Karen Evans’ Bibliography, Masinahikan: Native Language Imprints in the Archives and Libraries of the Anglican Church of Canada

Anishinaabemowin Language Texts
Kanien’keha:ka Language Texts


Anishinaabemowin Language Texts

Masinahikan, Native Language Imprints in the Archives and Libraries of the Anglican Church of Canada, compiled by Karen Evans, provides a collection of English, French and Anishnaabemowin language texts published in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among these Anglican texts are many religious books to be used by Ojibwa people, such as Bibles and hymn books, but also instructional texts for Anglican missionaries and publications made by the Canadian and American governments. Most of the books were published in Ontario, Quebec and the Northeastern United States, but publications also extend into Britain and France.

Around half of the Anglican texts plotted on the Google Map were published in Toronto. Of these publications, most were in the Anishnaabemowin language. The Toronto publications were printed by both individuals and organizations such as the Axillary Bible Society and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Sandra Alston and Patricia Fleming’s book Toronto in Print, A Celebration of 200 Years of the Printing Press in Toronto, 1798-1998 looks at the history of the printing press in Toronto since its introduction in 1798.[1] The book accompanied an exhibit hosted by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in 1998 to examine the impact the printing press had on the city in the two centuries after its arrival.

Several of the books in this collection were printed in Washington and Ottawa through government printing offices. Four publications from Washington were printed at the Government Printing Office by the Bureau of American Ethnology between 1910 and 1929. These publications suggest an interest by the United States Government in Anishinaabeg culture and interaction with European settlers. One publication in Ottawa by the Canadian Department of Mines perhaps displays the Canadian Government’s interest in Indigenous lands.

One notable publication from the Anglican documents collection was written by Anglican minister and missionary Francis Wilson. Several of Wilson’s texts are included in Huron College’s rare book collection and have been the focus of some of our class’ primary source analysis and research projects. The text that is included in the Masinahikan collection is The Ojebway Language: A Manual for Missionaries and Others Employed Among the Ojebway Indians (1874) which appears to have been written by Wilson to assist other Anglican ministers in their missionary efforts among the Anishinaabeg people.

Additional Reading:

Alston, Sandra and Fleming, Patricia. Toronto in Print, A Celebration of 200 Years of the Printing Press in Toronto, 1798-1998. Toronto: University of Toronto Library, 1998.

Fleming, Patricia Lockhart, Gallichan, Gilles and Lamonde, Yvan. History of the Book in Canada, Volume 1, Beginnings to 1840. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.

[1] Sandra Alston and Patricia Fleming, Toronto in Print, a Celebration of 200 Years of the Printing Press in Toronto, 1798-1998 (Toronto: University of Toronto Library, 1998), Forward.


Kanien’keha:ka Language Texts and Oberlin College

Karen Evans’ bibliography, Masinahikan: Native Language Imprints in the Archives and Libraries of the Anglican Church of Canada is a collection of translated monographs from English into Kanien’keha:ka.  The majority of the monographs appear to be translated and still incorporate the English version either on the other side of the page, or on the next.  The text’s subjects are primarily gospels and hymns books with a few exceptions such as an auxiliary paper.   Publications prior to the 1830s were out sourced to printers distant to the location of the Mohawk’s general location; the printing locations include London (England), New-York (US), and Quebec City (New England).   The main publishers interested in the printing of the translated monographs were Canadian, English, and American bible societies.

When observing the plotted locations there are patterns it can be noted. When looking at the approximate timeline of the publications, the monographs were more heavily printed prior to the1830s.  As time progressed, the printing started to be in a more localized area in relation to the Mohawk territory.   Similar patterns were seen in the Mapping Publishing conducted in 2015 with regards to Karen Evans’ bibliography, Masinahikan: Native Language Imprints in the Archives and Libraries of the Anglican Church of Canada with the Ojibwa people.  Evidence shows that with the advancement of the profession, printing was able to be completed closer to the place of origin. In addition to the Kanien’keha:ka monographs, it is important to note that later into the 19th century these translations were re-translated and republished, with the majority being completed in the Ottawa and Toronto areas.

The translated work into the Kanien’keha:ka as outlined in the Oberlin College monograph, Ne Kaghyadonghsera Ne Royadadokengdy Ne Isaiah is translated under supervision.  When referencing the notes of it states that it was translated by William Hess, however, it also stated that he was not only indigenous but that he was under the supervision of W. Case of the M. E. Mission in Canada.  This supervision could be for numerous reasons; ensuring the accuracy of the understanding of the monograph, or it may have been a controlling factor over the indigenous population.  The reasoning is unknown.

The re-publishing and the supervision could have been attributed to the factor of language. The article Linguistic Change in Akwesasne Mohawk: French and English Influences, authored by Nancy Bonvillain speaks about the evolution of the Kanien’keha:ka with influences from the English and French.1 The article discusses the influence of the French and English language on the Mohawk peoples. Many of the pronunciations along with the borrowing of dialect flowed into the indigenous language.  Due to the influences from the French and English language, the evolution of the Kanien’keha:ka language may have attributed the necessity of the re-printing.

Additional Readings:

1. Bonvillan, Nancy. “Linguistic Change in Akwesasne Mohawk: French and English Influances.” International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan., 1978): 31-39. Accessed September 27, 2016. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1264763

Gazdar, Gerald, and Geoffrey K. Pullum. “Natural Languages and Context – Free Languages.” Linguistics and Philosophy, Vol. 4, No. 4 (1982), pp. 471-504. Accessed September 27, 2016. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25001071

Pullum, Geoffrey K. “Citation Etiquette Beyond Tunderdome.” Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Nov., 1988), pp. 579-588. Accessed September 29, 2016.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/4047595

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