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Fleete, Henry (1602–1661), English colonial merchant and Indian interpreter, was born in County Kent, England, the son of William Fleete, a lawyer and country squire, and Deborah Scott. Residing in America after 1621, Fleete is best known for pioneering the Potomac River beaver trade between the late 1620s and early 1630s and for guiding Lord Baltimore’s colonists to their first Maryland settlement in March 1634....

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McNickle, D’Arcy (18 January 1904–15 October 1977), author, government official, and anthropologist, was born William D’Arcy McNickle at St. Ignatius, Montana, on the Flathead Indian reservation, the youngest child of William McNickle and Philomene Parenteau, farmers. D’Arcy McNickle’s maternal grandparents, Isidore Parenteau and Judith Plante, were members of the Canadian Metis community, which traced its heritage to French, Chippewa, and Cree ancestors. They had fled from Saskatchewan to Montana following their participation in the Metis rebellion in 1885. McNickle’s father, the son of Irish immigrants, had come from Pittsburgh to Montana to work on the Northern Pacific Railroad....

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Viele, Aernout Cornelissen (1640–1704), trader and linguist, was born in New Amsterdam, the largest town of the New Netherland colony, but baptized in Albany in 1640, the son of Cornelis Volkertszen Vielé, a tavernkeeper, and Maria du Trieux. Aernout Cornelissen grew to manhood in the atmosphere of public exchange of information that typified taverns on both sides of the Atlantic. Traders from the Dutch colony to the Five Nations frequented his father’s establishment, and perhaps from them Aernout developed what became a lifelong fascination with the culture and language of the Five Nations. At the age of twenty he signed a petition drawn up in 1659 by concerned traders who sought to suppress illicit trade and contacts of Europeans with Native Americans by calling for the interdiction of European trading in the Indian lands without prior approval of the Dutch colonial leaders....

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Warren, William Whipple (27 May 1825–01 June 1853), Ojibwa historian and legislator, was born in La Pointe, on Madeline Island, Wisconsin, in Lake Superior, the son of Lyman Marcus Warren, a fur trader, and Mary Cadotte, of French and Ojibwa descent. The oldest of eight children, William was raised in a home with an extensive library. According to the first missionary at nearby Leech Lake, Rev. William T. Boutwell, the children were given “the benefits of a Christian education.” At age seven William attended the mission school at La Pointe and, the following year, the mission school at Mackinaw. When he was eleven his grandfather took him to New York, where he studied from 1838 to 1841 at the Oneida Institute in Whitesborough, near Utica, a school run by Rev. ...