As the Minaberriet descendants were growing up in BC, pervasive racism and the threat of Residential Schools discouraged many people from embracing their Indigenous heritage. During the pre-World War II decades, it was sometimes deemed safer to “pass” as non-Indigenous.
The Bar-X Rangers
Antoine Minaberriet’s Indigenous grandchildren created their own European-style band, The Bar-X Rangers. This group was much sought-after and performed throughout the region.
Going to war
Many Indigenous youth chose to serve in the Armed Forces during wartime, including three of Louis Joseph Antoine Globe Minaberriet’s sons. During the Second World War, Peter served with the British Columbia Dragoons in England, France, Holland and Germany. James, Joe and Leslie served with the Rocky Mountain Rangers.
“Percy” Minnabarriet, Antoine’s great-grandson, was a champion calf-roper and All Around Cowboy. In 1979, Pro Rodeo Canada honoured his 25-year career as a professional rodeo cowboy. He later became Chief of the Cook’s Ferry Indian Band, a Nlaka’pamux First Nations government.
In 1975, Verna Minnabarriet, daughter of Marie Pierro and Joseph Antoine Minnaberriet, was named Miss Ashcroft and was also crowned “B.C. Indian Princess”. These contests were important community events. Dr. Verna Billy-Minnabarriet (EdD) is now an educational leader and researcher who has committed her life to educational development for First Nations communities.