John Dokkie is the grandson of Chief Dokkie and was raised by the Chief at Moberly Lake. Mrs. Parker has a very good picture of the old Grandmother Dokkie taken on her one hundred and sixth birthday. Mary Ann Cameron is said to have many good pictures also.
John says his grandfather talked a lot to him and told many stories of early times. He had come across country from Prince Rupert as a boy. They spent one winter at Telegraph Creek and several more at Fort St. James before journeying on to Hudson’s Hope. They remained on in this area. The remnants of these people are now on the Beaver Reserve at the West-end of Moberly Lake. Some of their party traveled on to Halfway River Band.
These people were reluctant to sign treaty and Chief Dokkie gave much thought to the problem before giving in.
Chief Dokkie told of traveling to Halfway River in the company of a friend, Antoine Hunter.
Chief Dokkie told many stories of Mr. Moberly and claimed to have seen him. They said Mr. Moberly was hungry when he arrived at Moberly and the Indians helped him. They also helped him build a cabin — you can still see where it was dug into the hill close by where the Catholic Church is today.
In Mr. Golding’s writings he mentions having read of Mr. Moberly and tells of remains from buildings west of his Church which could possibly be the same.
John and Kathleen Dokkie some years ago were at Hudson’s Hope at treaty Time and met and talked with Antoine Hunter and he told them stories of Chief Dokkie.
The government in the early years paid Treaty money (five dollars) once a year to all Treaty Indians. They congregated at a designated place and had a grand reunion once a year for the bands from different locations. Thus the Beavers from Moberly and Halfway River kept in touch.
Mrs. Dokkie tells of her school years, which started in a little log school about 1939. Her first teacher was Jack White; the next one was Lloyd Gething and last Mrs. Cullum.
She had obtained the job as janitor for six dollars a month, this to sweep and keep the fire going, and she walked five and one half miles to school. However one cold night Mrs. Cullum told her to be sure and build a good fire and damper it well, which she did! However when she arrived in the morning the school had burned down in the night. She was scared to death and never went back to school. At this time Mrs. Cullum was living in the little log house of Mrs. Tuck.
John Dokkie had no opportunity to go to school, but is exceptionally well thought of by all who know him as is testified by a newsletter from Canfor, where he has ably carried out the jobs he has worked at. He is a highly respected person in the community.
His three boys all graduated from high school and have no problems holding down jobs they apply for. The older girls are well and have hopes for University and the little one is a doll.
During their school years the three boys showed great musical talents and with a couple of their cousins had a good band going and played and entertained at school and community dances. Old and young alike enjoyed their music.
The boys married young so the Dokkies have grandchildren.
Mrs. John Dokkie was Kathleen Courtorielle before she married and her father was the son of Mrs. Harry Garbitt, whose parents came from Saskatchewan. Her father was a Desjarlais, and ran away from the Riel Rebellion. These were Saulteaux.
Kathleen says her grandmother, Mrs. Harry Garbitt, would sit for hours and hours and tell stories of early days and ways of life.
She tells of a story from the Rebellion when after the massacre of Police Officers, the Indian people were trying to hide. After praying a long time were told by the medicine man to go west to the white peaks and they’d find food and peace, but they must go quietly.
At one time they could hear the police and men coming after them and when they started to pray a white fog completely surrounded them and cut off all view. They stayed absolutely quiet and prayed. Not even a dog barked or baby cried, and they were saved. They endured terrible hardships and privations on their journey, as they dared not show at any place for food.
A few stayed behind at Athabasca Landing, some at Grouard and along the way by Sturgeon Lake and the last of the band got as far as the ” Saulteau Encampment” near Sukunka, spoken of so often in other stories. Their descendants have eventually signed treaty and were moved onto the Moberly Lake Reserve. These today are a mixture of Saulteau, Cree and Beaver.
Kathleen says they have read many books and stories of escapades of the Rebellion to the older people. Mrs. Harry Garbitt, among others of the older generation, claim most of these are untrue reports -fiction in other words. For example, it was claimed the Indians were asking for many things. These people who were there say there was no food and the buffalo were gone and they only asked for flour. This triggered the trouble.
She also tells of a hunting party that had gone as far west as Mount LeMoray area, when they heard a sleigh and horses coming and were frightened. Everyone ran to the bush to hide except one big woman. She stayed inside her teepee with a knife, and it was quite awhile before the men could make her understand they were friendly and meant no harm.
They couldn’t speak Cree and she spoke no English. However they had food and offered her a slab of bacon and other things. She finally accepted and called the others back to share. These men belonged to a survey crew and this must have been one of the first breakthroughs for the Indians to realize that not everyone meant to harm them.