Page 56 - Gobineau: Cape Breton's People, 1859
ISSUE : Issue 54
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1
friends during the wars with protestant England. When defeat and persecution came, it became the honoured symbol of past glories, the token of fidelity to the faith and a sort of promise for the future. Every Indian to whom I talked, man or woman, upon realizing that I was a Frenchman, invariably took out their rosary and held it to my eyes with a gentle and sad smile that told a long story. Nowadays, and since they are no longer persecuted, they go to church and priests have returned to minister to them. They venerate their pas? tors like children in need of affection. They prove everyday the power? ful influence priests have over them for most of them have renounced the most nefarious of their more base instincts: their fondness for a(x>- ?? FREE ESTIMATES ALL WORK GUARANTEED ELECTRIC HEATING RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL • INDUSTRIAL ' 24 HOUR SERVICE Long Distance Customers Call Collect SYDNEY 151 Dorchester St. 562-6570 Vc'?'', Burglar Alarm Systems Medic Aid Response Systems 24 hiour Monitoring '**CTR1C Vt<>- NEW WATERFORD 862-3698 hoi. There has been a wide distribution among them of pamphlets and cmde lithographs showing one of their brothers being tempted by a big devil, complete with homs and tail, dressed up as an American mer? chant, who is showing him a tottle of hard liquor. He drinks and falls in the flames of hell while his wife and children look on with grief. This lesson produced results and, assuredly, there are few dmnkards nowadays amongst the Indians of Nova Scotia. Qn this score, they show good will. However, on every other aspect generated by their native instincts, such as nomadic life, love of independence, not a great liking for steady work, they promise but cannot deliver. A few women and girls were persuaded to become domestics. They are very docile, timorous even, affectionate and grateful for the good treatment shown them, but they cannot abide mies and no amount of enticement or force will prevent them, after a while, from bolting one morning to return to the forests. The entreaties of the priests are use? less; they cry but nevertheless leave. In Nova Scotia, Indians have no political rights and this is neither an injustice nor a spoliation. Refusing all European habits and ways of thinking, they evidently cannot belong to a society based on princi? ples which they refuse to accept. However, they are protected by generous laws and their behaviour is such that there is no possibility that they be ill-treated. No one offends nor harms them. They them? selves are exceedingly gentle, having retained none of the combative spirit of their ancestors, to the point where I doubt if SUMMERTIME PRODUCTIONS SOCIETY! they-uld be convinced to take up arms and go imo presents FEATURING: Marcel Doucet John Hoilis Berkley Lamey Fred Lavery Bette MacDonald Marilyn MacDonald Max MacDonald Doris Mason Matt Minglewood Maynard Morrison Neil Robertson DIRECTOR: Don Gillies MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Leon Dubinsky '90 ANEW MUSIC & COMEDY SHOW May 24-June 1 Savoy Theatre Glace Bay June 4-8 Rebecca Cohn Halifax June 9 Truro June 11-12 Pictou June 13-14 Antigonish June 15-16 Port Hawkesbury June 18-23 Savoy Theatre Glace Bay TICKET OFFICES: 500 George Place • SYDNEY Savoy Theatre • GLACE BAY 564-6489 * 849-1999 This does not surprise me. I have already said that these tribes do not belong to the Red Indian race. They are Eskimos who are naturally a very weak and thoroughly harmless variety of human species. At the Pole they are, today, the victims of Red Indians who massacre them without pity and who will suc? ceed in exterminating them because they defend themselves so poorly. In Nova Scotia, when the French established their first colonies, contact with Red Indians had forced them to adopt wariike habits, so much so that they adopted their enemies' military customs to the point where they tortured and scalped their prisoners like the Hurons themselves. It was not difficult, however, to dissuade them from these practices which were caused by their situation and, once they were out of peril, they very willingly abandoned their weapons, the handling of which they have now forgotten. Their faults are those of the weak and of children: la? ziness and untruthfulness. But they are honest and their morals are remarkably pure because they are a cold race. The government has assigned to them a vast territory in the middle of the Island to do as they please and Europeans are forbidden to settle there. Nevertheless, Indians seldom go there. It seems that they have taken a strong dislike to this territory ever since it was given to them. Borders bother them, they prefer to roam through all parts of the Island, taking their wigwams and canoes with them. They are unhindered. They camp for a few days in a forest, on a beach where they plane down twards, make baskets and delicate little wori
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