June 2, 1897

The Register,

Wednesday, June 2, 1897

Election For Chief of The Micmacs At Shubenacadie

The election of a Chief for the Micmac Indians, was held on the Indian Reserve, near Shubenacadie, on the 12th inst., and resulted in the raising of John Newall, an old resident of the place, to that much coveted position.

The death of James Paul, the old Chief, who had served the tribe for quite a lengthy period, took place about two years ago. He was considered by his whole band of followers as a "great man," as they thought he displayed at times, supernatural powers. A story to the effect that he once stopped the motion of an immense windmill in Dartmouth, by merely laying his hand on the arm to which the sails were fastened, is authentically believed by the total Micmac tribe. It is also told of him, by his survivors, that he could bend the stem of his clay pipe around his hat, and would carry it in that position – straightening it out again without breaking, whenever he wished to use it.

At the demise of this "great man," Steven Maloney was elected as his successor, but many of the Indians at the Reserve would not recognize him as their leader, and have now had the election, by which he was made Chief set aside on the grounds that it was illegal; the Government not being notified, and no permission obtained to elect a Chief. Steven says the reason his people did not like him for Chief, was because he would not preach to them.

On the above plea, the election on the 12th was held. During the campaign and polling, the Indians were orderly – quite as much so as the more civilized whites were a few weeks previous, when the elections were held for the Local representation and, in this County, for Dominion Parliament. Most of them were exceedingly quiet, but there were a few, who, like the white orators, wished to display their eloquence, and did considerable speechifying.

At the closing of the Polls, when it was made known that John Newall was elected, the victorious party gave vent to pent up feelings, by simply giving three cheers and waving their hats. – Truro News.