August 5, 2013 by LeVoyageur

Excellent contribution to The Storykeepers Project by Detroit author Vivian LeMay.

Voyageur Heritage


Vivian LeMay, the author of The Last Lord of Paradise – A Family Saga of Early Michigan French Canadians, presents a reflection on childhood in the Detroit River Region. The experience she describes of having family on both sides of the river, many speaking French, is one of the unique qualities of the French Canadian experience in the region. Many generations of French Canadians have had family on both sides of the Detroit River and families often moved back and forth many times over the course of centuries, and continue to do so.


I was in the doctor’s office and recognized the name on the nurse’s badge. It was my mother’s maiden name. I asked if she was from River Canard, Ontario. She looked surprised and said, “Why yes.”

“Then you live in heaven,” I told her.


View original post 312 more words


  1. Dan Leblanc says:

    You forgot Leblanc. We had people on both sides of the river. Pierre Leblanc settled Ecorse at the close of the 18th Century. These families all were related thru marriage. Many of us are of mixed blood as well. Retired from the fur trade and early participation in wars and exploration of the upper most reaches of Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Regards, Dan LeBlanc

    • James says:

      Thank you for reading Dan. I hope you enjoy the Storykeepers Project. If you are interested in submitted your own story to the project, please let me know. — James

  2. Randy Miller says:

    I am so proud to be able to teach the French history of Michigan. Being a docent at the Michigan Historical Museum and taking the discussion right into the classroom has been a great pleasure to me. I am very excited to hear of the activities mentioned in this blog. Traveling this great state during the summer, displaying and discussing my historical artifacts, has brought much enlightenment to all the people I meet

    • James says:

      Thank you Randy – I’m very happy to hear of your experience! Where do you teach and what level are your students? One of our goals was to have a day when this history and heritage could really be highlighted. Please let us know if the Heritage Day will be part of your classroom activities!
      James LaForest

      • Randy Miller says:

        I am a retired dry cleaner. I am able to feed my passion for history by volunteering at the Michigan Historical Museum. My small business takes me into the classroom to teach 3 rd and 4th graders. They are very excited to hear my stories and to be able to touch the artifacts, furs, and trinkets that I display during my discussion with them.

        I am looking forward to spreading the news of Heritage Day and looking forward to participating at future events.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: