This is a page from a rare 1923 Dene prayer book written by "Rev. Pere Penard O.M.I".
Father Penard who served as the first resident priest of La Loche from 1895 to 1917 also published books in Cree syllabics.
This small book of 128 pages was published in 1923 by the "Imprimerie Du Journal Cris" (The Cree Journal) in Hobbema, Alberta.
It is about 16.3 by 11.5 centimeters in size. Three steel staples irregularly spaced are used to bind all the pages together.
There is no protective front or back cover otherwise the book is in good condition and complete.
It was printed in syllabics for use of the "Montagnais" (the
Dene/Chipewyan) of the "Vicariat Apostolique du Keewatin".
The Stanhope Press
A photo of the Stanhope Press is shown above. This press may have been in Hobbema, Alberta in 1923 and used to publish the Dene syllabic prayer book described above. This press was brought to Canada in the 1870's.
View a history of the Stanhope Press (where this photo was downloaded from) and a history of syllabics on the following link.
This book was found in the collection of the late Robert Dauvin of La Loche.
A syllabic typewriter is on display at the La Loche Community School (Dene Building). A photo is on the following link.
Apostolic Vicariate of Keewatin
The Apostolic Vicariate of Keewatin was formed in 1910 under the
leadership of Bishop Ovide Charlebois.
came to La Loche in 1911.
The Mission of La Loche is at the western end of the Vicariate of Keewatin and the bishop resides in The Pas, Manitoba.
In 1967 the Vicariate became the Archdiocese of Keewatin The Pas. (see map and information on the following link)
La Loche was in the Keewatin Vicariate in 1910, in 1891 it was in the Prince Albert Diocese, in 1858 in the Saint Albert Diocese, in 1851 in the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface and in 1843 it was part of the Missions of the Red River under the Bishop of Ottawa.
The Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface included what would later become Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the North West Territories.
Bishop Ovide Charlebois O.M.I.