1916 Staff and Student Attendees of the Marieval Indian Residential School

The following transcription is from the 1916 Canadian Census of Prairie Provinces which captured the names of staff and students at the Marieval school.

You can find copies of the census on the government of Canada’s website. The pages that captured this information are from the Indian Reserves electoral district, sub-district description is Crooked Lake Agency, Reserve no. 73 – Cowessess – Qu’Appelle, pages 11 and 12.

Search the 1916 Canadian Census here.

For ease of access, I have linked these pages here (page 11) and here (page 12).

1916 Census Marieval Residential School Staff

Name PositionSexAgeTribal OriginMother Tongue
J.B.BeysPrincipalMale40FrenchFrench
ClaraBoisertMother SuperiorFemale43FrenchFrench
LauraCollinsAssistantFemale34FrenchFrench
ElizaDufaultAssistantFemale37FrenchFrench
GauthierEugeneAssistantMale44FrenchFrench
PeterKerouantonServantMale22FrenchFrench
RoseLangstaffAssistantFemale35IrishFrench
A.LariviereAssistantFemale33FrenchFrench
MariaLe BlancAssistantFemale31FrenchFrench
MaryMousseauAssistantFemale24FrenchFrench
N.A.RoiselleAssistantMale47FrenchFrench

1916 Census Marieval Residential School Students

Name SexAgeTribal OriginMother Tongue
RaphaelAgecoutayMale10CreeCree
ThersaAgecoutayFemale7CreeCree
DelinaAisaicanFemale7CreeCree
IsaacAisaicanMale15CreeCree
MarthaAisaicanFemale15CreeCree
MatthewAisaicanMale7CreeCree
RielAisaicanMale11CreeCree
StephenAisaicanMale11CreeCree
XavierAisaicanMale8CreeCree
MaggieAllaryFemale10CreeCree
MariaAllaryFemale12CreeCree
AlbertBelangerFemale13CreeCree
AlexandreBelangerMale15CreeCree
AlexinaBelangerFemale9CreeCree
SimonBelangerMale8CreeCree
TheophileBelangerMale18CreeCree
ElenoreDelormeFemale13CreeCree
EmeranceDelormeFemale12CreeCree
EmeriseDelormeFemale17CreeCree
FrancoiseDelormeFemale7CreeCree
LeonDelormeMale12CreeCree
PierreDelormeMale14CreeCree
St. PierreDelormeMale13CreeCree
LouisGunnMale10CreeCree
SeraphineLaVallee (Lavallee)Female13CreeCree
TheresaLaVallee (Lavallee)Female16CreeCree
AngusLeratMale15CreeCree
AlexandreLeratMale10CreeCree
AlfredLeratMale9CreeCree
DanielLeratMale13CreeCree
HelenLeratFemale14CreeCree
LouisLeratMale10CreeCree
MargueriteLeratFemale16CreeCree
VeroniqueLeratFemale16CreeCree
MarieNepahpinessFemale14CreeCree
AgnesNesahcamapenessFemale9CreeCree
ElizabethNesahcamapenessFemale17CreeCree
JohnNitamarikeMale9CreeCree
ElizaPeltierFemale15CreeCree
LouisePeltier (Pelletier)Female13CreeCree
MariePeltier (Pelletier)Female18CreeCree
NapoleonPeltier (Pelletier)Male10CreeCree
St. PierreWapamooseMale10CreeCree
HenrietteYoungFemale15CreeCree
VictorYoungMale10CreeCree

1926 Staff and Student Attendees of the Marieval Indian Residential School

The Marieval Indian Residential School, also known as the Cowessess school, was located in the Qu’Appelle valley, south of Crooked Lake. It opened on December 19, 1898 and closed on June 30, 1997. During its operation, it was managed by the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate, then later the Oblate Indian and Eskimo Commission and finally the Cowessess Board of Education.

You can learn more about the Marieval Indian Residential School, and other recognized schools under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), by visiting the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s digital archive. I highly recommend reading the School Narrative which outlines important information and major events at the school.

Read more about Marieval here.

The following transcription is from the 1926 Canadian Census of Prairie Provinces which captured the names of staff and students at the Marieval school. You can find copies of the census on the government of Canada’s website. The pages that captured this information are from the Qu’Appelle electoral district, district number 30, sub-district 61, pages 1 and 2.

Search the 1926 Canadian Census here.

For ease of access, I have made these pages available here (page 1) and here (page 2).

A note about the transcription, I’ve transcribed the information as written in the census record. The term “Indian” is outdated and may be considered offensive. The term should only be used when in reference to status persons under the Indian Act.

You can read more about terminologies such as Indigenous, Aboriginal, Indian, Métis, Inuit, etc. here.

1926 Census Marieval Residential School Staff

Name PositionSexAgeTribal OriginMother Tongue
JosephCarriereHeadMale59FrenchFrench
FiebranieBergeronEmployeeFemale36FrenchFrench
JohnChisholmEmployeeMale86ScotchEnglish
LauraCollinsEmployeeFemale44FrenchFrench
DovatFafardEmployeeMale59FrenchFrench
IdaHibotteEmployeeFemale29FrenchFrench
PierreKerouantonEmployeeMale32FrenchFrench
AlexinaKerouantonEmployee’s wifeFemale21FrenchFrench
LouisKerouantonEmployee’s sonMale3FrenchFrench
Joseph PaulKerouantonEmployee’s sonMale2/12FrenchFrench
RoseLangstaffEmployeeFemale45FrenchFrench
AliceLapierreEmployeeFemale36FrenchFrench
GraziellaMaynardEmployeeFemale36FrenchFrench
WilliamMossEmployeeMale38EnglishEnglish
HenryPichonEmployeeMale26FrenchFrench
ClaudiaRochelianEmployeeFemale42FrenchFrench
NoclaTougasEmployeeFemale31FrenchFrench

1926 Census Marieval Residential School Students

Name SexAgeTribal OriginMother Tongue
Agnes BellaAcooseFemale14Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
Joseph GabrielAcooseMale15Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
Joseph RielAcooseMale13Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
Mary JimamiaAcooseFemale14Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
May LucyAcooseFemale11Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
RosalieAcooseFemale11Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
EdwardAgecoutayMale9Cree IndianCree
EmmaAgecoutayFemale7Cree IndianCree
EvaAgecoutayFemale14Cree IndianCree
IsidoreAgecoutayMale7Cree IndianCree
AgnesAisaicanFemale14Cree IndianCree
AlbertAisaicanMale12Cree IndianCree
AndrewAisaicanMale10Cree IndianCree
EmanuelAisaicanMale16Cree IndianCree
IsadoreAisaicanMale17Cree IndianCree
JeremieAisaicanMale14Cree IndianCree
Joseph VictorAisaicanMale9Cree IndianCree
LeonAisaicanMale8Cree IndianCree
Marie LouiseAisaicanFemale8Cree IndianCree
OliviaAisaicanFemale10Cree IndianCree
DelvinaBellehumeurFemale10French Half-Breed1French
EstherBellehumeurFemale13French Half-BreedFrench
Mary CatherineBellehumeurFemale15French Half-BreedFrench
AgnesBordenFemale6Cree Indian2Saulteaux
JosephineBordenFemale10Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
AliceDelormeFemale11Indian3Cree
AmableDelormeMale7Cree IndianCree
AmbroseDelormeMale8Cree IndianCree
Ambrose CharlesDelormeMale12Cree IndianCree
ClaraDelormeFemale10Cree IndianCree
ClementDelormeMale10Cree IndianCree
FlorenceDelormeFemale13Cree IndianCree
FrancisDelormeMale8Cree IndianCree
FrancoiseDelormeFemale17Cree IndianCree
HeleneDelormeFemale11IndianCree
IsabellaDelormeFemale12Cree IndianCree
JamesDelormeMale14Cree IndianCree
RosalieDelormeFemale8Cree IndianCree
PhillippeHenryMale16French Half-BreedCree
GilbertLafontaineMale16French Half-BreedFrench
MarieLafontaineFemale12French Half-BreedFrench
NormanLafontaineMale10French Half-BreedFrench
PeterLafontaineMale8French Half-BreedFrench
AgnesLavalleeFemale17Cree IndianCree
CelinaLavalleeFemale15Cree IndianCree
FlorestineLavalleeFemale15French Half-BreedFrench
VirginieLavalleeFemale13Cree IndianCree
EmilieLeratFemale11Cree IndianCree
FlorenceLeratFemale10Cree IndianCree
GeorgeLeratMale16Cree IndianCree
GeorgeLeratMale11Cree IndianCree
HenriettaLeratFemale16Cree IndianCree
AliceLouisonFemale6Cree IndianCree
MosesNorthwindMale8Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
ElizaNowekeseswapeFemale15Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
ClementinePelletierFemale11IndianCree
DovatPelletierMale14Cree IndianCree
EdwardPelletierMale10Cree IndianCree
ElizabethPelletierFemale14Cree IndianCree
RobertPelletierMale11Cree IndianCree
SampsonPelletierMale15Cree IndianCree
TheresaPelletierFemale9Cree IndianCree
John BaptisteRedwoodMale13Cree IndianCree
JosephRedwoodMale15Cree IndianCree
GeorginaSmokerFemale9Cree IndianCree
AdelineSparvierFemale10Cree IndianCree
Lily JaneStillFemale10Cree IndianCree
Rose AliceTrottierFemale9Cree IndianCree
AliceTwo VoiceFemale16Cree IndianCree
Marie AnneTwo VoiceFemale15IndianCree
Joseph PaulWapamooseMale16Cree IndianCree
JosephWilliamsMale14Saulteaux IndianSaulteaux
Joseph CleophasYoungMale10Cree IndianCree

1 Outdated and insensitive term for Métis of French and Indigenous ancestry.

2 I believe this is an error, and Agnes should be listed as from the Saulteaux Tribe.

3 For some students the enumerator did not list their tribe of origin, however, this information can likely be assumed based on information found in this table.

Indigenous Genealogy Work – Joseph Pelletier (1876-???)

Conducting research on my Indigenous ancestors has always posed a challenge for me. Limits to records—their availability, ease of access, and even their existence has made research much slower.

I’ve had very little success with Saskatchewan’s vital statistics records and hit or miss success with census records which have aided me the most in my research. Knowing very little about my Indigenous ancestors at the start of my genealogy journey meant I had to rely on what I could find but that means there are inaccuracies and mysteries abound.

This past year I decided to try searching Treaty annuity records to see if I can find more information on this part of my family. What a treasure trove! Although limited in their capacity, I discovered so much which hadn’t known before 2019.

Only a portion of Treaty annuity records have been digitized, till 1909, and there is still leg-work required to go through the microfilm to locate the right reserve.

It was by browsing through these records that I discovered Marie Adele Lerat (1888-???) was not my grandfather’s biological mother, but his step-mother.

I’ve had a suspicion that this was the case but had no proof to confirm. It does account for the name changes in census records as well as for the gap between my grandfather Napoleon Pelletier (1905-1985) and his brother Robert Louis Pelletier (1915-2001).

The list of Treaty annuity list reels is here:
https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_133552

Here’s a blog post which identifies what Treaties and years are covered on each digitized reel:
https://www.dibaajimowin.com/tawnkiyash/treaty-annuity-paylists

In the 1895, band member #46 of Cowessess, Hyacinth Pelletier (1849-1906) had a son who married the daughter of band member #13. At this time, Hyacinth and his wife drew an annuity payment. It also states that one grandson died sometime after the previous year’s payment.

1895. Treaty Annuity List.

The newly married couple would draw from #157. Here we see Joseph Pelletier (1876-???) and an ‘unnamed’ wife. Her name was Marie Caroline Aisaican (1878-1909).

1895. Treaty Annuity List.

Caroline’s (1878-1909) father was Aisaican (English=Clarified Maple Sugar). In the 1905 census records I found the Aisaican family listed as Sparvier. Sparvier is also the surname used for Caroline in some of the Baptisms records.

In 1895, Aisaican (1830-???) had a wife, a son, and two daughters living on reserve with him. One of his sons, William Aisaican (1876-???), married the daughter of #126 and he also had one son who was living at Turtle Mountain. There were also a number of Pelletiers who traveled back and forth to Turtle Mountain.

1895. Treaty Annuity List.

In the 1901 census, Joseph (1876-???) and Caroline (1878-1909) can be found living with two daughters: Marie Sarah (1897-???) and Marie Josephine (1899-1984). The family had already suffered the loss of two children, an unnamed boy who was born and died in 1896 and Mary Jane who was born and died in 1901.

It’s interesting to note that Caroline (1878-1909) is listed as Saulteaux while Joseph (1876-???) is listed as French. In other records he’s listed as a ‘French-Breed’ and ‘Cree’. Further research informed me he is a descendent of a Red River Métis family, but that is a post for another day.

1901 Census.

The family is found again in the 1906 records. This is the first record my grandfather is recorded in. It also lists his sisters Marie Sarah (1897-???), Marie Josephine (1899-1984), and Marie Louise (1903-???). Too bad there is not much else recorded in this census.

1906 Census.

Although I have yet to find any information of Caroline’s death, it’s recorded in the 1909 Treaty annuity list. In this record, we see Joseph has one son and three daughters living on reserve with him. Additionally, there is a mark at the opposite end of the document which shows one woman died between the last annuity payment and this one.

1909 Treaty Annuity List.

Interestingly enough, Joseph (1876-???) married Philomène Daniel (1888-before 1915) on July 20th, 1909. I found their marriage record but have been unable to find a date of death for Philomène. As far as I am aware at this time, Joseph and Philomène did not have any children, at least, none that lived past infancy. I don’t have much information Philomène and must conduct more research.

The family can be found in the 1911 census records. All of Joseph’s children from his previous marriage can be found: Marie Sarah, Marie Josephine, Marie Louise, and Napoleon. Additionally, although the document states Hyacinth (1949-1906) is living with them, this is incorrect. Hyacinth died in 1906, this is recorded in the 1906 Treaty annuity payment list. Thus it is Julienne LaVallee (1853-???), his mother!

1911 Census.

Sometime after Philomène’s death, Joseph (1876-???) married Marie Adele Lerat (1888-???). I’ve identified three children by Adele: Robert Louis (1915-2001), Theresa Elizabeth (1916-2005), and Marie (1920-???).

Adele (1888-???) and family can be found in the 1916 census where only Robert (1915-2001) is listed with his mother and father. The other children are either at residential school or married.

1916 Census.

In the 1921 census, Joseph Pelletier (1876-???) is listed with his children Marie Josephine (1899-1984), Marie Louise (1903-???), Napoleon (1905-1985), Robert (1915-2001), and Marie (1920-???). Adele (1888-???), however, is missing from this record unless they mistakenly recorded her as 1-year-old daughter.

1921 Census.

In the 1926 census, Joseph (1876-???) and his wife, I am unable to decipher the name though I imagine it is Adele (1888-???). Also living with them is Napoleon (1905-1985) and Julienne LaVallee (1853-???). The other children Robert (1915-2001) and Theresa (1916-2005) can be found at the Cowessess residential school. There is no mention of Marie (1920-???) who either died before the 1926 census or was mistakenly recorded in the 1921 census.

1926 Census.

In any case, this is just some of the information I have been able to unearth in the last year alone thanks to the Treaty annuity list.

52 Ancestors – Week 6 – Mary Sarah Pelletier

For this week in Amy Johnson Crow’s genealogist challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I am going to write about my maternal grand aunt, Mary Sarah Pelletier (1898-).

I do not know much of my grand-aunt, what I do know I’ve gathered from census records. My mother tells me she remembers little of her aunts who seemed to have been all given ‘Mary’ or ‘Marie’ as a precursor to their name.

Mary Sarah can be found in the 1901, 1906, 1911, 1916 and 1921 census living on the Crooked Lake Indian Reserve. On the 1916 census she can be found living with her husband James Agecoutay. Mary Sarah and her three children (David, Emma, and Stephen) are later found living with her father in the 1921 census; Mary Sarah’s marital status is listed as widowed.

1921 census

1921 census

From here on I do not know what became of my great-aunt or my cousins. I wonder what happened to James Agecoutay, he likely died by disease or misfortune. The birth of his youngest child indicates that he most likely was still alive only 15 months prior to the census. A basic search of Saskatchewan’s vital records has provided me with no new information. I’m not sure what sort of records I can search to progress in finding how what happened.

When the TRC public archives opens I may be able to search available records of Residential Schools to find relatives who attended them. It is likely that my cousins attended the Crooked Lake Residential School like their mother (and most likely their father too).

52 Ancestors – Week 5 – Napoleon Pelletier

EDIT: Please visit this blog post for new research. Portions of the following blog entry on Napoleon Pelletier are now out-of-date based on research done on Treaty annuity records.

I want to keep the information in this post unchanged beyond this addendum about the identity of his mother. I was previously under the impression that Marie Adele Lerat (1888-) had been his mother, but in fact, she was his step-mother.

You can read more about this discovery here.

For this week in Amy Johnson Crow’s genealogist challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I am going to write about my maternal grandfather, Napoleon Pelletier (1905-1985). He was born on the Cowessess First Nation to parents Joseph Pelletier (1876-) and Marie Adele Lerat (1878-) in 1905. He had six other siblings that I am aware of although it is highly possible he may have had more.

Napoleon attended the Cowessess Indian Residential School and he can be found in the 1916 census. Cowessess Indian Residential School opened in 1898 and was later renamed Marieval. Residential schools that ran during this era typically used the half-day system where students would attend classes for half the day and work the other half. Napoleon would have most likely worked in the fields to provide food for the rest of the students or done other chores to keep the costs of the school low. My grandmother- his wife, Marie Cecilla Allary, also went to Cowesses. Her memories of the school during this era were not very pleasant, she remembers that the uniforms were rough, almost like potato sacks, and that she worked mostly in the kitchen to provide food for others students rarely ever spending time in a classroom.

pelletier, nap 1916 census

c. 1916

One of the issues I have with researching my Aboriginal ancestors are the records. First, there is nothing much in regards to census records before Saskatchewan became a province in 1905. The area where my family would have lived was known as The Territories, more specifically Assiniboia, but what complicates the search for them in official records is the fact that they traveled between the Canadian and United States border.

Another issue in regards to researching Aboriginal ancestors are the names. Names that I am related to are Agecoutay, Allary, Lerat, and Lavallee – this is not an exhaustive list. When looking at the census records between 1901-1921 there are many families on the reserve and just outside of it with these names and it’s hard to determine who is the right Napoleon Pelletier. Furthermore, the spelling of these names are varied and it is difficult to look for family when Pelletier has been recorded as Pelter, Peliter, or even Pelger! What worries me further is whether family members also went by traditional names which I would have no know of thereby missing individuals entirely.

Napoleon married my grandmother sometime in the late 1920s or very early 1930s; he and his family moved to southern Alberta where they lived on the Blackfoot (Siksika) reserve and where Napoleon worked as a miner. I have located two photos of my grandfather from the Glenbow Archives during this time. My grandfather is in the second row, second on the left.

Napoleon fought in Italy during the second world war. I have yet to get a copy of his military records although I’m very interested in taking a look at them. Apparently, Amsterdam was one of his favourite cities and when my mother came to visit me this past summer she lit a candle in one of the churches in his memory. My mother says he never spoke about his time in the army but that when he returned his once black hair had turned white and said it was because of what he had seen. (I have gotten the photo below restored and gave it to my mother as a Christmas present in 2012.)

c. 1941

c. 1941

Napoleon passed away just before Christmas in 1985. He is buried alongside his wife in Marieval, Saskatchewan, at the Sacred Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church. There is still much that I want to know about my grandfather and the fact of the matter is that I just haven’t asked enough questions. This is the year that I am going to sit down with my mother and contact my other relatives in order to get as much as I can.

52 Ancestors – Week 4 – Joseph Pelletier (the Carnegie Hero)

This week in Amy Johnson Crow’s genealogist challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I am going to write about my mother’s side of the family. Being the ‘baby’ of the family I have missed meeting many of my older relatives simply because I am the age of many of my nephews and nieces, as a consequence, many events that my siblings have been privy to have happened long before I was born.

Today, I am going to write about one of my uncles, Joseph Pelletier (1947-1973). Joey was born the second last of my mother’s siblings, eleven children in total. My mother and her siblings, including Joey, grew up on a Blackfoot reserve in southern Alberta.

Being Aboriginal children in the 1930s-1960s they would have been required to have attended Indian Residential School. I do not know much about their lives during their childhood and youth as there are only three of the eleven siblings alive today, including my mother, and I believe this reflects on the harsh lives they lived. I can only speculate, based on my studies and work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, on the treatment of my mother’s siblings in the residential school system. My mother is lucky, she can remember mostly good memories of her time at Crowfoot IRS either because her experience was better than most or because she has blocked any painful memories out for good reason. Anyway I am getting off topic- more on Indian Residential Schools in a future post.

On the morning of 29 Jul 1973, while swimming in the Bow River, 10-year-old Thelma A. Wells, became caught in the revolving current over a hole in the river bottom and called for help. Joey, my uncle, having heard her cries, entered the water fully clothed and swam to her. A struggle ensued; and both were submerged briefly several times. Joey called for assistance. His younger brother, Robert, entered the water and swam to them. While Robert was able to take Thelma safely to the bank, Joey floundered in the spinning current over the hole and drowned before help reached him.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission awarded Joey the bronze Carnegie Medal in recognition of his outstanding act of heroism. The purpose of the Carnegie Hero Fund is to award individuals in the United States and Canada who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

pelletier joey newspaper

c.1973 (Calgary)

Above is a clipping from a newspaper, most likely from Calgary, that was with the Carnegie award certificate in our basement. I do not know what has happened to the bronze metal itself because we do not have it. I can only hope one of my aunts have it in their possession otherwise it has been lost, most likely when the government seized my grandmother’s property when she passed away in 1990. I am tempted to contact the Carnegie Hero Fund to see whether a replacement medal can be given to the family again. Couldn’t hurt to ask anyway.

c. 1962

c. 1962

While I do not know much of my uncle Joey this act of bravery makes me wish I could have known him during his brief life. One of the rare photos I have in my possession shows a smiling young man full of life– even a bit of a comedian, but who isn’t at 15? I wish I had more photos of him as well as other members of my family whose faces are now lost to memory and time. This is why I treasure the photos, documents, and artifacts I am able to get my hands on. It is important to me to discover and uncover as much information as I can about my family- the more I get to know them the more I get to know myself.