Message on the Death of Chief John Denny

Sa’n Patis Tenio’q, Saqmawaq Alasutmelsewanej

Eskisoqnik: Unama’kik, Penatmuiku’s 15 tesukna’q, 1918.

Wla meskita’simkewey aknutmaqn. No’kmatutk, wla aknutmaqniwtuk kinua’tulek ta’n telki’k Mi’kma’ki mawi lnui saqmaminua Kisu’lkw weji wksua’lata mekwaye’k ntininenaq, no’kmatut, ksaqmaminuaq tujiw kaqia’q wmimajuaqnemek 12 te’suknitaq wla tepknuset, asukuom atjietek eksitpu’kek. Sankew kaqietaq kisi kaqi msenkek kjialasutmaqnek ta’n Westawu’lkw naqtemulkusna jentawi wli npu’tinenua. Tewije’kaq 77 te’sipunkeka, 31 teli pkiji saqmawitaq. Naqlaji wikma’jl, skimtuk wkwis tapusiliji, wtusk ne’siliji; skimtuk newkte’jit e’pit wijikiti’tl Ktaqamkuk etli malie’wit. Wji’ji 8 te’siliji aqq me’ pitu’wji’jk eymiliji. Kelu’kek wtkutamkek nemitue’k nike’j eksitpu’k, kutjinu pa’tlia’s kisi wtkutalata; mawi msiki’kek mawio’miek amskwes nemitasik teli kelu’k; aqq teli pukwelk mimajuinu pekisink wla wtana, jel moqoey ansama kiaskiw kisi wi’tajik wla wi’katikn-iktuk, ansama eta pasik teluemk kaqi pkisink mimajuinu, me’ ta’n miawiknata Matiew Plansue, saqmaw nekm pa pekisink Maliko’mijkewa’j aqq na’te’l ta’n te’si’tij ji’nmuk mawikna’tijik; skamtuk Saqmaw Plansue Sa’n, Po’qemkekewa’j, elp nekm pekisink aqq msit ji’nemumk; skamtuk Saqmaw So’sep Ku’l, We’kapekitkewa’j elp nekm pekisink aqq elp wji’nmumk pejita’liji skamtuk Sa’n Teni Pa’l Saqmaw Kjipuktukewa’j elp pekisink aqq elp wji’numumk; skamtuk U’nama’kik nankl wtan teluemk kaqa’sit ji’nma aqq me’ e’pijik, aqq jel me’ eykik ta’nik wnijanua kaqi pkisula’tiji. Meski’k pa’qalaywaqn wjit ta’n telki’k salite’ kisi mawa’tasik wjit na kesalkusitaq ksaqmaminuaq; telawtik suliewey kisitasik piamiw kaskimtelnaqenikl ika’ql wlaku. No’kmatut, etamulek alasutmelsewanenew ksaqmaminuaq, tamananeo Kniskaminu kisiku’minal panta’tuan wa’so’k tley ka’qan aqq teli wtepu’nkewalan ta’n teli apji wli atlasmilitala nekm wteleke’wa’kim. -A.O. aqq T.M.

John Baptist Denny; let us pray for our Chief.

Eskasoni; Cape Breton, April 15,1918.

This is a very sad message. My friends, the message we are letting you know in all of the Mi’kmaq land, our late Grand Chief, Our Lord has taken him from the midst of our body, my friends, our chief’s life was gone on the 12th day of this month at 8 o’clock in the morning. He went peacefully after he received all of his sacraments that our Lord had left for those to die quietly. He was 77 years old, he was chief for 31 years . He leaves behind his spouse, and 2 sons, 3 daughters and there was one sister, a woman married in Newfoundland. 8 grandchildren and there were several great grandchildren left. It was a good funeral we saw this morning, our father the priest did the burial; it was the biggest gathering and the best one seen yet, and there were so many people who came to this community, that we can’t even begin to name all of them in this paper, only to say that all of the people came, even the strongest chief Matthew Francis, he was the chief of Merrigomish, and all of the most powerful men; and then Chief Francis Stevens, from Pomquet, he even came with all of his men, then there was Chief Joseph Gould from Truro he came, too and his men came; then there was John Denny Paul, Chief of Halifax and all of his men; from Cape Breton, five communities and it could be said that all of the men and women, some even brought their children along. It was a big wonder at the size of the gathering who came together, because they loved our chief so much, as to raise such an amount of money over a hundred dollars was brought in yesterday. My friends, we ask you to pray for our chief, we beg God for our elder, and to open the doors of heaven and to give him rest in his kingdom. – A.O and T.M.

Message on the Death of Chief John Denny translated by and courtesy of Helen Sylliboy, Eskasoni Centre of Excellence, 2003.