Fouquet, Reverend Leon
b. 1831-04-30
d. 1912-03-09
In 1854, Leon Fouquet was ordained as a member ofthe Oblates of Mary Immaculate and sent to Vancouver Island in 1859.1 Fouquet would serve prolifically for the Oblate cause in British Columbia. Fouquet was born to peasant parents in France on April 30th, 1831.2 He was educated by a private tutor at the Royal College of Laval, the minor seminary of Précigné, and the major seminary of Marseilles.3
Saint Eugène de Mazenod foundedthe Oblate Order of Mary Immaculate in 1815, in the wake of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.4 The Order's civilizing mission focused on the Indigenous Peoples of the north pacific colonies, purportedly to save the First Nations from not only Satan, but from the violent and alcoholic excesses of the prospectors.5 The Oblates entrusted Fouquet with the duty to establish a new front in the war against democracy, liberalism and modernity.6 Today, the Oblate's mission is described as Evangelizing the Poor.7
Fouquet dedicated his life to establishing colonial missions and evangelising local Indigenous populations. Two of the many mission schools that Fouquet established were absorbed by the Government of Canada's Indian Residential School System.8 This despatch discussesSt. Mary's Mission school, which was established on Stó:lō territory by Fouquet in 1861. In 1874, the Order inherited, from Jesuits, a second mission in the Kootenays.9 Lacking in any permanent infrastructure upon his arrival, Fouquet established a school at this mission for Indigenous children and named it St. Eugene's.10
Following his stint in the Kootenays, Fouquet left BC in 1888, after requesting a transfer, citing irreconcilable differences with incoming Oblate Bishop Paul Durieu.11 Fouquet went on to work in St. Albert, Edmonton, and Calgary, before retiring toSt. Mary's Mission on the Fraser River in 1899; he died there in 1912.12
Canada's Indian Residential School System was specifically created for the purpose of separating Aboriginal children from their families, in order to minimize and weaken family ties and cultural linkages, and to indoctrinate children into a new culture—the culture of the legally dominant Euro-Christian Canadian society.13 You can read more about Canada's Indian Residential School System in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report.14
Mentions of this person in the documents