As we recognise the 200th Anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald’s birthday the inevitable happens. The tax payer funded, tax payer educated Professional Indians claim that our first Prime Minister was evil because he had a policy of Assimilation to the Indians.
Was assimilation bad? What were the practising alternatives in other countries? Was it welcomed by the Indians? These questions are never asked let alone answered although there is plenty of historical evidence to do so. The following is an excerp from JESUIT MISSIONARIES TO NORTH AMERICA edited by Francois Roustang 1961.
This is an exact quote translated from the French to English from the writings of Paul Le Jeune , the founder of the Mission in the 1600's. He is travelling with a Huron Christian who reverted back to his old culture.
“ My host said to me during this scarcity. ‘Chibine, harden your soul, resist your hunger; sometimes you will go two, or even three or four days, without food. Do not let yourself be downcast . Take courage. When the snow comes , we shall eat.’ It was not Our Lord’s will that they should be long without capturing anything. Ordinarily we ate once every two days. For example, we very often would have a beaver in the morning and the next evening a porcupine as big as a suckling pig. This was not much for ninetten of us, it is true, but the little sufficed to keep us alive. When our supply of food ran out, if I could have the skin of an eel for my day’s fare, I considered that I had breakfasted, dined and supped very well.
In the beginning I had used one of these eel skins to patch my cloth cassock, as I had forgotten to bring some patches with me. But when hunger pressed too hard I ate my patches.”
Le Jeune also tells us of the houses where you could not stand which are full of suffocating smoke, where you can study the stars and moon all night as if you were outside.
His worse difficulty was with the sorcerer whom everyone feared and hated but gave him everything he wanted including the best food available and plenty of it.
The book has been reprinted by Ignatius Press. Gay