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Souriquois
09-26-2015, 08:24 AM
I'll share a story, I am working on a geneaology project, and the history that is kind of sad, full of self-hate and legalese.

The Qalipu people are descendants of Mi'kmaq who migrated to Newfoundland from the Maritimes 300 years ago and established a settlement, founded by a man named Boniface Benoit, in St. George's Bay. There was a myth that there were no Indians in Newfoundland, the Beothuks being wiped out, so when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, the Indian Act did not apply to them. This meant the Qalipu were not recognized as First Nations (until last year) and in fact most probably believe they are not First Nations at all (compounded by the fact that the Mi'kmaq are genetically close to Europeans, so when mixed with European, minimal to no Native American ancestry shows up on 23andme ancestry composition), I have started a geneology to track them down. We could actually easily be the largest First Nations band in Canada. I got accepted into the band two weeks ago.

I am sharing parts of a newspaper article, written by my cousin, but not attaching the link, and redacting information because it includes identifying information about myself including the name of my grandmother.


The strangest thing about it all is that, Dad, at heart, is a racist. That’s not easy for me to say out loud, because I do love him beyond belief. But it’s true, and it’s always been so.

I don’t mean your stereotypical southern, Klu Klux Klan, white supremacist, ranting racist. No, he’s the kind that is probably the most pervasive in this world – possibly the most toxic – the universal racist, I guess you could say.

He’s the kind that really has no idea he’s racist. In fact, he truly believes he’s accepting and progressive, and, compared to his own community and his own people’s standards, he’s likely right.

In [redacted], where I was born and most of my father’s and grandfather’s people live, blacks from [redacted] weren’t even allowed into the town after eight o’clock. I remember it distinctly. The policy, my grandmother told me, was really out of concern for them – the blacks, I mean.. It wasn’t because anyone had anything against them, my grandmother said – at least she didn’t – but Lord knows what some of the less tolerant types might do after a draught or two at the waterfront.

I remember, too, the reaction my grandmother had when she first met my husband, Mike. She was absolutely not impressed and, of course, she had no qualms telling my mother.

It was the early 70’s, just towards the end of the “drugs, sex and rock-‘n-roll” hippie days. Mike and I both had the same hair-dos then – straight, parted in the middle and down past our shoulders. Mike’s was much nicer than mine. His was thick and very black.

Anyway, Nanny arrives from [redacted], all 4 feet, 11 inches of her – as wide as she was tall- and takes one look at him – his long straight hair, his black eyes and tanned skin, and hussles Mom into the kitchen to say, “Oh, my God, Mary, he’s just shy of feathers and a basket. My God! Did you know?”

But here’s the irony of all ironies – it is directly through this very woman that we will all soon be officially declared full-status Qalipu Mi’kMaq First Nations people. She must be “spinning in her plot”, as she liked to say.

I remember our conversation when Dad called to tell me about the discovery. “Oh, Dad, come on,” I said, “There aren’t any Indians in Newfoundland, not on the island anyway.”

“Well,” he says, “I’m telling you there is and we are and it’ll be proven shortly. We’re Indians from St. Georges Bay through your great-grandfather, Bonifice Benoit. In fact, by the time she’s all over, we’ll be the biggest Indian band in the country.”

“My God,” I said.

“Yeh,” he said, “We’re consider’n an attack.”

***

[Redacted - my grandmother's name], my grandmother, was born in St. Georges Bay, Newfoundland. Her people are all still there, though I’ve met only a few of them. They’re all short and dark and hilarious. But [Redacted]’s family were really not [Redacted - English last name my grandmother went by].

They were in fact [Redacted - real French surname - she went by the English translation] who changed their French name (not legally) to [Redacted] in order to be able to get work, feed their families , and be accepted into the thick of their hugely Anglo- Irish world.

That much of her story I already knew, not that she had ever told us, but my grandfather and his relatives did.

And so what happened was in 1949, Newfoundland joined Canada. But, and I assume because there weren’t any First Nations people on the Island of Newfoundland, the province did not adopt the Indian Act at the same time they joined Confederation. The Beothuk’s, who were the original indigenous people of the Island of Newfoundland, were all gone by then. They had been killed or died of TB, all by the mid-1800s.

At least, that’s what most people thought. But, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, there was another group of Indians in Newfoundland who had come there 300 years ago, before Canada was Canada. They were Qalipu (pronounced Hal-lay-boo) Mi’kmaq from the Maritimes. And so these Indians were left out of treaty rights and any recognition given to the rest of the country’s Indians -first because Newfoundland wasn’t part of Canada, and then because, when they did become part of Canada, the Indian Act wasn’t included.

And so, to make a very long story short, the Qalipu Mi’kmaq have been fighting for that status ever since. In 2014, they got it.

***

Now, here’s where Nanny’s story comes in. Apparently, the Qualipu’s assumed French names, either brought with them from the French Maritimes or they had settled with the very few French who were in Newfoundland at the time. By whatever means, in the process of establishing the direct First Nations, pre-1949 lineage, it was discovered the vast majority of the French living in the St. Georges Bay area were actually Qalipus – including my grandmother and her people.

It was astounding. I realized, here was this little woman who lived out her entire life in denial of not one, but two heritages, first the native and then the French, neither one apparently good enough. I thought, my God, what must that do to a person’s innate sense of worth, how bad must have things been that she and her family felt that was what they had to do.

Now that I think about it and now that I know her history and her heritage, I see both my grandmother and my father much more clearly. And I think I’m closer to understanding what racism is really about, how it grows, and how it can be sustained through generations. Fundamentally, racism is about fear and insecurity. It’s the bravado face of a desperate grasp for control and, oddly enough, even acceptance.

My 23andme Ancestry Composition showed no answers/hints of this. Have added for reference.

http://i.imgur.com/u9BdWyq.png

http://i.imgur.com/gZYbyXp.png

If you believe you may have connection to Qalipu, contact me, I can help you out. Will probably start up a site soon.

Souriquois
09-26-2015, 08:45 AM
Newfoundland English - the world "jackatar" or "Jackie Tar" means a dark complected person. Assumed to be of French descent. They were in fact Qalipus. Family history said we were Jackatars. I believe it comes from Irish Gaelic, a word also meaning a dark-complected person (Newfoundland English has lots of Irish Gaelic words).

Reviving a Nation (https://revivinganation.wordpress.com/) - A blog about Qalipu culture and history. Run by a cousin (who I never met, but confirmed a cousin).

Scarlet Ibis
09-26-2015, 02:00 PM
Welcome to the forum, Souriquois; I enjoyed reading the article. Good luck with your Qalipu First Nation project.

dp
09-26-2015, 05:01 PM
I'll share a story, I am working on a geneaology project, and the history that is kind of sad, full of self-hate and legalese.

The Qalipu people are descendants of Mi'kmaq who migrated to Newfoundland from the Maritimes 300 years ago and established a settlement, founded by a man named Boniface Benoit, in St. George's Bay. There was a myth that there were no Indians in Newfoundland, the Beothuks being wiped out, so when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, the Indian Act did not apply to them. This meant the Qalipu were not recognized as First Nations (until last year) and in fact most probably believe they are not First Nations at all (compounded by the fact that the Mi'kmaq are genetically close to Europeans, so when mixed with European, minimal to no Native American ancestry shows up on 23andme ancestry composition), I have started a geneology to track them down. We could actually easily be the largest First Nations band in Canada. I got accepted into the band two weeks ago.

I am sharing parts of a newspaper article, written by my cousin, but not attaching the link, and redacting information because it includes identifying information about myself including the name of my grandmother.



My 23andme Ancestry Composition showed no answers/hints of this. Have added for reference.

http://i.imgur.com/u9BdWyq.png

http://i.imgur.com/gZYbyXp.png

If you believe you may have connection to Qalipu, contact me, I can help you out. Will probably start up a site soon.

Have you tried GEDmatch.com. On FamilyTreeDNA I'm 100% European. On GEDmatch I'm around 1% NA. I suspect I have Algonquian ancestry.
dp :-)

Souriquois
09-26-2015, 05:06 PM
Have you tried GEDmatch.com. On FamilyTreeDNA I'm 100% European. On GEDmatch I'm around 1% NA. I suspect I have Algonquian ancestry.
dp :-)

I am on GEDMATCH as well. I get anywhere from 2 to 5% Amerindian ancestry depending on the run.

What Algonquian group? Because the Mi'kmaq are and they (or "we" lol I'm still wrapping my head around this) are genetically close to Europeans. Apparently other groups on the Eastern seaboard are too.

J Man
09-26-2015, 09:35 PM
I am on GEDMATCH as well. I get anywhere from 2 to 5% Amerindian ancestry depending on the run.

What Algonquian group? Because the Mi'kmaq are and they (or "we" lol I'm still wrapping my head around this) are genetically close to Europeans. Apparently other groups on the Eastern seaboard are too.

If modern day Mi'kmaq are similar to Europeans genetically it is because they are mostly European genetically. Admixture with Europeans explains it.

Souriquois
09-26-2015, 09:45 PM
If modern day Mi'kmaq are similar to Europeans genetically it is because they are mostly European genetically. Admixture with Europeans explains it.

There's admixture, yes, but there are some ethnic groups, most notably Mi'kmaq and Ojibwe, who have genetic markers originally thought to be European. I am wondering if it was some kind of natural selection, the climate of Eastern Canada being close to that of Northern Europe. On 23andme, you can have people show up on your ancestry finder who you're not related to, it could be some result of having similar genes due to natural selection (I have an Iranian relative showing up on there, no known Iranian ancestry that I know of).

Boniface Benoit, and myself (a descendant of his), appear to have distant Portuguese ancestry, however. From what I've managed to trace. He must have had French ancestry as well. French and Mi'kmaq culture mixing created the Acadians and since the lines between those two groups are quite blurred, Acadians migrated to St. George's Bay as well.

J Man
09-26-2015, 11:06 PM
There's admixture, yes, but there are some ethnic groups, most notably Mi'kmaq and Ojibwe, who have genetic markers originally thought to be European. I am wondering if it was some kind of natural selection, the climate of Eastern Canada being close to that of Northern Europe. On 23andme, you can have people show up on your ancestry finder who you're not related to, it could be some result of having similar genes due to natural selection (I have an Iranian relative showing up on there, no known Iranian ancestry that I know of).

Boniface Benoit, and myself (a descendant of his), appear to have distant Portuguese ancestry, however. From what I've managed to trace. He must have had French ancestry as well. French and Mi'kmaq culture mixing created the Acadians and since the lines between those two groups are quite blurred, Acadians migrated to St. George's Bay as well.

Which genetic markers among the Mi'kmaq and Ojibwe are the ones that originally were thought to be of European origin? Y-DNA haplogroup R1? Personally I think that the European genetic markers in North American Aboriginal groups such as the Mi'kmaq and Ojibwe come from admixture with Europeans.

Souriquois
09-26-2015, 11:45 PM
Which genetic markers among the Mi'kmaq and Ojibwe are the ones that originally were thought to be of European origin? Y-DNA haplogroup R1? Personally I think that the European genetic markers in North American Aboriginal groups such as the Mi'kmaq and Ojibwe come from admixture with Europeans.

I am not sure about the Ojibwe, but mtDNA X is common among Mi'kmaq.

However, I remember a few years back 23andme customer service had to make a post about Mi'kmaq ancestry showing up and European because there were so many people who were contacting them thinking their samples got mixed up.

J Man
09-27-2015, 02:12 AM
I am not sure about the Ojibwe, but mtDNA X is common among Mi'kmaq.

However, I remember a few years back 23andme customer service had to make a post about Mi'kmaq ancestry showing up and European because there were so many people who were contacting them thinking their samples got mixed up.

The mtDNA haplogroup X subclade that is found among Native Americans/Canadians is different than the subclades that are found among Europeans and Near Easterners.

Táltos
09-27-2015, 03:05 AM
Here is a list of subclades of mtDNA X. https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/x/about/background

lgmayka
09-27-2015, 09:25 AM
Here is a list of subclades of mtDNA X. https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/x/about/background
Unfortunately, that page has apparently not been updated in a while. It does not even mention X3 and X4. (See that project's mtDNA results (https://www.familytreedna.com/public/x?iframe=mtresults).)

ArmandoR1b
09-27-2015, 11:26 AM
I am on GEDMATCH as well. I get anywhere from 2 to 5% Amerindian ancestry depending on the run.

Gedmatch has a lot of noise when it comes to Amerindian/Native American ancestry. This is known because a lot of people born and raised in Europe get amounts of up to 2% of Amerindian at Gedmatch. The calculators there don't have near the number of participants for most of the populations and they don't have the proprietary software that 23andme and AncestryDNA have. 23andme and AncestryDNA have been much more consistent with regards to Europeans and Native American DNA although some still get it at 0.1% at 23andme as you do.

ArmandoR1b
09-27-2015, 11:34 AM
I am not sure about the Ojibwe, but mtDNA X is common among Mi'kmaq.
Only mtDNA X2a and X2g are Native American. It's important for people to get FMS testing to determine which subclade each of those people belong to. See Perego et al. at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982208016187 and click through all of the X subclades at http://www.ianlogan.co.uk/sequences_by_group/haplogroup_select.htm to see that none of the other X subclades are Native American.

There is also some ancient European X2, X2b, X2c, and X2d at http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/europeanneolithicdna.shtml


However, I remember a few years back 23andme customer service had to make a post about Mi'kmaq ancestry showing up and European because there were so many people who were contacting them thinking their samples got mixed up.
Was that supposed to say Mi'kmaq ancestry showing up as European? If so, I assume that was about the autosomal DNA. Not surprising with so much admixing washing out the Native American DNA.