Dennis Cumberland recently brought home a little piece of local history, thanks to the world wide web.
The benefits of the global village allowed Cumberland to find four copies of Father Adrien Gabriel Morice’s Carrier Language: A Grammar and Dictionary, printed in 1932, two of which he bought for himself.
Father Morice was an oblate missionary who served with the Catholic Church at Our Mother of Good Hope and the Stuart Lake Mission in Fort St. James, after being in Williams Lake at St. Joseph’s.
The dictionary, bought online and sent to Cumberland from Germany, was one of a few books Morice published on the local Carrier peoples and Morice was well known for his work on the language, as he helped to create the first written version of Carrier (Dakelh) using syllabics.
Morice spent many years in and around the area studying the local first nations. He published some of his research in French and some in English. Morice was born in France.
Cumberland also has a copy of the book Notes archaeological, industrial and sociological on the Western Dene by Morice which was inscribed by David Boyle.
Boyle is considered by some the “grandfather of Canadian archaeology and the inscription was written for George Dorsey, who was the head of the Chicago Museum.
Morice used the proceeds of one of his books to purchase the printing press which he had while in Fort St. James and used to print reading material for the local people.