Item iw-glen-439 - Jean L'Heureux's Blackfoot-English dictionary

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Jean L'Heureux's Blackfoot-English dictionary

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GLEN glen-2264-iw-glen-439

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  • 1878 (Creation)
    L'Heureux, Jean

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1 volume (42 p.)

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Biographical history

Jean L'Heureux, ca. 1837-1919, was believed to have been born in Lower Canada. He studied for the priesthood, and visited Father Albert Lacombe's mission at St. Albert in Rupert's Land in 1861, but was expelled after being exposed as a homosexual. He subsequently travelled among the Blackfoot of Alberta and Montana, claiming to be a priest, and was accepted by them. He took the Blackfoot name Nio'kskatapi, or Three Persons. L'Heureux was despised by the missionaries and fur traders, but was often used by them as a translator, mediator, and emissary. He was present as a translator at the signing of Treaty 7, and accompanied Crowfoot and other chiefs on their famous trip to Montreal and Ottawa. He became an employee of the Department of Indian Affairs in 1881, but was dismissed in 1891. He died in the Lacombe Home at Midnapore, Alberta. For further information see Hugh Dempsey's article, "Jean L'Heureux", in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 14, p. 652; and Raymond Huel's article, "Jean L'Heureux : A Life of Adventure" in Alberta History, vol. 60, no. 4 (Autumn 2012), p. 9-16.

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  • The material is in Blackfoot and English.

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General note

Consists of a Blackfoot-English dictionary written by Jean L'Heureux, who was employed by the Department of Indian Affairs as a translator and mediator with the First Nations because of his facility with languages. His dictionary is very practical, with words arranged by categories including names of animals, places, parts of the human body, things found inside a lodge, numbers, and human acts such as sleeping, roasting meat and hunting. The dictionary fell into the possession of Archdeacon Tims, who was also very interested in the Blackfoot language.

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