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Kichesipirini and Kinouchepirini Confusion

Kichesipirini and Kinouchepirini Confusion



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Published by api-3758586
Information to help clarify local confusion regarding recent community in Pembroke area.
Information to help clarify local confusion regarding recent community in Pembroke area.

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Published by: api-3758586 on Oct 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Kichesipirini and Kinouchepirini Confusion
Recently the Algonquin people and people of the Pembroke area have been exposed to all kinds of
information concerning a possible new Algonquin group that has appeared on the scene.

This group claims, with research completed by Mervin Sarazin of Pikwakanagan, that they are a traditional group with attachments to the Pembroke area and immediate Ottawa River shoreline, challenging Kichesipirini territory and jurisdiction.

The group is led by two former Kichesipirini Metis members, Grant Tysick and Denis Vaillancourt, both also closely involved with Mervin Sarazin in the Micheal Swinwood Sovereignty Circle and associated court cases and constitutional challenges. Kichesipirini had refused any enticements to participate in the activities for a variety of reasons.

Grant Tysick, Denis Vaillancourt and Merv Sarazin presented information using some of the research methodology used by myself for the Kichesipirini, thusly applying geographical location and detailed genealogy records to establish community history. Unfortunately they did not do a thorough critical analysis of the research and compare a variety of sources, or they would have found that their claims were in error.

Aboriginal identity is many faceted and complex. Professor Darlene Johnston has dedicated much of
her academic work establishing that fact. Aboriginal persons and groups were known by many names,
representing the many aspects of their lives and social attachments and responsibilities. Added to that
and compounding the facts was the reality that they were also known by different names by other
Aboriginal groups, and then even again by different names by the British and the French. One group
may be known by ten different names, and recorded as such throughout the historical documents.
Sorting through the confusion requires great patience and the application of advanced research skills.
Sometimes the application of one name is incorrectly applied to thirty different Aboriginal groups.
There needs to be great care taken before acting with certainty regarding specific Aboriginal identity,
community, territory and associated right.

Kichi (Kiche)--Sipi (Sibi)-Rini
Great (Grande)-River------People
People of the Great River
Also known as Island Algonquins

Fortunately the Kichesipirini are most definitely the best documented of all historic Algonquin groups,
meaning that their constitutional rights are clearly and definitely protected. We are also fortunate that
the political and economic activities of the Kichesipirini are also clearly documented, as well their
expanded political jurisdiction after 1650, and the formal absorption of many of the smaller groups into
the Kichesipirini. We are also fortunate that because of our close alliance to the French and the early
Church that we have some of the best genealogical records available tracing back to early contact.

Not so fortunate for the Kinounchepirini group. There has been a great deal of confusion regarding the group and it\u2019s location, probably because of confusion regarding totemic identity and probably failure to understand changes in alliances that occurred after 1650.

Although I have extensive documentation regarding the group I am reluctant to share all of that here in case it should be necessary that the Kichesipirini become involvd in court actions to assert rights. I will here share information that should clear up most of the confusion.

Pike (Pikeral)-People
People of the Pikeral
Also known as Quenongebin

The Kinounchepirini take their name from the Kinonge River, just west of Montebella, Quebec. The
Handbook of Indians of Canada (Hodge, 1913) correctly associates the band with the river but
mistakenly places them near Lake Huron. They were correctly identified by Champlain as
Quenongebin during his 1613 expedition to visit the Kichesipirini. He encountered the Quenongebin at
a river prior to passing the Weskarini. The Quenongebin, or Kinounchepirini were mistakenly located
below \u201cthe Island of the Algonquins\u201d, (Kichesipirini), in the Jesuits Relations (vol.18, p.229). It is
assumed that all Algonquin bands below the Kichesipirini territory were referred to as being \u201csouth of
the Island\u201d, or Ountchatarounounga, by the Huron. Many historians continued these mistakes. Bruce
Trigger mistakenly identified the Kinounchepirini with the band Champlain met near present day
Cobden, referred to as the Nibachis band after their Chief. It would seem that the current group is
basing their assertions on this faulty research. It should be noted though that even Nabachis, after a nice
visit, had to lead Champlain to the Island Algonquins to discuss any business, as bands did not have
that authority or jurisdiction to be involved in such activities.

Typical of Algonquin communities was tendency to identify with the river that they were attached to, or used as a part of their family band hunting territory. That is the same with the band historically referred to as Bonnechere or Golden Lake Algonquins, or Greater Golden Lake Algonquins. All names refer to the same band currently known as the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan.

Peter Hessel explains these mistakes in his book the Algonquin Nation on pages 18 and 19. He verifies
that editor of Champlain\u2019s journals, Laverdiere, in 1870, had the facts straight.

An examination of the facts shows the Kinounchepirini as being a band located in Quebec, with no
attachment to the Muskrat River or any area at all within the vicinity of Pembroke Ontario. Even if
their assertions to the region were accurate Kichesipirini jurisdiction supersedes that of bands, and that
jurisdiction is constitutionally protected. The band attached to the Muskrat River that Champlain met
near Cobden demonstrated their respect of that protocol. All persons living along the Ottawa River fall
within the jurisdiction of the Kichesipirini.

It is unfortunate that there has been so much confusion concerning the two groups amongst the local
public as we differ drastically in governance and leadership.

Paula LaPierre
Principal Sachem
Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation

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