Ends of My Days

1842

Tân’si. Bonjour. Hello.

It has been a year since Lord Durham gave his report and the Act of Union was implemented. Because of the act, English is the only official language.

After marrying a French Canadian, French became my second language after Cree. After having nitânis, I learned the Métis language that was created by her and her generation. We travelled until I was 50, then we settled down and I started working at a trade post. During the next 3 years, I did most of my work in French. I had picked up some English, but it was a complicated language. Now, I need to do all of my work in English, yet another language for me to learn. It’s a wonder that they don’t start blurring together.

The past year has been a pain, trying to keep up with my work as well as learn this new language. It’s insulting that they expect us all to conform to these new language rules, especially when majority of Lower East Canada speaks French. Many people see me as an old doddery Cree woman who should have died years ago and is trying to stick to ” the old ways” but the French deserve to speak their own language as much as the English. Anyways, this “doddery woman” should go and try to learn more English. Maybe I’ll soon be able to work without a translator.

Kîhtwâm ka-wâpamitin. Au revoir. Good bye.

 

1850

Tân’si. Bonjour. Hello.

I have lived many years and I believe my time is drawing to a close. At 62 years of age, it is safe to say that I’ve experienced most of what life has to offer.

2 years ago, French was accepted as a national language because of all the protests from Quebec. It took them long enough. I’m sad my husband didn’t live to see that happen. He died in ’46.

I’m happy that trades with England through the Hudson’s Bay Co stayed up and strong after the Act of Union.

During my year, I’ve really noticed how the fur trade has changed t.he way the Cree live. The native people no longer hunt for our food, we don’t have the time. We are dependant on the Europeans. The animal populations are also suffering because of all the surplus hunting.

I hope that things work themselves out, I will not spend my last days worrying about things out of my control.

I must go. I wish to spend time with nitânis and the rest of her family before I am gone.

Kîhtwâm ka-wâpamitin. Au revoir. Good bye.

Rosalie L’Hirondelle dit Mistawasis died in the year 1851

2 thoughts on “Ends of My Days”

  1. Welcome to the spirit world, Rosalie. I am glad you had time with your family before departing their world.

    I’ve also noticed the decline of animal populations in your area. I am worried that the English will not stop hunting the animals until extinction occurs. Hopefully, our Pan-aboriginal confederacy will be not only a safe haven for our people, but for these animals. We know to only take what we need.

    Rosalie, I have a favour to ask of you. Go to your husband. Once you have finished reuniting with him, ask him for his support. Our confederacy is still a child, small and learning to stand. We will need all the friends we can get to remain independent from the English “Canadians”. Please ask him to speak with his cousins, nephews, and living relatives to join in support of our independence, and so we shall show our support whenever they have need. Alone, the British can squash us, but together, we cannot be denied.

    Thank you. May you find peace here in the spirit world.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I will indeed speak with Jean-Paul and have him talk with his people, living and not. I expect full agreement on his part to this confederacy we have planned. He was always both understanding and curious of our people and our ways.

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