Today anti-Canadian lobby groups promote the false notion that settlers are the same as immigrants. The CRRF (Canadian Race Relations Foundation) even states “[w]ithin the context of race relations, the term [settlers] refers to the non-indigenous population of a country.” By “non-indigenous” the CRRF means non-aboriginals, that is, white “colonizers”.
The problem with this is that the settlers who founded Canada are not immigrants. Settlers come to a new place and build a civilization from the ground up. When a settler arrives there is no infrastructure, no benefits, and no social services to help them survive.
Some of you may have heard of the TV show “Little Mosque on the Prairie” which was about Muslim immigrants coming to rural Canada.
The name of the show was meant to appeal to European Canadians who were familiar with the book series “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Interestingly Laura Ingalls Wilder has now been cancelled by the woke mob for the “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments in her work”.
In her books, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about how settlers had to endure many hardships in the wild and untamed North American forests. Settlers lived in sod houses, or simple cottages, and had to try and gather as much food and supplies as they could in order to survive the harsh winter months. These settlers were not just a part of Canadian history, they were heroes who deserved to be treated with great honour. Today many of us do not possess the tenacity and survival skills that the European settlers in Canada possessed. These are the sorts of aspects of our history that we must relearn and teach to our children.
Settler Jean Gervais and His Indigenous Canadien Family
On the occasion of white history month at CEC, I would like to say a few things about Jean Gervaise, my direct ancestor. Jean was born in 1616 in the town of St. Genevieve within the diocese of Angers, Central France. Jean took the trade of being a baker and was paid 80 pounds annually, with an advance of 120 pounds paid to him when he began his voyage at port Saint-Nazaire. When Jean arrived at Fort Ville-Marie in 1653, the cradle of Montreal, the first task he was ordered to complete was the construction of a new well that could regularly be used by the settlers to fetch water. After a year had elapsed and Jean had finally begun his new life as the town baker of Ville-Marie, he decided to marry Anne Archambault, the wife of a bigamist, and adopted her son as his own in order to protect her family’s reputation.
Anne then rewarded him by providing Jean with a legacy of nine legitimate children between the years of 1654-1673. These children were not immigrants. They were the first native Canadiens. After his five year contract was up, Jean left the baking business and went on to become a militia-captain, then a commissioner, then a judge, and lastly a tax- collector. In 1690 Jean died at the age of 74 years and was buried in Montreal on the 12th of March.
Jean Gervais would also be the progenitor of most Canadians bearing the surname Gervais, specifically living in southern Ontario and Southern Quebec along the St. Lawrence river valley. People with Metis (half-breed) ancestry bearing the name Gervais also likely descend from Jean Gervais as some of the Gervais family were coureur des bois (fur traders) who married Cree women.
The surname “Gervais” comes from the martyr St. Gervais who was a Roman Catholic martyr and a patron saint. However, the name Gervais itself would have been a Norman French first name that could be translated as “trusted spearman guarding the tribe like a watchful bird”. In old High German, “Gar” means “spear”, as the spear was the most common of weapons in ancient Germanic society and every free man had at least one. Genetic test results have identified the paternal line of the Gervais family as belonging to haplogroup R1b Y-DNA which is very common in Northwestern Europe, thus confirming the family’s Germanic roots.
- Canadiana Village, Rawdon, Quebec https://en.canadianavillage.com/
- Hope Mill, Indian River, Ontario https://hopemill.ca/
- Lang Pioneer Village, Keene, Ontario https://www.langpioneervillage.ca/
- Heritage Village, Essex, Ontario https://zaubee.com/biz/canadian-transportation-museum-heritage-village-boa5f0i9
- Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto, Ontario https://blackcreek.ca/how-to-make-a-woven-bookmark/