It was not uncommon for European men to settle down for a time with an Indigenous woman, to raise a family with her, and then to abandon them. Such men sometimes returned to their home country and started a new family there, or they brought a European wife to BC and started a new family.
In 1873, Louis Antoine Minaberriet left his Indigenous family and started a European family, marrying Marie Agnès Mathilde Delatre, born in New York state of French parents. The couple lived at the Basque ranch, while Louis Antoine’s Indigenous family lived some ten kilometres away at the 89 Ranch.
Enjoy this interview of Daryl Minnabarriet with a transcript. To view EN or FR subtitles, click on the gear wheel at bottom right of screen while the video is playing.
Louis Antoine Minaberriet’s Indigenous son, Louis Joseph Antoine Globe Minaberriet, lived with his father’s new European family at the Basque ranch for a time, so each family knew about the other. Before leaving for France, Louis Antoine paid for his Indigenous son’s training in carpentry and blacksmithing at the Coqualeetza Industrial Institute in the Fraser valley, ensuring the latter had skills to support his family.
In 1883, with the prospect of a railroad line passing nearby, Louis Antoine sold his now 2,000-acre Basque ranch and returned to France with Marie Agnès and their three children. They settled comfortably in the house in which Louis Antoine was born, and their children adjusted seamlessly to a European lifestyle. Their descendants spread out to Spain, Cuba, Peru and the United States.
After Louis Antoine and his French family moved to France, La’staa became the “country wife” of Frenchman Pierre “Peter” Audap. This family of six (La’staa, Peter, their own three sons, as well as Louis Joseph Antoine Globe Minaberriet) lived at the 89 ranch, originally a stagecoach station for Barnard’s Express that included a holding cell for problematic travellers. La’staa outlived her second husband, passing in 1933 at 86 years of age.
Several of her descendants proved to be remarkable.