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François "Peaysis" Desjarlais (b. 1824)

François "Peaysis" Desjarlais (b. 1824)

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A biography of Chief Peaysis, of Lac la Biche,a signator to Treaty Six. See also the "Dictionary of Metis Biography."
A biography of Chief Peaysis, of Lac la Biche,a signator to Treaty Six. See also the "Dictionary of Metis Biography."

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Dec 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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François “Peaysis” Desjarlais.

François Desjarlais was born in 1824 at Beaver River, the son of Joseph Ladouceur dit Desjarlais and Josephte Cardinal. Joseph was the son of Joseph Desjarlais Sr. and Okimaskwew, and Josephte Cardinal was the daughter of Joseph Soldat Cardinal and Lizette Maskegon. François married Euphrosine Auger, the daughter of Antoine Auger and Marie Nipissing in 1845 at Fort des Prairie, Lac la Biche, then married Marie Cardinal or Fleury the daughter of Wappi-mostiosnos, in 1874 at Red Deer River. Chief Peaysis, François Desjarlais, signed Treaty No. 6 in 1876. The membership of his band consisted mostly of his extended family. Peaysis and other band members joined Big Bear’s group at Battle River in April of 1885. Following the Band’s involvement in the 1885 Resistance their annuities were cut off. Heather Devine notes that in late 1885 “Many of the local leaders of the rebellion had long since fled. Francois “Peaysis” Desjarlais, Chief of the Cree at Lac la Biche, had gone south, as had many of the dissidents from Big Bear’s band. Like many others who had participated in the uprising Peaysis was suspicious of any amnesty that was offered by the government, particularly after the execution of Louis riel. When he applied for and received scrip years later, he filed his affidavit in Calgary, over three hundred miles south of Lac la Biche. He never returned to live in northern Alberta, but moved east to Battleford instead, where he died in 1899.”1

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute


Heather Devine, The People Who Own Themselves. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 204: 177-178.

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