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 The term “Indian” is outdated and may be considered offensive.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 (1876-1943)

Edited January 23, 2022, with updated information provided to me by a Lerat cousin.

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, from 1974 to 1909, and there is still leg-work required to go through the microfilm to locate the right reserve. As of January 23rd, 2022, I have created indexes to make less work for researchers.

It was by browsing through these records that I discovered Marie Adele Lerat (1888-1918) 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 (dead link)

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 (1876-1943) and an ‘unnamed’ wife. It’s unfortunate that many of the records at this time only record the name of the person collecting annuity on behalf of their family. The unnamed wife was Marie Caroline Aisaican (1878-1909).

1895. Treaty Annuity List.

Caroline’s (1878-1909) father was Aisaican (English=Clarified Maple Sugar) (1830-???) and her mother was Julie Sparvier (1848-???). In the 1905 census records I found the Aisaican family listed as Sparvier as well. 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 (1876-1943) 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 (1876-1843) 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 (1903-1980). Too bad there is not much else recorded in this census.

1906 Census.

Caroline’s death is recorded in the 1909 Treaty annuity list and in further research I found she died on January 25th, 1909. 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 (1876-1943) married Philomène Daniel (1888-1911) on July 20th, 1909, less than six months after Caroline’s death. There were four children who needed looking after, I imagine this played a part in the hasty marriage.

I learned the pair had a son on August 23rd, 1910, named J. Albert who died before his first birthday, on January 10th, 1911. Sadly, Philomène died only a few months later on June 28th, 1911. She lived long enough to be recorded in the 1911 census but 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.

On April 22nd, 1912, after Philomène’s death, Joseph (1876-1911) married Marie Adele Lerat (1888-1918). I’ve identified four children by Adele: John (1913-1913), Robert Louis (1915-2001), Theresa Elizabeth (1916-2005), and J. Silvestre (1918-1918).

Adele (1888-1918) 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 have married.

1916 Census.

In 1918, Joseph lost both his son and his third wife on November 7th and November 10th, 1918, respectively. There are quite a number of individuals within my family living on Cowessess and Ochapowace who died during the height of the influenza pandemic. In fact, there are Indian Affairs reports which talk about the high number of deaths in the Crooked Lake Agency.

In the 1921 census, Joseph Pelletier (1876-1943) is listed with his children Marie Josephine (1899-1984), Marie Louise (1903-1980), Napoleon (1905-1985), Robert (1915-2001), and a new child born after the death of Adele (1888-1918). Her name was Marie Anne (1920-1999) and it appears she was the daughter of Marie Josephine (1899-1894) and James Atcikate (???-???). I must do further research on Marie’s father James as I have only found him in one document provided to me recently.

1921 Census.

In the 1926 census, Joseph (1876-1942) and his new wife, Ernestina Chaboyer (1880-???) whom he married on December 16th, 1925, are living together. Also living with them is Napoleon (1905-1985) and Joseph’s mother, 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 Anne (1920-1999) who must also be at the residential school but as of January 2022 I have not found yet.

1926 Census.

In a recent document that was provided to me, it appears Joseph (1876-1943) and Ernestina (1880-???) adopted a girl named Eva Patricia Ward (1930-???) who married Andrew Sparvier (???-???). This is new information as of January 2022 and which requires further research.

Joseph (1876-1943) passed away on September 23rd, 1943, in Broadview, Saskatchewan, and that is where my research ends for now.

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 as well as most recently with communications with other family members.