From Metis to Ojibwe
Often the coupling of natives and European fur traders would result in the establishment of Metis lineages as these mixed-blood descendants eventually made their way to the Red River and the prairies. In other cases, these mixed-blood children might blend back into their native communities—retaining their ties to the native community and staying Indian.
In the case of Elizabeth Ance: She was born to Mary Ann Lessard, daughter of voyageur Antoine Lessard and Catherine “Quegegabo”, a Lake Superior Chippewa woman. Many of Antoine and Catherine’s descendants eventually made their way west and took scrip as Metis in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but their daughter Mary Ann Lessard was an exception. She stayed with her mother’s people at Mackinac Island and married Peter Ance, a chief of the band.
Emily Eagles, Elizabeth’s granddaughter, writes about her grandmother:
“Grandma Mellon was born 20 of June, 1853, the daughter of Peter Ances, Chief of the Mackinac band of Ojibwe (Chippewa) Indians and Mary Anne Lessard who was the daughter of Antoine Lessard and Catherine (a Lake Superior Chippewa).”
“Grandma Mellon was a very wonderful person and was very good to me as I was only a step-grandchild” “Family is a very important part of the Indian culture and Elizabeth’s heritage showed in her loving ways.”
Elizabeth Ance died on December 28, 1926 and was buried in Epoufette, Michigan.
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