Année en cours

Les historiens Jean Barman et Bruce Watson nous font don d'un fonds de recherche
Récipiendaire de la médaille du Gouverneur-général pour la meilleure publication historique au Canada en 2016, l'historienne Jean Barman nous a transmis cette semaine une compilation de données - soit plusieurs cartables - sur les Canadiens-français provenant des recensements des états (éventuels) du Washington et de l'Orégon de la fin des années 1800. Bon nombre de ces personnes travaillaient pour la Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson et, fort probablement, plusieurs suivirent cette compagnie vers la Colombie-Britannique au moment de son expulsion de ces territoires.
Jean Barman avait embauché Geneviève Lapointe, jeune Québécoise aux études à UBC, pour effectuer ce travail, dans le bût d'en incorporer les données dans ces ouvrages récents sur la Francophonie en C.-B. En fait, peu furent utilisées, mais le fonds demeure des plus importants en ce qui a trait à la présence francophone dans le Pacific Northwest.
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Première réunion de notre nouveau C.A.
Un groupe des plus énergisant - de la droite - Térence Doucet, designer par excellence; André Lamontagne, qui sait nous mettre le point sur les "i"; Edwige Gourdet, C.A. et notre nouvelle trésorière, déjà toute emballée dans nos processus; et René Digard, conseiller auprès du C.A., qui vise les adhésions et le site Facebook, entre autres. Tous appuient bien votre président, à la g. N'ont pu se joindre à nous cette fois-ci: Michel Ducharme, Cécile Vigouroux et notre secrétaire, Marc Parent, C'est pour la prochaine.
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Ce fut une vente de livres plutôt mouillée au Car-free Day de la rue Main ce dimanche, mais nous avons bien ri, et oui, un profit s'affiche! MErci à tous les bénévoles, ainsi qu'à nos partenaires, La Maison de la Francophonie, la Société francophone de Maillardville, la résidence Dermers, et La Boussole :) ...

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Aujourd'hui j'ai ajouté sur la carte en ligne, les noms du personnel de plusieurs forts et postes de traîte dans le Columbia district.( plusieurs centaines) Ainsi que les noms des trappeurs libres et autres employés pour la vallèe de la Snake river et le Sud Ouest de l'Orégon. Voir les icones présentant des petits bonhommes.,,,Cherchez votre patronyme il y a de bonne chance que vous le trouviez.... ...

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Digard Rene updated the group photo in Société Historique Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. ...

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L'ASSOCIATION HISTORIQUE FRANCOPHONE DE VICTORIA AU FESTIVAL DE LA FRANCOPHONIE DE VICTORIA
Merci à Gisèle Samson et son équipe de continuer de représenter notre histoire lors d'évènements publics. Y parût même un revenant, soit Léon Morel lui-même (qui ressemblait étrangement à Lévis Bergeron!), toujours avide d'offrir sa maigre demeure aux bonnes Soeurs de Sainte-Anne, qui venaient d'arriver en pleine ruée vers l'or de 1859!
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NOUVEAU DEPLIANT TOURISTIQUE HISTORIQUE A VICTORIA
Laurence Patris, au C.A. de L'Association historique francophone de Victoria, a profité de l'AGA de la FFCB pour nous présenter le tout nouveau dépliant de l'AHFV qui offre trois visites historiques mettant en relief le parcours historique francophone dans cette ville. Merci à l'AHFV pour cet important travail. Cet exemplaire va directement dans nos archives, mais nous en avons quelques copies pour les intéressés, et le dépliant est aussi disponible au bureau du tourisme à Victoria (format bilingue!)
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Votre président a trouvé ses belles cartes postales lors de la récente vente du BC Postcard Club, et se fait un plaisir de les offrir à la SHFCB.
-2 belles cartes de l'église Our Lady of Lourdes, construite en 1907 à Sechelt, détruite par le feu en 1971.
-L'église Sacred Heart, construite en 1900 par le Père Bédard, o.m.i., à Greenwood.
-Un monument vivant dans le jardin touristique de Napoléon St-Pierre, Capilano, North Vancouver.
-Une nouvelle vue du Lac Vaseux (presque toujours mal épellé sur les cartes postales) dans l'Okanagan, an nord d'Oliver.
-Superbe vue de l'hôpital Mater Misericordiae de Rossland (1897-1969) ouvert par les Soeurs de St. Joseph.
-May Day, New Westminster, 1922, avec Mlle Ella St. Pierre comme Fille d'honneur à la May Queen.
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A l'AGA de la FFCB, Jeanne Landry, DG de l'Association francophone de Campbell River, fait don à notre collection d'une couple de macarons francophones disséminés par l'AFCR. C'est souvent par ces petites pièces que nous reconnaissons "une histoire toujours vivante" [notre logo] de la Francophonie en CB. Merci!! ...

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LE PATRIMOINE DE MAILLARDVILLE MIS EN RELIEF A LA STATION LAFARGE LAKE - DOUGLAS COLLEGE DE LA EVERGHREEN LOINE DU SKYTRAIN A VANCOUVER
Le professeur Nicolas Kenny nous signale une belle oeuvre d'art installée dans cette nouvelle station qui met en relief le multiculturalisme de la ville de Coquitlam, y compris les Francophones de Maillardville. Il s'agit d'une oeuvre intitulée "Monohedral Tessalation" par Dean Cloutier et Jarami Reid, conçue en 2016 à partir de bois de pin précédemment attaqué par le dendroctone du pin. En voici quelques photos prises par un ami de la famille Kenny, un architecte au métro de Paris.
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Voici pour rappel les buts et objectifs de la SHFCB
La Société historique francophone de Colombie-Britannique est une société sans but lucratif incorporée en mars 2009 et dont la mission est : la promotion de l’histoire et de la culture des francophones de Colombie-Britannique; le soutien d’études historiques par l’encouragement de la recherche, de l’enseignement et de la publication; la collecte et la préservation de documents historiques et d’artéfacts; la dissémination d’information et de dossiers historiques.
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Même si mes ancêtres n'ont pas participé à l'histoire de la côte nord ouest de l'Amérique du nord...Bien que...ils étaient Vikings.... Mon intérêt pour l'histoire attachante des francophones qui ont façonné cette région est venu d'un séjour éffectué à St Paul dans l'État de l'Orégon. Je voudrais partager de nouveau avec vous le texte suivant, sorry in English....

The Search for a Missing People

These days, motorists traveling through the little hamlet of St. Paul, Ore., on state Highway 219, hardly give the place a second glance.

As most small communities go, St. Paul has a church, two cemeteries, a school, a roadside tavern, a post office, a small grocery store, a "feed and seed" with the latest farm equipment on display, and a large rodeo grounds and grandstand that hosts one of the Pacific Northwest’s longest-running July 4th rodeos.

About 1,000 people call St. Paul home. In appearance, it looks like a million other such places in America. Nothing to set it apart. Unless, of course, you know just what it is you’re looking at.

To researchers like OSU’s ( Oregon State University ) David Brauner, a professor of archaeology, St. Paul and the surrounding countryside still known to locals as French Prairie, is the place to study the state’s early history. Here lie many of the keys necessary to understanding the economic and social processes that helped in shaping and developing the Old Oregon Country, a label historians use to mean (approximately) the years from 1800 to 1850.

There’s an old adage about going to Europe: The most important thing you can pack is an education. Otherwise, all the old buildings look the same. How true of visiting St. Paul. For the uninformed, there’s the scene described above ... nothing special but a small town you pass through on your merry way to somewhere else.
To the informed, St. Paul presents a different world, one rich with Oregon’s early history.

In the older cemetery, the one across the road from the high school, lie the bodies of two men who claimed with some convincing evidence they were members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803-1806).Francois Rivet and Philippe Degre. Rivet died in 1852 at age 95. Degre was 108 when he died in 1847. A grave mate of theirs is Entienne Lucier, the "Father of Oregon Agriculture." Mr. Lucier was also one of two French-Canadians to vote pro-American at that historic meeting at Champoeg on March 3, 1843, when, by a tally of 52-50, the group agreed to form a provisional government as an important first step to Oregon eventually becoming an American state (1858).

In the other cemetery, just a stone’s throw away, lies Archbishop Francis Norbet Blanchet, first Catholic Missionary to the Pacific Northwest and the priest who once had responsibility for all Catholic churches west of the Mississippi. Blanchet figures prominently in the early history of French Prairie and took the leadership role in forming the coalition of Americans and French-Canadian/Metis who helped successfully launch Oregon’s provisional government.

The Catholic church he helped build still stands in St. Paul and still is used for Mass. Its congregation is proud of the fact that its church building is the oldest brick building in the Pacific Northwest, older than anything in Portland or Seattle. Older than the Jason Lee Mission. Older than the Oregon Trail itself.

For the past 20 years, David Brauner has been fascinated with this special piece of the valley, always comparing the physical evidence found in his diggings with that of the written word ... the books, documents, and diaries from the period that have played such an important role in shaping the current perceptions and attitudes surrounding the settlement and building of the Northwest.

All this has led Brauner to one conclusion, succinctly put:

"It’s an old adage ... winners write the history," he says. "This is especially true here in Oregon and there is no better place to demonstrate this than at French Prairie. Spots on the map familiar to many residents of the area — St. Paul, Champoeg, Butteville, St. Louis, that is, all the little communities that sit between Newberg and Woodburn east of I-5 — hold the key to our complete understanding of the development of early western Oregon.and what was the Oregon Country"

Brauner likes to emphasize the word "complete" in this context because he strongly believes that up to now, the picture passed down by past generations of specialists has been anything but.

"Grouping them together — which may be unfair but let’s do it anyway — many of these writings from this early period are overly patriotic, pro-American historical works produced in the mid-to-late 19th century by retired governors, senators, congressmen and judges. They are still with us today, still very influential and, within the limitations we have posed here, still somewhat useful."

"The common thread or theme they all share is that the establishment of the Oregon Country came about through a combination of opportunity, political and economic will, and overwhelming numbers, and that this entire process was uniquely American. Only Americans were qualified to have the visions of prosperity, security and contentment necessary to develop the Willamette Valley and its natural resources. The ‘Golden Pioneer’ that sits atop the state capitol building in Salem is an American pioneer."

Brauner’s shovel, of course, hasn’t unearthed anything to dispute the important role American settlers played in the early growth of the state. It’s just that his blade has also uncovered some things that, for whatever reason, haven’t been talked about or written about much, ever.

By locating almost 95 former cabin sites in and around Champoeg and in other special locations throughout French Prairie, Brauner and his students have uncovered the physical remains of another culture, older than the first wagon trains to enter the state, older than the first American farm in the valley.

They were the Metis (pronounced "Matee"), mostly retired French Canadian trappers who once worked out of Fort Vancouver and then settled on small, French Prairie farm sites with Native American wives and large numbers of children. To Brauner and his students, the role of the Metis in the settlement and economic history of the Oregon Territory and the state of Oregon has never been fully explored or appreciated by historians.

"The Metis have only been minimally acknowledged," Brauner explains, "which, to me, represents a serious historical miscalculation.

"The truth is, a significant number of French Canadian-Metis employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company based at Fort Vancouver did begin settling the northern valley after their contractual obligations to the company were over so that, between 1829 and 1843, successful Metis agricultural communities developed in several locations throughout the Northwest. The oldest and largest of these, of course, was French Prairie, centered in that 10-mile strip that sits between St. Paul and Champoeg."

Brauner says his research indicates that more than a decade before the first Americans found their way into the Willamette Valley, the French Prairie farms of the Metis were flourishing.

"The Metis were the dominant population group in the valley, surpassing that of many of the Native American tribes whose presence in the area was ancient," he says. "I’m convinced that when the first immigrant train arrived in Oregon City in 1843, it was not greeted by a virgin wilderness but was witness to a partially settled landscape whose population had already developed suitable agricultural strategies for the successful exploitation of the best farm land in the valley.

"Put simply, the agricultural industry of the Willamette Valley was already under way by 1843, which explains why the Jason Lee Mission is so close to Salem. All the good land north into French Prairie had long been taken."

From this, Brauner draws a simple conclusion: The success of many of the first American farmsteads may well be attributed to the experience and guidance of the Metis community, a position he will put forth in an upcoming book on the subject and one that is destined to rewrite the early history of the state.

Known as the "French-Canadian Archeological Project," Brauner has identified and documented 93 families and their farmsteads in the area. Fifty-two of these dwelling sites have been physically located and five have been studied extensively, incorporating the use of private collections. These include the Willamette Station of the Jason Lee Methodist Mission, the first Catholic Mission site at St. Paul, the St. Joseph’s School for Boys at St. Paul, and the Hudson’s Bay Company granary and clerk’s house near Champoeg, which was the economic hub of French Prairie.

What caused the Metis to be largely forgotten is one of the most fascinating aspects of Brauner’s search for a missing people. "They were illiterate, so they didn’t chronicle their history, dreams, aspirations and goals for the future," Brauner explains. "They spoke French, jargon, and other native languages, but not English. They had Indian wives and Metis children ... for these reasons they were viewed by most Americans as being Indian. Also, having worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, many Americans viewed them as British subjects."

"Most of all, they were Catholic," Brauner concludes, "which was absolutely abhorred by the increasingly dominant Protestant population pouring into the Willamette Valley."

Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, the French-Canadian/Metis land base in the Willamette Valley began to significantly diminish. Social and cultural incompatibility, exclusionary land claim laws and Indian removal policies were foremost in separating the Metis from their highly coveted land. By the beginning of the 20th century, the only perceived impact of this population on Oregon history is with a few scattered place names — small communities that still dot the landscape around and east of Woodburn — St. Paul and Champoeg already discussed, as well as St. Louis and Gervais in that same vicinity.

As the research university of Oregon, OSU has more than 1,800 men and women involved in work that stretches our understanding of who we are and what this world is all about. Many of these projects, like Brauner’s, are helping to reshape the very disciplines in which they operate, forcing other experts in those same fields to rethink their thinking and to rewrite what they’ve written before.
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Ce fut un plaisir de rencontrer la communauté haïtienne du Grand Vancouver pour la première fois. Un groupe chaleureux et plein d'entrain. Ayant rencontré l'aïeul de cette communauté, je prévois déjà une entrevue d'histoire orale avec lui très bientôt. ...

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On verra bien... ...

"What's exciting about Canada is that we don't have one singular identity." The history of Canada, in 10 epic hours.

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