Durocher Louis and Nellie

NELLIE (CARDINAL) DUROCHER

I was born in 1900 at Stettler, Alberta to Alex and Isobel (Pieche) Cardinal. I speak only Cree and I have not learned to speak English but I understand some. My mother was French and I cannot tell how to spell her maiden name. We left Stettler when I was ten and moved to Rife, near Bonnyville, Alberta. We had been there eight years when I met Louis Durocher, son of Fredrick and (Eliza Bruno or Bruneau) Durocher. He was born at St. Albert and went to Rife when he was a young man. This was the man I mar­ried when I was eighteen years old. We left Rife and came to Fishing Lake where I have lived for forty-five years.

There are two families of Cardinals living at Fishing Lake, both distant cousins of mine. Marcel has passed away but Gabe still lives here. My brother Gilbert, who passed away recently at Bonnyville, was married to a niece of the Edward Cardinal Sr. who was born in 1876. Edward was a survivor of the Frog Lake Rebellion. He was still living in 1975 but has since passed away.

When Louis and I, with our family, came to Fishing Lake we had very few belongings other than the team and wagon we traveled with, just a tent, blankets and clothes. We built a log house half a mile north west of the present town site. It was hard to make a living but we were happy to be here and we lived peacefully. We could get plenty of fish from the lakes to eat; we hunted game and trapped for furs which we sold to Rahall's store at Frog Lake. Some­times we sold or traded them at the stores in Heinsburg.

Louis used to go out to work, and for many years worked on threshing outfits each fall. In those days there was no help from the government, but later when they sent us relief cheques it was only for $8. per month. When we be­came old enough to receive the Old Age Pension it helped a lot.

We had a family of twelve but only four are still living - Beatrice Delorme of Heinsburg; Fred and Alex of Fishing Lake, both bachelors; Joe married Rose Aulotte, they have six children and live at Fishing Lake. My home now is two miles east of the town site.