The MNOC proudly introduces our Lead Elder: Robert Seven Crows Bourdon.
Robert Seven Crows Bourdon is a mixed blood, a bois-brulé, or just simply a Métis of Acadian/Mi’qmag/Irish/Scottish ancestry.
He is presently an elder/traditions bearer with Corrections Service Canada at La Macaza federal institution working with First Nations and Métis men on their healing journey. Robert is part of the organizing committee for ‘la rencontre des Nations pour les sept générations à venir’ (The Meeting of the Nations for the next seven generations).
For the past several years he has been a Sundancer with the Clarence Creek Unity Sundance. Robert has been involved with the Kumik Elders Lodge at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) for many years. He has worked at the Waseskun Healing Lodge as a spiritual guide. Robert has worked in many First Nations communities as a storyteller and story gatherer.
He was born in 1952 in Lachine Quebec and spent most of his childhood between Escuminac where his maternal grandmother lived, Dorval, and North Hero Vermont. In the late 1980’s he started ‘hanging around’ and learning from Anishnabe elders William Commanda and Tom Rankin. In the early 1990s he was on the organising committee for the ‘rencontre avec l’ Anishnabe, l’humain véritable’ gathering at Lac Supérieur in the Laurentians with elders from many different First Nations communities in Quebec. When the gathering transferred to Kitigan Zibi he was part of the set-up crew and was asked by Elder William Commanda to pour Sweat lodges at the gathering.
Robert toured almost for fifteen years throughout ‘la francophonie’ as a storyteller and musician. On these tours, he spent time with Indigenous people in Africa, New Caledonia, Australia, Guyana, and more. He has recorded three CDs and did the narration for JoAn Pawnee’s book ‘le voyage de Kwé Kwé et de Mulgtess’ In 2009 he received a Canada Council grant for the research and writing of ‘les Métis/Voyageurs et le commerce des fourrures’. This Story focussed on the mixed-blood voyageurs that left Lachine for Michilimakinak in their canots du maitre.
Robert believes that the transmission of traditional culture and spirituality is essentiel for the survival of a people. If we want the future generations to walk in our foot steps then we must become living examples of knowledge, strength, pride and integrity. He is fluent in French and English. He is a timber framer, hunter, trapper, gatherer and fisherman. He and his life partner JoAn Pawnee Parent have 5 children between them and 10 grand children.
In Memoriam ~ Donald M. Fowler, (1925-2022)
MNOC's Founding Lead Elder
Captain (Ret’d) Donald M. Fowler CD, Kt. (Fr.)
Capitaine (Ret’d) Donald M. Fowler CD, Kt. (Fr.)
Born in 1925, near Rice Lake in Otonabee Township, Ontario, Donald is one of four children born to James Fowler and Grace Sedore. In true Metis tradition, the Fowlers moved often before settling in Kingston, and for Don, later in Brockville, where he raised his own family of three, one son, Malcolm, now age 59.
In 1939, Donald saw his father for the first time in a wartime military uniform with the rank of a “Gunner” in the RCHA. Donald also joined the army in 1940, and managed to visit his father a few times while in Great Britain. Don spent 5 years of infantry service with the 1st Bn, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry Highlanders, re-enlisted in the Canadian Officers Training Contingent, at Queen’s university and was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Artillery, as an Intelligence Officer. He received many decorations and honours, including France’sChevalier de la Légion d’honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour). Following university studies, a civilian, Donald worked at GTE for 30 years, in commercial telecommunications management.
It was after WWII, that Donald became interested in his Aboriginal ancestry and genealogy. In 1977, he discovered that his beloved great-grandmother—known to her peers as “Maggie,” was the great-granddaughter Jenny Mistigoose, daughter of Puckethwanisk, and wife of fur trader Robert Goodwin. Donald’s interest quickly developed into a lifetime passion, which led him to exploring the DNA testing world, of which he has gained an impressive understanding and shares generously.
On November 7th, 2018, on behalf of the MNOC, CFMPC, and our Métis citizens, Chief Dumont and Dianne Blackwell, the MNOC blanketed Lead Elder Fowler, thus honouring him for his life of dedication and sacrifices for his country and his people. Don’s 93nd birthday would not have been complete without a small party and the gift of the official MNOC Métis sash and a suede feather carrier for his eagle feather.