Metis Ancestors

Charles Francois Delaronde, squire and voyageur – married (Cir 1793) Magdeleine Pewadjiwanokwe, an Indian of Lac de la Clie (Simcoe)

Daughter: Marie Louise Denys de Laronde – married (Cir 1821) Jean Baptiste Croteau, voyaguer

Son: Jean Baptiste (John) Croteau – Married (Cir 1847) Mary Ann Proulx

Son: Jean Baptiste (John) Croteau – Married (Feb 17, 1873) Delphine Currier  at Newmarket, On

Son: Charles Edward Croteau – Married (Aug 7, 1900) Marie Claudia Simon  at Verner, On

Daughter: Marie Louise Croteau – Married (Circ 1917) Gustav Hass at Clontarf, On

Son: Edmund Wilfred Hass – Married (Dec 21, 1940) Marie Evelyn Horth  at Copper Cliff, On

Son: Edmund Wayne Hass – Married Lisa Kelly (July 5, 1968) at Georgetown, On

My Métis Family Story

 I would like to share with you my Métis family history. In telling my story I hope that you will better understand who the Ontario Métis are. Below is the National Definition of Métis from the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) website:

National Definition of Métis

  • 1.1 “Métis” means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of Historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.
  • 1.4 “Métis Nation” means the Aboriginal people descended from the Historic Métis Nation which is now comprised of all Métis Nation citizens and is one of the “aboriginal peoples of Canada” within the meaning of s.35 of the Constitution Act 1982.
  • 1.5 “Distinct from other Aboriginal peoples” means distinct for cultural and nationhood purposes.

I had to provide documented proof to become a registered citizen of the MNO.

Let me start with my 5xGreat Grandfather Charles Francois DeLaronde. He was born Sieur Charles François Denys De La Ronde Thibaudiere at Sandwich, which is present day Windsor, Ontario in 1763. His parents were French. He was a voyageur and trader mainly on the Great Lakes.

Church records from Deux Montagnes, at Oka state:

22 June, 1818. After the publication of three bans, marriage of Charles Francois Delaronde Thibaudiere, squire and voyageur, and Magdeleine Pemadjiwanoke, an Indian of Lac de la Clie……Nine children born before the couple were married.

Note: In the fur trade it was not at all unusual for a couple to return from the Upper Great Lakes and be married by a priest and have their children baptized all the same day. Marriages a la facon du pays or bush marriages were common. We estimate their first marriage took place around 1793.

Their second born was a girl, Marie Louise Pitwanabokwe Denys DeLaronde. Born Sept. 25, 1800 at Chibechkon, Lake Huron, which is near present day Parry Sound. She was christened the same day as her parents “official marriage” took place.

Records from Deux Montagnes, Oka also state:

June 26,1827…the marriage of Jean Baptiste Croteau, voyageur, and Marie Laronde.

This is the proof of the marriage between a European and First Nations person. We also have their daughter of mixed blood marrying voyageur, Jean Baptiste Croteau.

About Jean Baptiste Croteau:

Jean Baptiste Croteau was a voyageur with the North West Fur Trading company. Records show him trading in the Pic River and Lake Nipigon area from 1816-1820. In 1821 he was active in the Lake Nipissing area. On September 13, 1821, he signed a contract with a Montreal merchant, David David to go to Lake Huron, presumably to trade for fur. In 1828, Jean Baptiste Croteau, along with his father Charles and brother Charles arrived in Penetanguishene. They were part of the Drummond Island Migration.

From MNO website:

  • 1.2 “Historic Métis Nation” means the Aboriginal people then known as Métis or Half-breeds who resided in the Historic Métis Nation Homeland.
  • 1.3 “Historic Métis Nation Homeland” means the area of land in west central North America used and occupied as the traditional territory of the Métis or Half-breeds as they were then known.

Distinct Métis settlements emerged as an outgrowth of the fur trade, along freighting waterways and watersheds. In Ontario, these settlements were part of larger regional communities, interconnected by the highly mobile lifestyle of the Métis, the fur trade network, seasonal rounds, extensive kinship connections and a shared collective history and identity.

John Baptiste Croteau got a land grant in Penetanguishene, Town Lot Twenty-one, where he filled his obligations and built a 12 foot x 12 foot log cabin for his family. Penetanguishene is a Métis community in the “Historic Métis Homeland”.

Jean Baptiste and Marie Louise Croteau’s 3rd born son, Jean Baptiste, 1826-1914, moved to Georgina Township where he took up farming along with trapping, hunting and other traditional practices. They were close to their First Nation relatives and several of their people are buried at the Rama Reserve.

His fourth son, John Baptiste Croteau 1850-1918, raised his family of 13 on property in Christian Valley, which is on the south side of Lake Nipissing. There they carried on their Métis traditions of living off the land by growing food, trapping, hunting, fishing and was a skilled blacksmith.

Their 2nd born, Charles Edward Croteau, 1875-1956, my Great Grandfather worked at the mill at Cache Bay, near Sturgeon Falls, Ontario where my Grandmother, Louise Croteau was born. Around 1904, he moved his young growing family to land in the French River area to clear land and farm. He was very knowledgeable about First Nations medicines.

My Grandmother, Louise Croteau, 1901- 1980 lived her whole life in the French River area.

My Dad, 1918-2005 spent the largest portion of his life at French River. He worked as a logger, river driver, in a lumber mill, as a guide and ran a successful live bait business.