SSNS Home > Home & Community > Aboriginal Roots > Frontier Sources > Frontier Families > Nabaise > Evidence 1833-1835


1833 - 1835: Nappish's Son Employed as a Labourer for H.B.C.

The following records provide information on the Nabaise Family.
Note: For best viewing, please download the Cree syllabics file (more information)


Sometime during the fall of 1833, John Lee Lewes, the Chief Factor in charge of Oxford House, hired a son of Nappish, probably the eldest son. He was generally called “Napis” in the journal, but there are a couple of references to “Ned,” suggesting that he was known by that name as well.

Fo 22d, 11 Oct 1833, Roches and Napis plastering the mens House. [fo 23] 15 Oct 1833, Rochee and Napis plastering the Stable; [fo. 24] 26 Oct 1833, Sent Urban and Napis to put the cattle to Spence lake and See if the Others which did not come home are Safe; [fo. 24d] 28 Oct 1833, Our nets from the Boisterous weather yesterday could not be got up – consequently are frozen in Billy Moar & Napis got up two which gave 25 white fish and 4 Carps; fo. 25, 2 Nov 1833, Billy Moar Senr and Napish put 4 nets under the Ice; 3 Nov 1833, Billy Moar and Napish put four more nets in the water and visited those of yesterday which gave 21 white fish and 6 Carp; 4 Nov 1833, Billy Moar & Napish visited 8 nets under the Ice which produced 43 White fish 5 Trout and 15 Carp, from the State of the Weather it was found Necessary to take up 4 of the nets that was farthest off; fo. 26, 12 Nov 1833, Sent Napish off to look after the Cattle and See if they re all Safe and wherewith to feed on he returned in the evening having only Seen twenty-five where there Should be 26. Says that they have eat up all the Grass in that place; fo. 26d, 13 Nov 1833, Joe and Napish went off this morning to put the Cattle to a better place for feeding, returned at even after finding them all 26 Head, and left them at a tolerable good place for grass while there are little Snow; 14 Nov 1833, B. Moar and Napis visited the nets the produce was 60 white fish 6 Trout & 15 Carp; fo 27, 16 Nov 1833, Billy Moar Senr & Ned brought 95 white fish 6 Trout and 7 Carp from the nets; fo. 27d, 22 Nov 1833, Billy Moar and Methcogappo brought 400 fish from So Bay fisher – B. Moar Senr & Ned brought 66 white fish 8 Trout & 4 Carp from the nets [fo. 28d] 26 Nov 1833, Billy Moar and Ned visited the nets … ; 27 Nov 1833, About Midnight last night Sent off to Norway House Billy Moar Senr and Napish our two fishermen, are under the necessity of Sending there two men not having at this moment any so Smart for a trip requiring activity and dispatch – fo. 29, 5 Dec 1833, Billy Moar and Napis arrived from N.H. this afternoon; 6 Dec 1833, Meriman and Ned to the B. Bay fishery with 2 Yoke of Oxen for fish – 7 Dec 1833, Late in the evening [fo. 29d] Merriman and Napish arrived with the four Oxen light having left the Sleds and Loads, the one 7 and the other 9 miles from here – the Ice is Smooth and the Bows being also Broke, they found it impossible to farther with the Loads – the Oxen appear tired; fo. 29d, 9 Dec 1833, Billy Moar and Napish visited the nets which produced 44 White fish 6 Trout and 6 Carps; fo 32d, 4 Jan 1834, Billy Moar & Napish brought from the nets 23 White fish 15 Trout & 5 Carps. (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 23, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

Fo. 33d, 6 Jan 1834, Moar & Napish visited the nets which produced 21 White fish 6 Trout & 4 Carp; 9 Jan 1834, James Isbister and the Indian lad [Napish] arrived from Harpers fishery came for an Ice Chissel having lost one by Sinking in one of the Net Hole – the Indian returned back to attend the fishery with Harper, and Isbister remains to attend the cattle … the old Chief and two young lads arrived from Little Deer Lake brought 32 Martens 20 prime Otters 1 Wolverin [sic] 1 Red Fox & 100 Muskrats – which paid their Credits and they got Some fresh advances with Some Gratuities in Ammt. and Tobacco, fo. 35d, 29 Jan 1834, young Napish from the So. Bay fishery came to the House, Sent by Harper the fisherman to inform me that he is again unable to Visit the nets from the Constant & violent pain in his back; fo 36, 30 Jan 1834, Early this morning Sent off young Napish with Ferguson, and With orders to Harper if he finds himself Capable to remain Where he is for the purpose of mending the Nets and Overseeing the fishery; fo. 37, 7 Feb 1834, Harper came to the House from the fishery Still complaining of his back; fo. 37, 10 Feb 1834, Billy Moar and Napis visited the nets which produced 28 white fish 11 Trout & 8 Carp, young Billy [Moar Jr.] and Johny went to the So. Bay fishery with 4 Train of dogs for a trip of fish, & brought 235 white fish & 45 Trout; fo. 38, 17 Feb 1834, Harper returned back to the fishery; fo. 38d, 24 Feb 1834, Napish arrived from Harpers to be otherwise employed; 25 Feb 1834, Methcogappowe and Napish Started for Manitoo Lake with 4 Sleds for a trip of fish they have a Small assortment of trading goods for that lace; (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo.33d, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

Fo 38d, 26 February 1834, George the Indian arrived from the Carp wire, and brought the very unpleasant news of a young Indian lad named (Huggemow-wenenew) was a Hunting deer in company with him – they had Stopt for the purpose of encamping. George was about making the Encampment when he heard the other’s Gun going off and immediately ran to the poor Indian who was laying in the Snow – but not able to speak & expired instantly, it appears the Indian was pulling down a Stump of dry wood & having carelessly placed his gun with the muzzle leaning to his Side, when it went off and the Shot passed strait through his Body, this Sad affair has deranged the whole party, and the Old Chief is now very unwell; fo. 39, 27 Feb 1834, George the Indian Went off after getting a Supply of Ammunition and Tobacco with a few fish to take away with him – Says that neither of the party will be in before the Spring. (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo.38d/39, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

Fo. 39, 2 Mar 1834, Mithcogappowe and Narpish [sic] arrived late at even with 332 White fish from Manito Lake; 3 Mar 1834, Mithcogappowe and Napish Started for Manito Lake for another trip of fish; fo. 40, 8 Mar 1834, Mithcogappow & Napish arrived from Manito Lake with 340 White fish; fo. 40, 9 Mar 1834, Mithcogappowe and Narpish [sic] Started to Manitoo Lake for a trip of Fish; fo 40, 12 Mar 1834, Mithcogappowe and Napish arrived with 340 White fish from Manitoo Lake; fo. 40d, 15 Mar 1834, C. F. Mr. Lewes with Joe Turner Billy Moar Junr. Methcogappoe Napish & Pessescue Started for YF on his way to Churchill, Narpish returns from Foxes River with one train of dogs; fo. 41, 23 Mar 1834, Naipish arrived in the fore noon having Slept 3 nights since Mr. Lewes returned him back from Foxes River; fo. 41d, 24 Mar 1834, Napis and the Manitoo Lake Indian Started with 3 Trains to Manitoo Lake for a trip of fish; fo. 41d, 28 Mar 1834, the two Indian lads arrived from Manitoo Lake with 354 White fish; fo. 42, 29 Mar 1834, Mallette cutting fire wood in the woods, Napis cutting at the House; 31 Mar 1834, Billy and Napis visited the nets that produced 33 white fish 5 Trout & 4 Carp; fo. 42d 2 Apr 1834, Early this morning the following men Started for Norway House, Merriman, McLeod, Wm. Soulier, St. Urbain, DeReivier[?], Ferguson and an Indian lad Napis as Guide they have one Sled of dogs to haul their provisions.  (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

Fo. 43, 6 April 1834, Naipish and his family arrived Starving, only brought one Otter; fo. 45, 19 Apr 1834, Naipish & Son brought 2 Otter & 38 Muskrats which he Killed about Trout River. (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 40, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115) This reference is to the senior Napish; it was probably his eldest son who was working as a fisherman at Oxford House.

fo. 45, 21 Apr 1834, Napis & Petwashes arrived from Norway House We are glad to learn that all the people got there safe, the travelling from the Sudden thaw became very bad; fo. 45, 22 Apr 1834, Napis Carting up the wood for building from the water side. (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 40, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

fo. 45d, 25 April 1834, EthinisKees and Son arrived with 100 Musquash on their credit, got a Supply of Ammunition and is to be off to morrow; fo. 45d, 28 Apr 1834, Napish Carting Hay; fo. 46, 29 Apr 1834, Sent Harper and Napis with two Oxen for some wood for the new House; fo. 46, 30 Apr 1834, Harper and Napis returned with 26 pieces of ?ats or [Prets?] for the inside of the new House; fo. 46, 1 May 1834, Sinclair and Dupee Squaring the Sleepers for the new House, and taking of the Barks Napis, and Petwashes also peeling; fo. 46d, 3 May 1834, Bakie arranging the Plough and harness, Petwashes & Napis Carrying the Posts to where the field is to be enclosed; fo. 46d, 5 May 1834, Bakie and Napis commenced ploughing new ground; fo. 46d, 6 May 1834, the others employed as yesterday with the exception of Petwashes & Napis who are cutting railing for the field; fo. 46d, 8 May 1834, Napish and Petwashes getting fencing. (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

11 May 1834, Naipish Brought in 60 Muskrats & 1 Swan Which he Killed about Trout River. (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 47, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

12 May 1834, Napish and Petwashes Went and brought Some Hay with the Small Boat from a Cross the narrows, the Cattle were also Sent a Cross to feed as there is not a particle of grass for them on this Side … Six Indians arrived from Mr. McKay’s Post to be engaged for voyaging in the Freight Boats; fo. 47d, 14 May 1834, Wakitch and 8 Indians Clearing Stumps & Rubbish of the new land; fo. 48d, 24 May 1834, Waketch & Napis putting up fencing around the South field … Ethineskees, Jem, and Nippina wes cum arrived with 450 Muskrats 6 Otters 2 large Bears 4 martens & 6 minks on their credit; (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 47, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

26 June 1834, Waketch and the Indians employed fencing the fields, and finished the South Field, most of our Indian Voyageurs having now arrived – today were part Equiped for their Summer work; 27 June 1834, Early this morning, David Garson with Napish & Chemouch Started for Norway House in an Indian Canoe; (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 49, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

Fo. 48, Toeawattum or Twawattum and two young lads arrived with the amount of their debts in fur (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 49, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)

30 June 1834, Magnus Harper with 29 Indians Started for YF with Six Boats, one they are ordered to leave at Knee Lake for the people from the Outposts to come here with.  (PAM, HBCA, B.156/a/14, fo. 40d, Oxford House Journal, 1833-1834, mf 1M115)


5 June 1834, Napish & Chemouch arrived from Norway House. [They had accompanied David Garson to Norway House. “Chemouch” was an ancestor of the Harts at Oxford House and Norway House.]; 10 Feb 1835, Napish and the Rats son mentioned; 12 April 1835, Nippiniwayscom and Napish arrived to trade. (PAM, HBCA, B.156,a/16, fo. ?, Oxford House Journal, 1834-1835, mf 1M116)


For more information, see the following Evidence: