Beausoleil Point

Chapter 4: The Métis of Beausoleil

September 28, 2021

"You get on the island, and you just find spots that move you, the thoughts of what your ancestors might have been looking at and how hard they might have been working." - Greg Garratt, Georgian Bay Métis Council

Venture into the strong currents of Georgian Bay at Beausoleil Point and explore the rich Métis history of Beausoleil Island. Greg Garratt, the President and Captain of the Hunt of the Georgian Bay Métis Council, shares stories about his ancestors, Métis culture, and his hope for the future of Métis heritage in Georgian Bay Islands National Park.

The Corbiere family at their homestead at Frying Pan Bay in the north of Beausoleil Island. Courtesy Honey Harbour Historical Society.

Drummond Islanders

About our Guest:

Greg Garratt

Greg Garratt

"My name is Greg Garratt. Born and raised in the Penetanguishene and Georgian Bay area as well. I come from a long line of family going back to Drummond island descendants of Dusome-Clermont and Beausoliel lines of the late 1700's. I joined the Navy as a Marine engineer from 1981-1989 then moved back home and married Heather (nee Gidley), a local girl. Heather is also a Drummond island descendant from the Laramee- Clouthier and Labatte lines.

We both discovered and applied for our Metis cards at the same time. Since 1999 we have been getting increasingly involved in our Metis community. We sit together on the current Georgian Bay Metis Council and have had great opportunity and privilege to serve our community.

I am currently the President of the council, home to the largest Metis population in Ontario of over 4000 citizens. Our region represents approximately 25% or more of the Ontario population.

I also hold the role of Region 7 Captain of the Hunt. The position oversees harvesting in the region and education and engagement of the registered harvesters of the MNO. This stands at approximately 50% of all the harvesters in Ontario in the 6 regions where historical harvesting rights have to date been proven and recognized by the government and supreme court.

The community unity has never been stronger and that is a direct result of the community we live in and the culture of Metis looking after their own". 

 


Notes:

Images: 

1. The view of Penetanguishene Bay from Beausoleil Point. Courtesy Lis Edwards. 

2. The Corbiere's, a Métis family, at their homestead and trading post on Frying Pan Bay in the north end of Beausoleil Island. Circa 1907. From Honey Harbour Historical Society.

3. 4 men who came to Penetanguishene from Drummond Island following the War of 1812. From left to right: Lewis Solomon, born on Drummond Island, 1821, died at Victoria Harbor, Ont., March 1900; John Bussette / Brissette, born in the Rocky Mountains (near Calgary), 1823; James Larammee, born on Drummond Island, 1826; Francis Dusome, born at Fort Garry, Red River, 1820. Photo circa 1895. From Access Geneaology


Select Bibliography:

Cook, Samuel Fletcher. Drummond Island: The Story of the British Occupation, 1815–1828. R. Smith Printing, 1896.

Osborne, Alexander Campbell. The Migration of Voyageurs from Drummond Island to Penetanguishene in 1828. Ontario Historical Society, Vol. 3, 1901.

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