Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
teller Père Michel, to the grizzled former guide Morache, who proclaims
that 'la chose a été vu comme elle est racontée' (180; the thing was seen just
as it is told), to which the author adds an equally authenticating note, stat-
ing: 'Je connais un des descendants du héros de cette histoire, le père
André Cadieux, vieillard de 71 ans qui réside sur les bords du Lac Huron.
“Cadieux, m'a-t-il dit, était le grand-père de mon grand-père!”'(183; I
know one of the descendants of the hero of this story, André Cadieux, an
old man of 71 who resides on the banks of Lake Huron. 'Cadieux,' he told
me, 'was my grandfather's grandfather!') The narrative frame thus an-
chors and authenticates the tale, whose details do not depend on the vaga-
ries of the particular voyageur happening to tell it.
Taché's tale also displays a considerable integration of Amerindian
and voyageur, which, Warwick contends, contributes to the notion of
French-Canadian nationalism: 'The fact that he has much in common
with the Indians and is accepted by them, whereas the English are not,
gives the voyageur a share in the natural possession of the land … The
idea is implicit that this constitutes the kind of discovery and occupa-
tion on which rights of possession are founded, and as we have noted
earlier, writers like to show that through the voyageur the French
Canadians have some sort of legal right to most of North America. It is
a right based on a feeling that their occupation was natural, whereas
occupation by military and economic force is not' (55). Indeed, it seems
quite natural that the now colonized French Canadian would not only
empathize with the earlier colonized Amerindian but also admire sev-
eral other of his or her 12 attributes evident in the works examined here
- closeness to nature, ability to decipher signs, resistance to oppression,
and capacity for sacrifice - all essential elements for the survival of the
national identity at this crucial point of time and also for its preserva-
tion throughout history.
Cadieux, his Algonquin wife, and their hybrid children, along with
several other Algonquin families, had a settlement 'au Petit rocher de la
haute montagne qui est au milieu du portage des Sept-Chutes , en bas de l'Ile
du Grand Calumet : c'est là qu'est la fosse de Cadieux dont tout le monde a
entendu parler' (172; at Little Rock near the high mountain , which is in the
middle of the Sept-Chutes portage at the end of Grand Calumet Island: it's
there that is found the burial place of Cadieux, which everyone has heard
of). Like Louise's rock and Caroline's gravestone, Taché's Little Rock
serves as a cultural reference and rallying point, marked here visually by
the author's use of italics, and like the burial stones in previous tales, it
also serves as a memorial to Cadieux's 'périlleuse mais généreuse mission'
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