Cemetery of the Oak

Chapter 2: Blood Memory

September 28, 2021

"You just know that this is a part of who you are, a part of your journey, a part of your ancestors." - Trish Monague, Beausoleil First Nation

The second chapter of Rooted features an interview with Beausoleil First Nation member Trish Monague. Trish shares her connection to Beausoleil Island, the origins of the Cemetery of the Oak, and her hope for future relationships between Parks Canada and Beausoleil First Nation.
Cemetery Offering Cemetery 3



Christian Islands


About Our Guest: 

Trish Monague

Elder Trish Monague

"Waywaynaboozhoo Giizhgondokwe ndizhnicaz Waubshishe dodem niindawaymognidok

 I just introduced myself in my traditional language, Ojibway. I am a member from Beausoleil First Nation and have resided here most of my life except for the time I was taken away. I am a product of the 60s Scoop.

 I am also in the 2nd Degree in my Midewiwin Learning. Midewiwin translates to  People with Kind Heart.

My father is Joseph Sylvester, who co-founded the first holistic health provider in Toronto based on Indigenous health and healing called Anishnawbe Health of Toronto. His vision was to provide healing to the Indigenous population in Toronto. My Mother Emily King designed the pin for the National Diabetes Association. I humbly walk in the footprints of my parents and I carry their teachings apart of my bundle.

I have been alcohol and substance-free for 30+ years and have picked up my Bundle and held ahsemma (tobacco) in my hand when I was 15 yrs and have walked the Red Road for 40 years. Everything that I am is been gifted to me ..I do not know any original teaching…I ask spirit to guide me in all ways and then I listen. My job is to share what I’ve taught and to humbly keep the door open for others that are coming behind me. Miigwech"




1. The Cemetery of the Oak. Courtesy Lis Edwards. 

2. Left: a tobacco tie offering at the Cemetery of the Oak, courtesy Lis Edwards. Right: The grave of Chief John Aisance, from: Daniel Clements, 2011. 

3. The Christian Island Lighthouse, completed in 1859. From: Lighthouse Friends.

4. An aerial view of Christian Island (center), Beckwith Island (right) and Hope Island (left) all of which are the lands of Beausoleil First Nation, circa 2013. From: Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons. 

Select Bibliography:

Jameson, Anne. Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada. London: Saunders and Otley, 1838.

Smith, Heather N. “‘We are One Nation’: The Legacy of the Coldwater-Narrows Reserve (1830-1836)”. The Great Lakes Journal of Undergraduate History 6, no. 1 (December 2016): 61-73.

Trimble, Janet. “A History of Christian Island and the Beausoleil Band”. History Publications. (1990): pp. 405. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1683&context=historypub

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