A Big Family
It goes back to like the fur trade days. Patrick Cuttingham was very much involved with that, in Bay Company and he came over here and married a Metis woman. But he was at the like Red River and in Winnipeg and he eventually landed here in Alberta. Stationed in St. Albert, but he ended up in Slave Lake. And he had thirteen children and from there it just took on kind of like just a huge, huge family. I talk to everybody almost from Edmonton to Stave Lake, West. Like I’m related to them in some way very, very big family. One of his Grandsons had thirty-three children and so you know like that really dispersed but most of his sons worked for the Hudson Bay Company as well in some capacity or rather like here at Fort Edmonton. Lac Saint Ann was were in St. Albert my family went to Lake Saint Ann it was kind of like the highway, the highway toward the rivers and the lake and you know there was no roads. The significance though of Lake Saint Ann is that it goes even further because it goes to long for centuries it was a gathering for all of the people. And it was said to, the lake is said to have like it was a very powerful, spiritually powerful lake. Before the Europeans came here for centuries all of the Aboriginal people would like to have a gathering place like the same at it is now and the Father La Comb came there in1889 and that was kind of like the site of the first Pilgrimage. Which they kind of took the whole culture of our people and took the whole aspect of the Grandmothers and that what Lake Saint Anne was named for. Saint Anne was Jesus’s grandmother they kind of like incorporated and mixed it to get the people in, to you know bye into this because it was a gathering place of course you know when they were trying to convert people into a religion. So in I think 1889 is when they sort of liked declared that, that was a mission, a catholic mission. There were many stories as I was growing up in Lake Saint Anne, Lake Saint Anne than became like a Metis Community there was Alexis Reserve, which is kind of like bordered on the West end of the lake but then all the rest around the lake became the Metis community like there was the little community of Gun and Lake Saint Anne and Alberta Beach which is where all the Metis people gathered. The train you know how it goes west to Jasper like to go to Stoney Plain, Spruce Grove, Stoney Plain, at that time it went through St. Albert, Lake Saint Anne and then met the road way west. They at that time my dad and my mother told the stories when they were growing up like what a big place, and now there’s nothing much their now but at one time I guess there was a really big kind of like booming town with hotels and stores, pool halls everything was there for that time and then when they moved the railroad from there they moved it to south of there that it kind of did die down. One railroad, railroad changed a lot in Canada very much, in Canada. With the moving of the railroad coming through there.
The following stories are by Marge Friedel.
This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections Initiative, Industry Canada.