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Matheson Island, Manitoba

Matheson Island, Manitoba

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The Metis community of Matheson Island on Lake Winnipeg is profiled.
The Metis community of Matheson Island on Lake Winnipeg is profiled.

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Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Jul 22, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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07/22/2014

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Matheson Island, formerly Snake Island
Matheson Island is a small island, 3.5 by 1.5 miles, located at the Narrows of Lake Winnipeg,arond 1!! miles north of Winnipeg. Matheson Island had been a natral stopping place for the"dson#s $ay %ompany &ork boats since it became a sbsidiary post in 1'(). *he MathesonIsland Metis people descend from Norwegian, +nglish, and Icelandic settlers who hadintermarried with Indians.nce called -nake Island becase of its abndance of garter snakes, the island was renamedMatheson Island in 1!3 in honor of /aniel Matheson
1
 one of the earliest settlers. /anielcame to the Lake Winnipeg Narrows in the 1''!s from &ork 0actory where he was a "$%caretaker. "is brother esse 2b. 1'!4 lied at $ig $ll "ead where he operated a stopping place. /aniel lied on $lack $ear Island 6st north of Matheson Island, where he had erected alighthose and was its first keeper. "e was also a fisherman and a farmer. $ecase of thelighthose the passage between Matheson Island and $lack $ear Island was the preferred rotefor boat trael.ne of the leading families at Matheson Island was the -ettee family, of $ritish and %reeancestry. *hey were descendants of ames -ettee, a %ree from -plit Lake who, together with"enry $dd and %harles 7ratt, was broght to 8ed 8ier by ohn West of the %hrchMissionary -ociety in 1'9. -ettee was edcated at 8ed 8ier and became an ordained:nglican priest who ministered in many places in -askatchewan and Manitoba between 1'1and 1'. "e isited the $erens 8ier and Manitoba Lake 7ost areas bt neer lied there. "istwo sons worked at the +ast /og "ead
 post near Matheson Island in 1'(). *he Islanders, mostly-ettee#s descendants, were predominantly :nglican.
1
 /aniel was the son of "gh Matheson 2b.1'1(4 and -sanna Lloyd 2b. 1'1'. 1

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