Caughnawaga Indian Troubles (1893) | Surnames: Daillebout, Forbes, Kanatsoare, Phillips, Tehotionwasere
CAUGHNAWAGA INDIAN TROUBLES
AN INCIPIENT REVOLT BECAUSE OF THE SALE OF CHURCH SEATS.
A meeting was held in Caughnawaga on Friday evening in the Council House, called by the priest, Father Forbes. Thos. Kanatsoare, Michel Tehotionwasere, John Daillebout (Sowates-Thawenrate), and James Phillips (Sok Tehotionwasere), were present, representing the Council. They had heard that the priest was willing to meet the wishes of the Indians in the matter of selling the church seats, and were satisfied to accept a change that would be agreeable to them. The priest suggested that matters remain as they are to-day, and that next year all the church seats be drawn for. The council would not accept this, but were willing to agree to it if the Indians were first allowed to draw among themselves for the seats, leaving the French-Canadian residents – who, they claim, had no right on the reservation-to draw for any seats that might be left. The priest would not agree to this, and the Council left the priest’s without agreeing to his proposition. The Indians who had seats last year that have been sold to the French-Canadians this year declared that they would not give up their seats, and that if they did not get justice from the priests they would build another church and become Protestants. In one instance an Indian woman seventy-nine years old, who had sat in her seat since she was fifteen years old, was ousted by the new arrangement, and was much vexed about it. Threats made on Saturday were met by the priest pacifically on Sunday. He posted notices that the seats would not be changed for the present and in remarks made by him afterwards showed that eighty dissatisfied persons had had their money returned and all others dissatisfied would be given back their money.
When all had received their money he would try to reach some satisfactory solution of the trouble Meantime the people would keep their old seats
One other matter the Caughnawagas are discussing. It related to the right of French-Canadians to be upon their reservation. The claim put forth by one of them is that one of their women could marry out of the tribe if she liked, but would have no right to bring er husband to reside with the limits of the reservation. With the man who married a Canadian wife it was different. He could bring her into the reservation. Upon beng asked why they made this difference the Indian spoken to answered ‘because the man is the boss.’ He would not admit that the woman had equal rights with the man. The tribe having written to the Indian Department concerning his are to receive and discuss the reply to-morrow evening.
Source: Montreal Daily Witness, Nov 21, 1893
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