How the Papaschase band is fighting to be recognized as an official First Nation

‘I can feel my ancestors…’ says Lorna Dyck of the Papaschase Band.

How the Papaschase band is fighting to be recognized as an official First Nation.

For Mill Woods homeowner Lorna Dyck, the history of Papaschase First Nation is all around her.

Eighty pages outlining her family tree, dating back to the 1700s, sit on her living room table, along with a pamphlet from the First Nation that lists the names of some of the earliest band members.

Her ancestor, Catherine L’Hirondelle, a medicine woman, is the earliest example of her ties to the First Nation that used to live on the land that is now Mill Woods.

“I am proud to be from Papaschase and proud to be Métis,” Dyck said.

She has spent decades searching for family connections to the band, a role she has taken over from her parents, who were both Papaschase descendants.

Like many other band members, that family history can be difficult to track.

The Mill Woods area was once part of the land occupied by the Papaschase First Nation, after they signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1877.

Many band members scattered after their land was taken away a decade later, according to Chief Calvin Bruneau. But some remained in Edmonton, including Dyck, who has lived in Mill Woods for 42 years.

She said it was important for her to stay in the area her ancestors once called home. Stories passed down to her recall a time when her great-grandparents picked berries in what is now Mill Woods, a memory she has cherished over the years.

“I have really good feelings [about the area]. If I’m feeling down, I can go for a walk or take a drive and I can feel my ancestors around me,” she said . . .

Read on . . .

Source: CBC News