Ingonish Island, as my father told me, was an important place because it had quarries for stone to make arrow and spearheads that were traded widely. The homestead was expropriated when the Cape Breton Highlands National Park was created.The Mi’kmaq name was for Ingonish was “Kegannagwetch”. (Patterson 1978, 179-180) The French had a small fort on Ingonish Island, manned by a junior officer and a few men.(Cape Breton), the homeland of my father and his fathers before him.(My roots are also in England, the homeland of my mother and her mothers before her.) I was raised in Ontario on stories of down home: of giants, ghosts, fishing and who my ancestors were.Artifacts found there date back 7,000 to 9,000 years ago.The site is named , a Mi’kmaw word meaning ‘remarkable place’. The Doucette homestead where my father grew up is where the 11th hole of the golf course was created.(I gave that presentation to Heritage York on June 12, 2014 at Lambton House.) Charles Doucet was among those who powered the canoes that took carried Alexander Mackenzie to the Arctic Ocean in 1789 and to Dean Channel on the Pacific Ocean in 1793. Ingonish and the Clyburn Valley is now the home of many Doucettes and Ingonish had been home to Mi’kmaq people for thousands of years. The scenic Cabot Trail runs through there, though in father’s childhood it was a rough track and they relied on boats.(Girouard 1893, 229; Sulte 1884, 55-56.) In 1808 Métis took Simon Fraser to the mouth of the river that was to bear his name. They were first, then came French explorers, fur traders, soldiers and priests. My father grew up in a log cabin in the Clyburn Valley in Ingonish and was steeped in the local lore.
He acknowledges the Mi’kmaq ancestry of the Doucettes and Le Jeunes (anglicized to ), who like some other Cape Breton families, have intermarried in and out of the native and European communities.
There is only one colour in my veins and yours: red.
Today I am proud of my heritage, proud to share it with you.
In 1744 he fought the British at Canso and at the defense of Louisbourg in 1745.
He lost his fortune in the raids by the New Englanders and had to start again, (the villagers of Ingonish, white, Métis and Mi’kmaq lost much more): Sa propriété avait été entièrement détruite par « des flibustiers françois et sauvages » pendant que l’île Royale était aux mains des Anglais, et il commença à la reconstruire sur des bases plus modestes.