Sunday, 25 March 2012


Nipigon Historical Museum Archives
The Fenwick "papers"
The News-Chronicle, September 9, 1938
page 4

Maintaining his reputation for originality and ability to put his home town on the front pages and feature pages, J.W. Curran, editor of the Sault Daily Star, continues discussion of the possibility that "White Indians" on the west coast of James Bay are actually descendants of Norsemen who crossed the ocean some time in advance of the Christopher Columbus discovery of 1492.

The Soo editor quotes different authorities and cites other evidence to prove that there are among those people European characteristics that can be traced to no other source. He attaches prinicpal importance to the fact that the Cree had a word for white men, "mistigoche"(spelling keeps changing) which could have been used only on account of their coming. There are, it is said, other words to indicate that they "came sailing" and "were blown on shore."

Disregarding the opinion of George Finlay, Port Arthur man, who lived in the James Bay territory for seven years and says he knew in that time every individual, but that there were no "white Indians", that factor of language or words is in itself important.

Is it not to be regarded as peculiar that, if Norsemen or any others were shipwrecked or otherwise placed on the shores of James Bay to continue as a group of White natives or Indians, they did not perpetuate at least a good portion of their own language? Nothing would be more likely handed down from generation to generation than words. Yet it does not appear that there are any of European character among the so-called White Indians.

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