewhere Ethnogenesis through Merger Names of Mixed-ancestry Genealogy from Individuals Appearing on the Algonquin List Self and Outside Ascription Community Identifiers Economic activities and institutions; Settlement and movement patterns; Political formations and institutions; Religious or spiritual practices and institutions; Social relations (e.g. kinship systems); Language(s); Forms of cultural expression Other customs, practices or traditions? Shared History Mixed Ancestry Connections Historical Narrative Contact to NWC, HBC and the Fur Trade Matrix Aboriginal Participation in the Ottawa River Fur Trade The Establishment of Mattawa Arrival of the Retired Traders Other Economies Guiding Settlement Living Religion and Missionaries Observations Appendix 1: List of Metis Definitions circa Appendix 2: Family History Sheets Antoine Atkinson Bastien Bernard Clement Colton Commandant / Grandlouis Commandant-Grandlouis Crawford Dufault-Dufond Dufond Dorion Dupuis 6.14 Dupuis England/McConnel England Ferris Gagnon Ignace Ignace Jocko Jocko Langevin Lariviere Laronde Leclerc McCracken McDonnell McKay McKenzie Montreuil Parent Sauve Simon Simon Turner Appendix 3: Social Network Analysis Report Methodology About SNA Gathering the Data Looking at the Graphs Data Mapping & Developing Categories of Analysis 7.1.5 Terminology: Networks and Components Analysis Overview of the Mattawa Genealogical Network Adhesion to Catholicism and its Effects Intimate Look at Godparenting Religious Network Observations Census data and vital statistics: Occupational Data and Daily Practices Concluding remarks Next Steps Map 1: The Ottawa River / Nipissing Passageway 7 8 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A mixed-ancestry community existed in the Mattawa region that has links with Countrymen population of former NWC and HBC employees. 1 This mixed-ancestry population was present throughout the entire study area and is visible through its common kinship, economic and religious practices. This community lived alongside and interacted with First Nations communities. Although this research focuses on the settlement of Mattawa, the extended network of the mixed-ancestry community is clearly evident along the Ottawa River and its tributaries between 1850 and This research was limited by the availability and quality of the extant source information. 3 Aboriginal communities were largely oral cultures through most of the nineteenth century and left little paper trail for posterity. Similarly, nominal data from census returns, birth certificates, marriage records and death certificates is not always accurate and unfortunately too often absent from the historical records. The settlement of Mattawa provided a focal point for this research. Situated at the eastern edge of the study area originally proposed in the RFP and at the confluence of the Mattawa and Ottawa Rivers, two historic fur trade routes, Mattawa is a complex geographical hub with an extensive network of historic canoe and portage trails, and eventually roads and rail-roads. Consequently, mixed-ancestry populations in the study area were mobile and moved at different seasons and stages of life which affected their presence in the historical record and the artificial boundaries required by this study: a crude triangularly-shaped territory with its apex above Lake Timiskaming in the north, west on the Mattawa River as far as Lake Nipissing, and then east on the Ottawa as far as Fort William/Lac des Allumettes. The researchers recognize that many of the networks presented in this report, and those that are not, likely transcend these geographic limits. Europeans first arrived in the study area in the early seventeenth century. Generally, explorers and missionaries travelled through the area to establish semi-permanent camps or missions in the region and beyond. Such facilities existed for only for a few years at a time because of the First Nations nomadic lifestyle, on the one hand, and of oscillating colonial interest and strategic needs on the other. The one constant was the Ottawa River watershed itself that retained its value both as a key transportation artery to the north and west as well as a staple fur export region for more than a century after the 1760 Conquest of Canada. Metis ethnogenesis had certainly occurred by the dawn of the nineteenth century amongst a group of Aboriginal people with close personal, social, economic, and religious ties to a fur-trading firm based in 1 We use the term Countrymen to refer specifically to those individuals and families that have historic ties to the NWC Company. For more information on the terminology please see Section These were the temporal limits imposed on the genealogical research for this project. The research team widened the temporal limits to include relevant evidence. 3 For more information about these limitations please refer to the Supplementary Literature and Archival Research that were submitted by the consultants. 9 Montreal, the North West Company (NWC), which existed between 1784 and Known as Nor Westers, they employed twenty-four men in four trading posts in their Ottawa River district and a comparable body of men around Lake Timiskaming by Unlike their rivals in the Hudson s Bay Company (HBC), they readily married Aboriginal women à la façon du pays (according to the manner of the country) and cared for the mixed-ancestry progeny around their posts who were called bois-brulé. A social hierarchy emerged with partners sons becoming company officers and those of the labouring classes maintaining more lowly stations. 5 It was precisely this group of Aboriginals, with the aid and support of the NWC, who defended their interests when threatened by the loss of lands to European colonizers around Red River in Contemporaries referred to these insurgents as half-breeds, Bois Brulés, or metifs ; the mixed-ancestry retainers of the NWC, however, referred to themselves as countrymen : a term applied to those even far removed from the battlefield because of age or vast distance. 7 The NWC would have had approximately a hundred or so Bois Brulés dependents living around their posts in the Ottawa River watershed by the early nineteenth century. These Historic Metis, who enjoyed close ties to the NWC and extensive kinship networks that paralleled the company s far-flung North America operations, formed a significant component within the study group. Their number grew after the 1821 merger between the NWC and HBC when retirees began migrating to the study area for the purposes of resettlement. The activity of this latter group is more easily delineated because they appear within the pages of the HBC s commercial records and in registers kept by Roman Catholic clergy who 4 Chris Andersen, Moya Tipimsook ( The People Who Aren t Their Own Bosses : Racialization and the Misrecognition of Métis in Upper Great Lakes Ethnohistory, Ethnohistory 58, no. 1 (2011): P0186; Jacqueline L. Peterson, Red River Redux: Métis Ethnogenesis and the Great Lakes Region, in Nicole St-Onge, Carolyn Podruchny, and Brenda Macdougall, eds., Contours of a People: Metis Family, Mobility, and History (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012), 36-7, P0131; Jennifer S. H. Brown, Fur Trade as Centrifuge: Family Dispersal and Offspring Identity in Two Company Contexts, in Raymond J. DeMallie and Alfonso Ortiz, eds., North American Indian Anthropology: Essays on Society and Culture, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994), , P0187; Harriet Gorham, Families of Mixed Descent in the Western Great Lakes Region, in Native People, Native Lands: Canadian Indians, Inuit and Metis, ed. Bruce A. Cox (Ottawa: Carelton University Press, 1992), P Library and Archives Canada (herafter LAC), MG 19-E1, Selkirk collection, Manuscript by Lord Selkirk Relating to Red River, page , microfilm reel C-12, A1641; Alexander Ross, Fur Hunters of the Far West; A Narrative of Adventures in the Oregon and Rocky Mountains (London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1855), 1: , P0189; Thomas Douglas, The Memorial of Thomas Earl of Selkirk: to His Grace, Charles, Duke of Richmond, &c. &c., (Montreal: Nahum Mower, 1819), 4-5, P Douglas, The Memorial of Thomas Earl of Selkirk, 4-5, P0190; Deposition of John Bourke, 16 September 1816, in Statement Respecting the Earl of Selkirk s Settlement Upon the Red River in North America; Its Destruction in 1815 and 1816; and the Massacre of Governor Semple and his Party. With Observations Upon a Recent Publication, Entitled A Narrative of Occurrences in the Indian Countries, &c. (London: John Murray, 1817), lxxii, P0191; Deposition of Pierre C. Pambrun, 16 August 1816, xxxii-xxxvi, P LAC, MG 19-E1, Selkirk collection, page , Cuthbert Grant to Alexander Fraser, 13 March 1816, microfilm reel C-8, A1642; Archives of Ontario (hereafter AO), Northwest Company records, F-471-1, box 3, file F , Letter from Donald McIntosh, Michipicoten, to his sister,1816, 21 August 1816, barcode B A began missionary activity in the region in the late 1830s. Names such as Bastien, Colton, Crawford, England, Ferris, McCracken, McDonnell, McKay, McKenzie, and Turner, all former HBC retirees, principally from the Timiskaming district, brought their Countrymen families with them to Mattawa in the mid-1840s or married Aboriginal women from the area shortly thereafter. Children by all these unions began intermarrying other mixed ancestry and First Nations families by the era of Confederation. It is important to remember that these families were already a regional presence (in Timiskaming, Fort Coulounge and other locations within the study area) prior to the construction of a permanent facility at Mattawa in 1837 and that they viewed Mattawa as a satisfactory region for resettlement after they left the HBC. The researchers have identified several characteristics of this community. 1. This community is not an isolated nor closed community. It is adapting throughout the period under study as members come and go. 2. The kinship links within this community are significant: 89.92%, or 1027 of the 1142 people studied were connected to each other via immediate kinship links. Marriages were either endogamous (between groups of a same cultural community) or exogamous (incorporating First Nation or Euro-Canadian persons into a mixed-ancestry framework, for example). We see common behaviour and association within the community based on the visual representation of immediate kinship relationships, occupational data, and religious relationships of baptism. While the social network analysis was also limited by the availability of sources, the findings demonstrate presence of a cluster of 200+ persons who strategically associated with one another through time and space, creating a distinct social and cultural environment for themselves The community lives alongside the First Nation Population in early years, trading with First Nations, acting as middle men and continuing to participate in the Fur Trade. Throughout history mixed-ancestry community members adapt to changing realities, the collapse of the fur trade, the rise of the lumber industry, the arrival or western religions and education. Mixed-ancestry individuals and family members change their industries, and move closer to the settlement to take advantage of economic and spiritual opportunities. 4. The fur trade, first with the NWC and later the expanded HBC, was the primary employer of the mixed-ancestry community through the middle of the nineteenth century. Even those who were discharged from the HBC pursued the same line of employment as either petty traders, who had the financial resources to advance credit to First Nations hunters in the fall and then profit from furs acquired in the winter, or simply ran their own trap lines and bartered directly at the Mattawa facility. 8 This specifically refers to persons who pursued Catholicism through the ritual of baptism. 11 5. Diversification followed as the timber industry superseded the fur trade as the dominant staple export in the 1850s since its heavy reliance upon seasonal labour allowed mixed-ancestry people both to farm and earn extra income by labouring in the winter shanties (see section 4.6). 6. Guiding then became a viable economic pursuit for such families once Mattawa became a biggame hunting mecca in the late nineteenth century (see section 4.7). 7. The first known mixed-ancestry families settled in relative close proximity to the HBC post allowing them to work, trade, and attend small social gatherings there. Previous analysts have suggested that a potential cluster of these same families were still living around the old trading facility that may have constituted polling station one in Movement patterns appear to be unique to mixed-ancestry families. Those who trapped on their own account, established winter camps and then brought their pelts to the HBC store periodically between November and April. 10 Movement, particularly in the summer months seemed to be motivated by a desire to visit family members as the McDonells and McKays were reported as returning to places where some of their kin still lived. 11 Interestingly, their second and third generation descendants would later guide hunters, fisherman, and wilderness campers through some of this same region once rail service opened the Upper Ottawa valley to tourists at the end of the nineteenth century. 9. The mixed-ancestry population around Mattawa valued and practiced Catholic rites. Notable communal practices were associated with the rituals of baptism, confirmation, and marriage. Mattawa individuals from the region of study were observed performing and seeking out these rites of passage from Catholic Church representatives and often traveled outside of Mattawa to suit their purposes. This report relies solely on the written record. No oral history was conducted or available for collection as part of this research. This limits the availability of community identifies as an oral history project would likely help reveal other community identifiers such as traditional hunting and trapping grounds, unique hunting methods, naming conventions or family lore. Regardless, the research team feels the evidence presented clearly indicates that a mixed-ancestry community existed in the study region with close associations to the Countrymen of the Northwest Company. 9 Gwynneth C.D. Jones, Draft Report: Historic Populations of Mixed Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal Ancestry in Ontario, Mattawa and Environs (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1999), 24-5, P0057; 10 University of Waterloo Special Collections (hereafter UWO), GA3, Colin Rankin fonds, file 15 Journal of Colin Rankin, , entries of 29 August, 2 and 21 November 1848, 26 April and 1 July 1849, 24 April and 16 December 1850, A UWO, Journal of Colin Rankin, , entries of 19 October 1848, 17 March 1850, and 4 August 1853, A 2 INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND This report was commissioned by the Research Partners Group consisting of the Métis Nation of Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. The research and report writing was conducted by Know History and Stone Circle Consulting as independent researchers. The findings of this report are the professional opinion of the researchers and are not necessarily the findings of the sponsoring institutions. This project was undertaken as Part A Phase 3 and included a supplementary Literature Review, supplementary Archival Research, Genealogical Research and this Synthesis Reports. 12 These earlier reports have all been submitted to the Steering Committee and provide significant information on the methodology, availability of sources and historical narratives that support this synthesis report. Readers are invited to consult these reports as part of the larger project REPORT CONTENTS This report provides an analysis of the sources and information collected as part of the supplementary literature review, supplementary archival research, and genealogical research. The report contains Introduction: This section deals with important issues around terminology and the geographical scope of the research. Research Questions: This section contains answers to the questions posed in the original RFP. The question is presented in italics and summary answers are provided with references to other sections of the report where more detailed information can be found. Historical Narrative: The Historical Narrative section provides detailed contextual information and references to the mixed-ancestry population in the study area and activities they participated in. The history of the study area is documented, in particular the economic and religious histories. Appendix 1: Provides a list of Metis definitions circa 1816 that Appendix 2: Contains brief family histories for root families identified during the course of this research. The history sheets include the root ancestors and an overview of the descendants, their ethnicity, known locations, and summary kinship patterns (i.e. what other families they married into). Appendix 3: Is the Social Network Analysis Report that provides a methodology and analysis of findings for the Social Network Analysis conducted as part of this research. 12 Part A, Phase 1 and 2 was conducted by another consulting firm Public History Inc. At the outset of this project, Public History met with the Steering Committee and the StoneCircle/Know History research team to answer questions about the other phases of work and the availability of sources. 13 In addition to this synthesis report, the final deliverables will include a number of research products that support the findings of this research. These products represent a considerable investment in research and organization which may help future research studying this issue. They include: Descendant Reports: These reports provide genealogical information about root ancestors descendants. This information is more detailed that the information provided in the Family History Sheets included in the synthesis report, but are more complicated in the details. These are standardized genealogical reports. Document Collection: Three separate document collections will accompany the final report. A published source collection, and archival collection and a genealogical document collection. These collections contain thousands of documents researched and used in the preparation of this report. All documents are references with alphanumeric identifiers which are also the electronic file names. Family Tree Maker: A Family Tree Maker backup file contains all the genealogical information collected and allows users to search
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