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- Missionary Work Among The Ojebway Indians - 1/34 -


MISSIONARY WORK

AMONG

THE OJEBWAY INDIANS.

BY THE

REV. EDWARD F. WILSON.

CONTENTS.

CHAP.

INTRODUCTION.

I. HOW IT CAME ABOUT THAT I WENT TO CANADA.

II. FIRST MISSIONARY EXPERIENCES.

III. OUR ARRIVAL AT SARNIA.

IV. KETTLE POINT.

V. INDIAN NAMES GIVEN.

VI. CHRISTMAS ON THE RESERVE.

VII. MISSION WORK AT SARNIA.

VIII. THE BISHOP'S VISIT.

IX. FIRST VISIT TO GARDEN RIVER.

X. BAPTISM OF PAGAN INDIANS.

XI. THE RED RIVER EXPEDITION.

XII. CHANGES IN PROSPECT.

XIII. ROUGHING IT.

XIV. CHIEF LITTLE PINE.

XV. OUR FIRST WINTER IN ALGOMA.

XVI. CHIEF BUHKWUJJENENE'S MISSION.

XVII. AN INDIAN CHIEF IN ENGLAND.

XVIII. A TRIAL OF FAITH.

XIX. LEARNING TO KNOW MY PEOPLE.

XX. A WEDDING AND A DEATH.

XXI. THE OPENING OF THE FIRST SHINGWAUK HOME.

XXII. FIRE! FIRE!

XXIII. AFTER THE FIRE.

XXIV. PROSPECTS OF RE-BUILDING.

XXV. LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE.

XXVI. A TRIP TO BATCHENWAUNING.

XXVII. THE WINTER OF 1874-5.

XXVIII. THE NEW SHINGWAUK HOME.

XXIX. RUNAWAY BOYS.

XXX. CHARLIE AND BEN.

XXXI. A TRIP UP LAKE SUPERIOR.

XXXII. COASTING AND CAMPING.

XXXIII. UP THE NEEPIGON RIVER.

XXXIV. THIRTY YEARS WAITING FOR A MISSIONARY.

XXXV. THE PAGAN BOY--NINGWINNENA.

XXXVI. BAPTIZED--BURIED.

XXXVII. THE WAWANOSH HOME.

XXXVIII. A SAD WINTER.

XXXIX. WILLIAM SAHGUCHEWAY.

XL. OUR INDIAN HOMES.

XLI. A POW-WOW AT GARDEN RIVER.

XLII. GLAD TIDINGS FROM NEEPIGON.

PREFACE.

A few words addressed by the Bishop of Algoma to the Provincial Synod may form a suitable preface to this little book, which aspires to no literary pretensions, but is just a simple and unvarnished narrative of Missionary experience among the Red Indians of Lake Superior, in the Algoma Diocese.

"The invaluable Institutions at Sault Ste. Marie still continue their blessed work of educating and Christianizing the rising generation of Ojebways. Founded in a spirit of faith, hope, and charity,--carrying out a sound system of education, and in the past 'approved of God' by many signs and tokens, the friends of these two 'Homes' may still rally round them with unshaken confidence. Their history, like that of the Christian Church itself, has been marked by not a few fluctuations, but their record has been one of permanent and undoubted usefulness.

"Only a person deeply interested and directly engaged in the work, as the Rev. E. F. Wilson is, can understand the force of the difficulties to be encountered from the ineradicable scepticism of Indian parents as to the disinterestedness of our intentions with regard to their children; the tendency of the children to rebel against the necessary restraints imposed on their liberty; the reluctance of parents to leave their children in the 'Home' for a period sufficiently long for the formation of permanent habits of industry, and fixed principles of right; the constitutional unhealthiness of Indian children, terminating, as it has here in a few cases, in death; the all but impossibility of obtaining helpers for subordinate positions, such as teacher or servant, who regard the question of the evangelization of the Indian from any higher stand-point than the financial.

"Against this formidable array of obstacles Mr. Wilson has not only struggled, but struggled successfully, till now these two Institutions, over which he has watched with all the jealous vigilance of a mother watching her first-born child, stand on a basis of acknowledged success, as two centres for the diffusion of Gospel light and blessing among the children of a people who have been long 'sitting in darkness, and the shadow of death.' During the past year sundry improvements have been made in the Shingwauk Home, which will largely increase the comfort of the occupants. The most notable event, however, to be recorded in this connection is the completion and consecration of the 'Bishop Fauquier Memorial Chapel,' a beautiful and truly ecclesiastical structure, designed, in even its minutest details, by Mr. Wilson, and erected by means of funds sent mainly from England, in response to his earnest appeals for some enduring and useful memorial of the life and labours of the late revered Bishop of this diocese. Long may it stand, as a hallowed centre for the diffusion of Gospel light among hundreds yet unborn, of the Indian tribes he loved so well."

MISSIONARY WORK AMONG THE

OJEBWAY INDIANS.

INTRODUCTORY.

The largest freshwater lake in the world is Lake Superior, through the centre of which runs the boundary line between the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada. The Indians call it the "Ojebway Kecheguramee," that is--literally translated--the Great water of the Ojebways, or as they are often called the Chippeways.

The Ojebways are an extensive Indian tribe spreading over a large part of Canada, the Northern States, and the North West; specimens of their language and customs appear in Longfellow's song of Hiawatha. Lake Superior may be regarded as the centre of their ancient possessions. Along its northern shores, and back into the interior they still roam in wild freedom, hunting, and fishing, and paddling their birch-bark canoes;--but in more civilized places, they are confined to reserved lands set apart for them by the Dominion Government, and many of them now gain their living by farming or by working for the neighbouring white people.

The Ojebway Indians are now just in that transition stage in which they particularly require a helping hand to lift them up to a respectable position in life, and to afford them the means of gaining their livelihood as a civilised Christian people. As one of their own Chiefs has said, "the time is passed for my people to live by hunting and fishing as our forefathers used to do; if we are to continue to exist at all we must learn to gain our living in the same way as the white people."

It is with the view of making the wants of these poor people known, and of increasing the interest in a work which amid many difficulties,


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