No. 68
25th October 1866
My Lord,
I have the honor to forward Copy of a Report addressed to me by the Revd L. Fouquet, showing the state and progress of the Roman Catholic Mission school established at St. Mary's for the education of Children ofIndianManuscript image Indian Tribes on the Lower Fraser.
2. I recently visited the school at St. Mary's and was much struck with the progress made by the Children since my visit with Governor Seymour in May 1865. I enclose copy of an address presented to me by the Scholars.
3. A similar School is established in the Okanagan Valley, and is well attended. The Indians are all anxious to have their children educated.ManyManuscript image Many of the Chiefs of the various tribes I met during my recent tour have sent their Sons to these Mission Schools.
4. The Roman Catholic Mission is about to increase the number of Indian Schools. One has already opened in New Westminster and another is in course of organization on the North Coast.
5. Much praise is due to the noble and persevering manner in which the RomanCatholicManuscript image Catholic Missionaries devote their lives to the civilization of the native race.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Arthur N. Birch
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
A favorable account of the Roman Catholic Schools for the education of the Native Tribes. Acknowledge & express satisfaction?
VJ 26 Decr
Interesting. But I wish the address was less obviously & completely got up.
FR 26/12
CBA 27/12
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Reverend L. Fouquet to Officer Administering the Government, no date, reporting on the academic year for 1865-1866. Transcribed below.
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Address, Peter Ayessick, on behalf of the students, to Birch, expressing welcome and thanks for the interest shown by the government in their school.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Carnarvon to Seymour, No. 3, 5 January 1867.
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
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25 Oct. 1866
Rev. L. Fouquet to the officer administering the Government


Sir,
In gratitude for the encouragement we have received from Her Majesty’s Government for our school at St. Mary’s I beg to furnish a report on its state during the academic year 1865-1866
The grant we have receivedManuscript imagereceived from the Government in August 1865 has enabled us to admit ten additional boys from amongst the numerous applicants who were most anxious to become partakers of a good Education and thus we increased our number to an average of sixty boarders.
In the beginning our endeavors have been more especially directed to develop the moral intellectual and physical faculties ofManuscript imageof the boys and furnish them with ideas and notions absolutely required before they can read with interest and understand what they read, and one of our greatest satisfactions is to notice the wonderful diffusion of those notions not only amongst the school boys but also amongst the Indians in general. I have the same statement to make in regard of the English language which begins to be more known amongstManuscript imageamongst them. Then they will be able to comprehend fully the meaning of what they read we hope that they will make the same progress in ready they have made in writing, arithmetic, and geography.
In this last branch of study we have for instance to teach them the distance by the time required to travel on foot or by canoe rather than by the number of miles.
The school boys are alsotaughtManuscript image taught how to cultivate the soil and notwithstanding the natural indolence of the native race the Fields and Gardens at St.Mary's will demonstrate the progress they have made in this respect. I must state moreover that these boys do all that is to be done in the establishment; some are fishermen, some wood choppers and bakers, some cooks etc. etc. and filling their respective offices with a sort of point d’honneurtheyManuscript image they do it much better than we could ever have expected.
To their new habits of industry and serious bodily exercises as well as to their cleaner and more comfortable lodging and their better regulated dirt, we attribute the remarkable improvement in their health which has taken place. Three years ago when we commenced our boarding school at St.Mary’s more than half the boys had the scrofula whilst at the close of this lastManuscript imagelast year only one of them was affected by it. During the last year two out of sixty boys died, one by phthisis, and the other by a pustular disease, the latter patient was removed by his parents and died in his village.
The Indians seem to appreciate more and more the benefit which their children are deriving from their now modes of training and are well pleased to see Her Majesty’s Government countenancing our establishmentManuscript imageestablishment at St. Mary’s; it has made a good impression upon the Native population, a result I am happy to notice.
I have & c.
Sigd L. Fouquet
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
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British Columbia

Enclosure
in despatch no.68. Of 25. Oct. 1866

Copy of address presented to His Honor A. N. Birch by the school Boys of St. Mary’s Mission
We the school Boys of St. Mary's have the pleasure of once more welcoming your Honor on this your second visit to our school.
We have already had a proof of the kind interest you take for the welfare of us poor Indian children and we gratefully remember your coming here last year in company with His Excellency Governor Seymour.
We are most happy of having another opportunity of thanking you as representative of Her Majesty as well for your kind visits as for the pecuniary assistance which we have already received and which shall always be remembered by us with feelings of the most sincere gratitude.
Your Honor may perceive that our numbers have considerably increased sinceManuscript imagesince last year and that now a large number of poor Indian boys have the happiness of participating in a good Christian education.
In conclusion we wish once more to return our best thanks to Her Majesty’s government for the grant bestowed upon our school last year which has enabled our good Father Gendre to enlarge very considerably the number of his pupils and to work with increased energy in the amelioration of our condition.
Signed in name and on behalf of the school of St. Mary.
Birch, Arthur Nonus to Carnarvon, Earl 25 October 1866, CO 60:25, no. 12135, 182. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B66068.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)