As I explore sources for mentions of Metis or Half-breed in Ontario I will post them here.
In 1820 Étienne Augustin de Lamorandière and his Anishinaabe wife Josephte Saisaigonokwe settled at Shebahonaning and opened a trading post. Here is an article about the village:
A VOYAGE ON THE GREAT LAKES
This is a description of a voyage up Lake Michigan and down to Sarnia and Port Huron. Sarnia is described as a prairie (which it was!). There are descriptions of Metis people, passenger pigeons, various First Nations villages, etc.
Battle for the Soul Mètis Children Encounter Evangelical Protestants at Mackinaw Mission, 1823-1837
“In 1823 William and Amanda Ferry opened a boarding school for Métis children on Mackinac Island, Michigan Territory, setting in motion an intense spiritual battle to win the souls and change the lives of the children, their parents, and all others living at Mackinac.Battle for the Soul demonstrates how a group of enthusiastic missionaries, empowered by an uncompromising religious motivation, served as agents of Americanization. The Ferrys’ high hopes crumbled, however, as they watched their work bring about a revival of Catholicism and their students refuse to abandon the fur trade as a way of life. The story of the Mackinaw Mission is that of people who held differing world views negotiating to create a “middle-ground,” a society with room for all.
Widder’s study is a welcome addition to the literature on American frontier missions. Using Richard White’s “middle ground” paradigm, it focuses on the cultural interaction between French, British, American, and various native groups at the Mackinac mission in Michigan during the early 19th century. The author draws on materials from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions archives, as well as other manuscript sources, to trace not only the missionaries’ efforts to Christianize and Americanize the native peoples, but the religious, social, and cultural conflicts between Protestant missionaries and Catholic priests in the region. Much attention has been given to the missionaries to the Indians in other areas of the US, but little to this region.”
Publication Date: April 30th, 1999
For information about the Shingwaulk Residential School at Sault Ste. Marie go to The Shingwauk Project, Algoma University College. It is illustrated with many family photographs of the students who went there:
For more info about the Metis families of Mackinac Island please the link below. Some of the family names include Farlinger, Wachter, Lamorandiere, Hudon and Fraser. At this website you can also access a page on the Doucet DNA project. Some of the names connected with the Metis line of Doucet include Landry, Leblanc, Arsenault, Jessome and Cormier.
For Manitoulin Island genealogy, go to: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~onmanito/index.html
Ignace Cazelet, Jean-Baptiste Pare and Joseph LaForge arrived (in Sarnia) 1807-1810. It was, as Miss Martineau describes, prairie.
A remnant of prairie remains in Sarna. It is the Denis Rupert Prairie, preserved by the Sarnia Urban Wildlife Committee.
For more info about Sarnia’s history:
A Metis story!
A description of Metis in the Ottawa Valley.
Divide, Disenfranchise and Displace
In 1867, the new Canadian government moved quickly to disenfranchise First Nations who had previous to Confederation been able to vote. Canada Day was July 1 and by July 16 there were two classes of Canadians: white “grown ups” and the invisible non-voting First Nations on reserves. John A. Macdonald’s government also forced men to make a terrible choice (women did not have the vote). If you were Metis and lived in a native settlement, you had to leave or give up your right as a Canadian to vote. This could clearly be seen as a form of cultural genocide for the Metis outside of Manitoba where the situation was quite different. In essence, Ottawa would appear to be laying down an ultimatum, “Be an Indian or be white. Choose.” Be disenfranchised or displaced. One Metis named Joseph Biron is recorded as objecting in this article.
THE MANITOULIN CONTROVERSY
Louis Soloman Jr. is mentioned as Metis in this article below.
DIRTY VS. NICE: VOYAGEURS’ SONGS
While this articles describes how filthy the words to the voyageurs’ songs were, others describe them as charming folk songs. But, like the song’s soldiers sing when they march, there may have been one version the men used when they were on their own and one much cleaner version that they used when they had company such as important HBC or Northwest Company officials.
To hear some of the polite songs go to:
THUNDER BAY & SAULT STE MARIE
FROM THUNDER BAY WEST
MANITOULIN AND MORE
This article includes a description of jigging at Little Current, as well as Metis at the Sault. It is from the Globe, September 2, 1858
To see some great Metis jigging:
FISHING AT THE SAULT
I will be posting the articles and images I find that might interest Metis people of Ontario here.