Item iw-glen-13 - Father Scollen's letters

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Father Scollen's letters

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GLEN glen-2064-iw-glen-13

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  • 1861-1886 (Creation)
    Scollen, Constantine

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27 letters (76 p.)

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Scollen, Constantine

Biographical history

Constantine Scollen, 1841-1902, was born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, and joined the Oblates at Sicklinghall near Leeds, England. In 1860 he was sent to Dublin to teach, and in 1862 asked to be sent to Canada. He arrived in St. Boniface, Manitoba that year and accompanied Father Albert Lacombe to Fort Edmonton, Alberta, where he taught at the first elementary school in the North-West Territories until 1868. From 1868-1872 Father Scollen worked with Father Lacombe on the Cree dictionary and grammar, went on prairie missions to native people and taught Cree to new missionaries at St. Albert, Alberta. He was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1873 and became Superior of the Southern Missions, a position he held until 1882. He was the first resident priest among the Blackfoot and was stationed at Our Lady of Peace Mission near Calgary. He was an interpreter and witness of the Treaty 7 signing in 1877. He also assisted the Commissioner of Indian Affairs with native negotiations in 1879 and acted as intermediary at Hobbema during the 1885 Riel Rebellion (North West Rebellion). He was a parish priest in Edmonton ca. 1881, and in 1884 was director of Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs at Hobbema. Around 1885 he left the Oblates, moved to the Winnipeg area, and then to the USA where he served as a parish priest in Montana, Wyoming, Ohio and Illinois. He died in Dayton, Ohio. Father Scollen School in Calgary was named in his honour. For further information see Bernice Venini's article, "Father Constantine Scollen, Founder of the Calgary Mission" in Canadian Catholic Historical Association's Study Sessions. -- vol. 9 (1942), p. 75-86; Michael Cottrell's article "Constantine Scollen : Missionaries, Treaties and Assimilation at St. Albert" in Canadian Catholic Historical Association, Historical Studies. -- vol. 66 (2000), p. 56-73; and Raymond Huel's article, "Constantine Scollen : The Forgotten Missionary" in Alberta History, vol.59, no.4, (Autumn, 2011), p. 10-18. Father Scollen's step-brother, William, ?-ca. 1900, was born in England, worked in coal mines there and formed a musical band. In 1877 he emigrated to Calgary and became manager at the Our Lady of Peace Mission farm. In 1878 he married a Metis, Margret Ward, and they had at least eight children, Thomas, Patrick, Peter, Constantine, Jack, Edward, Mary and Katie. After his marriage William began farming for himself in what is now the Elbow Park area in Calgary. He and his family eventually moved to the Vernon, British Columbia area where he taught band music. For further information see Thomas Dust and George H. Buck's article, "William Scollen : Alberta Pioneer Band Teacher", in Alberta History, vol. 58, no. 4 (Autumn, 2010), p. 11-17. William's grandnephew, Vincent J. Scollen, ?-ca. 1987, was in the Ontario civil service beginning in the 1960s. He and his wife, Bertha, ?-1981, lived in Toronto. Vincent spent almost twenty years researching William and Father Scollen in the hopes of publishing a book.

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  • The material is in English.

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  • General note: Consists of letters written by Father Constantine Scollen, Oblate priest and one of the first missionaries in Alberta, to his family in Ireland, and to other members of the religious community. In the letters he describes his missions among the Cree and Blackfoot, and his views on immigration to the West. Includes three letters to his father, Patrick Scollen, from other people.

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