Indians in British America, 1898 (Caughnawaga Excerpts)
(Note: Several extracts from longer article, link follows)
Nearly 100,000 on the Canadian Reservation at Present
In Quebec there are 10,622 Indians …..
The most interesting reservations are those of eastern Canada, continuing the remnants of the nations who figure so prominently in the early history of this continent; the tribes who ruled over the dark forests before Champlain had landed at Quebec or the Pilgrim Fathers on New England’s coast. There are two Iroquois reservations in Quebec.
One is at Caughnawaga, on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, ten miles above Montreal. It is an old settlement, established under the French regime by the Jesuits. They had missionaries among the Iroquois who lived in what is now the state of New York, and whenever they made a convert he was brought up to Caughnawaga so as to remove him from the influence of the English. A large grant of land was given and subsequently confirmed by the British crown.
There the Indians live to-day. The line of the Canadian Pacific railway that leads to Boston crosses the St. Lawrence here, and is carried over a part of the village on a viaduct. The reservation includes 12,000 acres of which one-third is under cultivation and one third in timber. The population is 2,000. The village contains a fine Catholic church and its two schools, a Methodist meeting house and a school, a council hall, etc.
Some of the Indians are engaged in farming, others take rafts down the river, some sell medicine in the United States and elsewhere. The home industries are beadwork, the making of lacrosses and snowshoes, and working in the quarries. Their municipal affairs are regulated by themselves, through a council elected like the other municipal bodies of the province. This however, the Indians do not like, and are desirous of returning to the tribal system of government.
At St. Regis, where the international boundary between Quebec and New York touches the St. Lawrence, is another Iroquois reservation. In fact, there is one on each side of the line. The Canadian part comprises 4,689 acres, with a population of 1,297 souls. These Indians are nearly all Roman Catholics.
Source: Lewiston Evening Journal, March 28th, 1898
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