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Beauregard, Maurice

Maurice Beauregard was born in 1912 in Roxton Falls, Quebec. He was ordained as an Oblate Priest on June 29, 1941. He came to the Northwest Territories in 1942 and his first assignment was in Fort Norman. He ministered to the communities of Norman Wells, Camp Canol and Fort Norman until 1947. From 1947 to 1949, he was the Superior-Administrator in Aklavik, although he also provided services to the people of Arctic Red River. While in these postings, Father Beauregard learned to speak English and Hare, a dialect of North Slavey. In 1949, he returned to south eastern Canada for medical reasons. He returned in 1952 to serve in Yellowknife where he participated in projects such as the building of Saint Patrick's Church. From 1963 to 1969, he served in Fort Smith. In 1969, he was transferred to Fort McMurray where he remained until 1981 when he was transferred to Edmonton. Father Beauregard died on May 3, 1998.

Person · October 29, 1912 - October 17, 1988

Michael Mechell Jacob, known mainly as Mitch Jacob, was born on October 29, 1912, in Roanoke, Virginia, United States. Jacob’s parents, both of Syrian descent, were Najeeb Jacob, a merchant, and Rosa Joseph Jacob, a housewife. Jacob spent the first years of his childhood in Roanoke. In approximately 1932, Jacob travelled to the Northwest Territories and settled in Behchoko (formerly Fort Rae), where he worked as a bookkeeper for independent trader Jim Darwish. Jacob spent approximately four years in the Northwest Territories before moving south to Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.

On November 29, 1940, Jacob married Louise Veronica Jacob (nee Abdo), and they had three children: Mechell Paul Jacob, Frederick Richard Jacob, and Thomas Michael Jacob. Jacob worked as a salesman for Kaufman Knitting Co. in Minneapolis from 1940 to 1988. Mitch Jacob died October 17, 1988.

Jones, Henry
Person · [1850s?] -1935

Born in the 1850s in Bristol, England, Henry (Harry) William Jones went to sea as a boy, traveling to India and the Pacific. In 1898 Henry traveled to the Canadian north with a group of Englishmen for the Yukon gold rush, reaching Fort Smith before the death of the leader broke up the party. He remained in the Northwest Territories and worked intermittently for the Hudson’s Bay Company as a cook between 1898-1906. In Fort Simpson in February 1906 he retired from the HBC, was engaged to work for the St. Peter's Mission in Hay River, and in October 1906 he married Charlotte Sarcelle, a Dene woman from Fort Liard. They had five children: Edward Gabriel, Dora Virginia, Alfred, Henry and Frederick. The family seems to have lived in Hay River for years, but by 1921 had moved to Fort Resolution. An avid photographer, Jones also collected specimens and data along the Mackenzie Valley and adjacent Arctic coast, possibly for the Smithsonian and American Museum. In Fort Resolution, his last place of residence, he operated a machine shop and also did photography developing and printing. Henry Jones died of cancer in 1935.

Corporate body · 1867-[1959?]

The provision of western education in Fort Providence began at the Providence Mission School in 1867, sometimes known as “Our Lady of Fort Providence Residential School” but more consistently known as the “Sacred Heart Mission School” or “Sacred Heart Residential School” (“École du Sacré-Coeur” in French). The school was operated by the Grey Nuns and initially was meant to provide a boarding and day school for Hudson Bay Company employee children. It soon focussed on orphaned and needy children and is known as the first residential school in Canada’s north, although other sites of shorter duration possibly predate Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart Residential School took in both day pupils and residential boarders. It was chronically under supported, and the Grey Nuns threatened to close or possibly did close it in 1881/82, and reopened with Federal Government funding later in the 1880s. The original log structure was expanded in 1912, and a new three story school built in 1930. An extension was added to this in 1948.

Students came from communities throughout the north, and even as far south as Fort McMurray and Fond-du-Lac. In later years children came from primarily the Deh Cho region; home communities included Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Fort Liard, Wrigley, Norman Wells, Tulita, Ptarmigan Point, Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Trout Rock and Hay River, and sometimes others. It is unclear when the residential school closed, as historical sources give dates ranging from 1953 to 1960, but the Federal Elizabeth Ward Elementary School opened in 1958 and Sacred Heart Residence likely closed in 1959.

Usher, Peter
Person · 1941-

Peter Usher was born in Montreal on 18 December 1941. He studied geography and political science at McGill University, earning his B.A. in 1962 and his M.A. in 1965. He earned his Ph.D. in geography from the University of British Columbia in 1970.

Usher lived and worked in the Western Arctic between 1962 and 1976, where he was involved with community economic development, the Inuvialuit land claim, and the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. He was a member of the Northern Science Research Group of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in Ottawa from 1967 to 1973. Following that, he worked for the Committee for Original People’s Entitlement (COPE) for four years. He established P.J. Usher Consulting Services in 1977, an independent consultancy based in Ottawa with a broad client base.

From 1991 to 1997, he was Director of Research at Inuit Tapirisat of Canada [Inuit Tapiirit Kanatami] in Ottawa. In 1997, he was appointed a member of the Joint Environmental Assessment Panel to review the Voisey’s Bay Mine-Mill Project in Labrador, where he remained until 1999. He was then appointed by the Government of the Northwest Territories to chair the Wildlife Management Advisory Council from 1997 to 2000.

Dr. Usher is a leading authority on social impact assessment, renewable resource use and management, the economics of subsistence-based communities, and Indigenous land rights, and has provided expert research, advice, and testimony on these subjects. He has been a visiting professor at multiple Canadian universities.

Lengyel, Chester
Person · November 27, 1923 - August 9, 1996

Chester John Lengyel was born November 27, 1923, in Lethbridge, Alberta, to James Lengyel and Bertha Lengyel (nee Horvath). Lengyel had five sisters and six brothers: Bertha, Margaret, Anne (Annie), Katie, Helen, Jim, John, Joe, George, Bill, and Andrew (Andy). He married Eva Bertha Taylor (October 15, 1915 – August 4, 1978). He later married Evelyn McCallum. Chester Lengyel had at least one daughter, Pam.

In the mid- to late 1940s, Chester worked with his older brother John J Lengyel on the construction of the tugboat ‘Thunder River’ in Edmonton. He probably also worked on the boat transporting items salvaged from the Canol Project, likely in the summer of 1949.

Chester also lived and worked in Hay River for several years, where he started and ran the Hay River Telephone Service. This began with the purchase of Horace Argue’s expediting business with Lengyel’s first partner Emil Krysco (until 1953) and continued with William Napier until the Hay River Telephone Service was purchased by Canadian National Telecommunications (CNT) in 1961.

Lengyel moved south and settled on Salt Spring Island, BC, where he ran a mink farm.

Chester Lengyel died August 9, 1996, on Salt Spring Island, BC.

Lengyel, John
Person · September 13, 1911 - June 11, 1976

John J Lengyel was born on September 13, 1911, in Naugatuck, Connecticut, to James Lengyel and Bertha Lengyel (nee Horvath). In 1913, the family moved to Lethbridge, Alberta. Lengyel had five sisters and six brothers: Bertha, Margaret, Anne (Annie), Katie, Helen, Jim, Joe, George, Bill, Chester, and Andrew (Andy).

In 1938, Lengyel moved to Edmonton, Alberta, and married Ellen Martin. They had two children: Joan (b. 1942) and J. George Lengyel (1943-1960).

Lengyel was a “Jack of all trades” and worked many different jobs over the years, including as a butcher, roofer, and siding installer.

In the mid- to late 1940s, Lengyel worked as a fisherman for the first commercial fishery on Great Slave Lake. During the same period, Lengyel and some friends, including his brother Chester, “wanted a challenge” and they built the tugboat ‘Thunder River’ in Edmonton, then travelled north on the boat. Lengyel worked on the boat transporting items salvaged from the Canol Project, likely in the summer of 1949.

In 1951, John J Lengyel and his family moved to Stavely, Alberta, and settled on a farm East of Stavely.

John J Lengyel died June 11, 1976.