Aboriginal human remains returned to Kahnawake

Par Vicky Girard
Aboriginal human remains returned to Kahnawake
(Photo : (Le Soleil de Châteauguay- Archives))

The De Roussillon Archeological Museum (MAR) in La Prairie on January 24 gave some Aboriginal human remains found on its territory over 10 years ago to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK).

Translation Dan Rosenburg

Some skeletons were discovered in 2008, when Hydro Quebec wires were buried under the sidewalks in Old La Prairie, explained MAR archeologist Frederic Hottin. Some analyses were done and were handed over to the Museum in 2014.

‘’They revealed that the skeletons were those of a young woman aged between 14 and 18 as well as those of a baby less than a year old. The two could be linked. In fact, they could be those of a mother and her child,’’ Hottin explained.

Hottin reports that the young woman, probably an Iroquois, was in a fetal position, typical of an aboriginal interment. He affirms that, strangely enough, few objects were found around her body.

‘’There are normally some offerings in these cases. But here, it’s a mystery’’ he observed.

Process of delivery

After being endowed with a policy for managing such collections, the Museum began the process of transferring the remains to the MCK.

The transfer was officially done in private on the Museum’s reserve after a brief ceremony following the customs of the Native community. The latter then proceeded with a burial according to the wishes and traditions of its territory.

Christian Ouellette, prefect of the de Roussillon MRC and Mayor of Delson, along with deputy prefect and Chateauguay Mayor Pierre-Paul Routhier, received the representatives of the Mohawk Council in the presence of Hottin, to respond to the wish of the 11 municipalities of the MRC to make this transfer.


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