Category Archives: Native Americans

A French Thanksgiving Off the Coast of Maine

American thanksgivings are characterized by slabs of roasted meat, free-flowing liquor and good cheer. This tradition is usually traced to the Pilgrim Fathers, and a feast they shared with the local Indians at Plymouth (Massachusetts) in 1621. However, it’s now widely accepted that there are many other possible origins for the tradition of Thanksgiving, including Spanish celebrations […]

Cleveland Ball Team Named for Two Legendery French-Heritage Players

Chicago Cubs fans are celebrating the end of their teams’ long World Series championship drought, following their win over Cleveland in the final game on Wednesday night.  The Cubs’ streak without a World Series win stretches back so far that the last time they won the Series, Cleveland weren’t even known as the Indians.  In […]

The 14th Colony – Maine and the Invasion of Canada, 1775

This past week saw the celebration of Independence Day in the US, of course, but also Canada Day north of the border. Over the winter of 1775-6, Maine was the setting for an audacious but ultimately failed bid that, if successful, would have had drastic ramifications for the history of both countries. Colonel Benedict Arnold, […]

Daniel Mitchell’s Decade Among the Abenaki

One Saturday evening, in the early spring of in 1752, three boys were bringing home the cattle from the common pasture near the meetinghouse in North Yarmouth, Maine [1], back to Benjamin Mitchell’s farm. It should have been a relatively routine chore for the lads, aged seven, eleven and twelve.  But at the intersection of Main Street and […]

When Canada Was the Problem Neighbor (Life on the Border, Part 1)

A Canadian Mountie and Vermont State Trooper pose at the border near Highwater, QC, in 1941, for the opening of the Montreal-Portland (Maine) oil pipeline. (Libraries and Archives Canada)   From out these wilderness haunts, bands of men have for years made systematic raids on…settlements, and woe to the man, woman or  child who has interfered […]

What “The Revenant” Tells Us About Hollywood’s Attitude to Franco-Americans

While much of the Internet has been discussing #OscarsoWhite, French Canadians and Franco-Americans have been airing their own concerns about one particular movie, The Revenant.  The plot of the film centers on Hugh Glass, an American fur trader in the 1830s, who seeks revenge on his former comrades after he is left for dead following […]