Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 64 > Page 25 - Annie Battiste: a Mi'Kmaq Family History

Page 25 - Annie Battiste: a Mi'Kmaq Family History

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1 (406 reads)

The fishing expedition provided the fami? lies with trade goods that many stores easily purchased. And the woods nearby furnished the makings of baskets that the women made and sold. Before July 26, they' all would return to Chapel Island for the annual St. Ann Mission in their new store- bought clothes and with their provisions for the 10-day stay on Chapel Island (Min- iku). At the end of the mission they re? turned to their homes in Barra Head. Sick times probably are most memorable in one's childhood, especially if one has life-threatening diseases. At the age of 10 or 11, my mother again fell ill to an? other deadly disease: scarlet fever. Only Annie who was about 10, and her brother who was 7, fell ill to scarlet fever. The sickness of the fever was so great that she remembers her skin peeled off. She re? members the quilts that were put around the doors and windows to prevent drafts from coming in as the shanties were only wooden frames, without insulation. When Mi'kmaq families travelled or made camp, they always stayed together in groups, taking their children wherever they went. The children took part in all the events and the tasks of the home, learning how to survive by their hands and talents. The families stayed among them? selves, immersed in the Mi'kmaq language and culture, rituals and traditions. A few may roam about more adventuresomely among the Scottish or French people, learning their languages and listening to their stories--only to return with colourful and humorous stories for the fold. The Mi'kmaq are a friendly people, gregari? ous and affable, who always can find humour and funny anecdotes in everything they do. John Lewis, Annie's father, was like that, a fellow who loved to tease and tell funny stories. His mannerisms made him a popular guy, well-thought of and highly respected among the community. Like most men, he may Bridget Stevens with her son John, and husband Thomas Battiste Conii EDISCOVER YOUR ROOTS See Cape Breton from Tf-ie Centre Visit the N.S. Highland Village and experience pioneer life in Nova Scotia from 1800 to the 1920s. Visit displays of early architecture, including the only known replica of a "Taigh Dubh" (Black House) in North America. Our cos? tumed staff are friendly and trained in conversational Gaelic and local history. Facilities include an outdoor stage and amphitheatre for concerts, the largest be? ing our annual Highland Village Day. Our Reception Building contains interest? ing displays as well as a gift shop, with a good supply of Celtic music and books, including an excellent selection of Gaehc materials. It also houses "High? land Roots" • a computerized program offering genealogical information to those people interested in Cape Breton family history. The Village is open daily from June 15 to September 15. NOVA SCOTIA HIGHLAND VILLAGE MUSEUM Box 58, lona, N. S. BOA ILO • (902) 725-2272 have a drink when he went to town, given to him by his non- Indian friends, since Mi'kmaqs were not allowed to purchase any liquor, but he rarely brought it back home to drink. He was known to be a fine fam? ily man. For two weeks one 'summer, my mother, her brother Mattie and 1 Tom 1 Battiste 1 John 1 1 Battiste | 1 Bridget 1 Stevens 1 John 1 Lewis 1 Annie 1 1 Lewis 1 1 Harriet 1 Cremo 1 1 R??tl 1 Andrew | ' 1 Battiste H V- 1 isa 1 Nich 1 '' 1 Stev -?? Marc 1 Al llMac > iste Ann 1 Marchel Nioh '. 1 • = lolas 1 Mary Ann 1 Martin te 1 ' 1 John Alex aret IJ I ' Mary 1 Julian saac '}='' - • Mary 1 Goo Ann 1 1 Simon , , 1 Cremo 1 Peter IJ 1 Cremo | h- 1 6ro eline oks 1 Charlie 1 Johnson 1 Helen 1 1 Susan 1 Philips 1 -* 1 Joseph 1 _, Marchel Chariot 1 Alexander 1 }p Mary -J 1 Tom 1 1 Johnson 1 -* Matilda 1 Paris 1 1 Andrew 1 1 _, 1 Philips 1 1 h • 1 , -* Mabel 1 Johnston | Annie and John's Family Tree her uncle Simon, her father John, and her grandfather Peter Cremo worked on making a fishing boat. Two Frenchmen from L'Ardoise helped them make the boat. In return, the family shared their food provisions and provided beds on the floor for the two men. In those two weeks that they worked on making the boat, after supper, they sat and talked and shared stories and laughter and language. My mother was just a young girl, but she still re? members the French language they taught her. She repeats with pride the numbers in French: "Yon, der.
Cape Breton's Magazine
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