Mi'kmaq et Acadiens: De BONNES RELATIONS

Mi'kmaq et Acadiens: De BONNES RELATIONS

Messagepar Chouette-Prudente » 2006-08-06, 15:36

Retrouvons ici, les bonnes ententes, relations et coutumes de vie de ces 2 peuples.


Mi'kmaq and Acadian good relations - unparalleled in America

In Acadia, with a profound and sincere mutual respect, the American First Nations and France weaved bonds of friendship, fraternity and exchanges unparalleled on the American continent.

Some historians state that this good relationship was due to the fact that the French-Acadians cultivated the marsh lands while the First Nations’ people would inhabit the inlands. On the contrary, the French-Acadians would seek to settle near the First Nations’ people who actually lived mainly on the shores most or all of the year. They would ask permission to live and fish in the First Nations’ area. This practice was continued in some areas until the turn of the 21st century; Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau, in Yarmouth Count, Nova Scotia is one example. The Acadians would ask First Nations people to fish eels at one location where eels were plentiful.

However, the Deportation and Expulsion of the Acadian population and the nearly total decimation of the First Nations in Acadia have almost entirely severed this beautiful relationship in the 21st century. Hereditary features and traces of this relationship still remain in the language, the genes, the physical features and the social and cultural traits of today’s Acadians. This is a distinctiveness inherent to present day Acadians. The same applies to the First Nations’ people who have vestiges of this French-Acadian relationship. There are many Acadian family names in the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq communities, such as Doucette and Meuse, that date back to marriages in the 17th and 18th century.

South Western Nova Scotia (Cape Sable during French regime)

The First Nation's Mi'kmaq people lived in this land of South Western Nova Scotia for 7000 years. They subsisted mainly by hunting and fishing. With basic materials of wood, bone and stone they skilfully crafted survival tools such as canoes, snowshoes, arrows, spears, axes, knives, fish weirs and animal traps. Their hunting ability was enhanced by the use of hunting dogs.

The French never asked the First Nations people to recognize the French Sovereign as their own and never asked them to swear any type of Oath of Allegiance. This was quite the opposite from other European Nations in the Americas.

Acadian and Mi'kmaq integration

In the 1500’s European fur traders and fishermen visited the shores of South Western Nova Scotia and in 1604 explorers from France officially claimed and colonized this new land. Trading posts were established to pursue the fur trade with the native people; one such establishment, according to historical sources, was at Chebogue Point, Yarmouth County in 1607, where a colony of French Acadians later settled. Another such post was established in the same period at Port LaTour. In order to succeed in the fur trade and to acquire survival skills in this harsh land, the presence and cooperation of the Mi’kmaq people was essential. Reciprocal integration of Acadians and native people was a common practice.

French names among Mi'kmaq

There are many Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia, including chiefs of bands or tribes, who have French names. An example is the well-known chief in Bear River Annapolis County, Frank Meuse and the now deceased Noël Doucette who was very prominent in Nova Scotia. Mr. Meuse has traced his ancestry to Philippe Mius d’Entremont, Baron of Pombcoup, whose descendants are also very numerous on the East and West sides of Pubnico Harbour.

Children of French / Acadian and First Nations peoples were integrated into either community or some went back and forth for extended periods of time. They were accepted by both groups.

French / Acadian nobility and the coureurs de bois accepted the life style and the culture of the First Nations peoples. They had an honest respect and a deep friendship for the First Nations peoples. A d'Entremont woman writes from France, after the deportation, that she is greatly saddened to realize she will never see the Mi'kmaq of Cape Sable.

First born in Acadia of European blood

The first born in Acadia of French or European blood, recorded, was André Lasnier at Port Latour, Cape Sable circa 1620. His mother was Mi'kmaq. He was rebaptized in France December 27, 1632. He was the son of Louis Lasnier from Dieppe, France.

First Acadian nun

The first Acadian nun was born at Cape Sable, the daughter of Charles Saint-Étienne de la Tour, Governor of l'Acadie and a Mi'kmaq woman. She entered the convent of Beaumont-les-Tours in France June 13, 1634. Charles Saint-Étienne lived extensively among the Mi'kmaq of Cape Sable and was married here after his first wife died.

Others notables

Charles de Biencourt son of Jean de Biencourt, Count of Poutrincourt, also adopted the First Nations culture and lived with them in the Cape Sable area when Port Royal was temporarily abandoned. Others notables, mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries, who married among the First Nations people were Richard Denys de Fronsac, Enaud of Nipisiguy, the Lejeunes, the Martins, the Doucets, the Lasniers. There were many other French / Acadians who married according to Roman catholic or First Nations ceremonial traditions.

Acadia or l'Acadie was comprised of the Maritimes Provinces of Canada, part of Maine and part of Québec province. The First Nations were the Mi'kmaq, Malecite and Abenaki (Passamaquoddy, Penobscot).


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