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CALLIHOO (Calehue, Kalliou), LOUIS, Iroquois fur trader, trapper, and hunter; probably b. at Caughnawaga (Kahnawake), Que.; fl. 1819–45 in the vicinity of Lesser Slave Lake (Alta).

Louis Callihoo was one of many Iroquois men who travelled west with the fur trade in the late 18th and early 19th century. He probably came, like most of them, from the mission village of Caughnawaga, sometimes called Sault-Saint-Louis. An entry in its parish registers records the baptism of a Louis Karhiio, born 17 Oct. 1782 to Thomas Anatolia (Kanakonme) and Marie-Anne Tekonwakwehinni. A note beside the name indicates that he “went to the north, married there, had a family, [and] never returned.” This description fits the career of Louis Callihoo; unlike most Iroquois who went to the west, he stayed there for the remainder of his life, and he founded a large and prominent family.

It has been claimed that the family name was originally Kwarakwante and that Father Albert Lacombe* was responsible for naming the branch that settled about the St Albert mission (Alta) Callioux, which later became corrupted to Callihoo. This hypothesis is not supported by the historical record. Individuals with the name Callihoo (variously spelled) appear well before Father Lacombe’s time, in fur-trade records from the early 1800s and in church records from the 1840s. A Louis Cahiheue of Sault-Saint-Louis was hired in 1800 by McTavish, Frobisher and Company, agents for the North West Company, to winter in the north for two years. In 1812–13 a Louis Calihue worked for the NWC in the Athabasca district.

By the 1819–20 trading season Louis Callihoo was one of a number of Iroquois and Canadian freemen who hunted and trapped in the Smoky River area of what is now northwest Alberta and traded at posts on the Athabasca River and at Lesser Slave Lake. He was never a contract employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company, although he did perform occasional services for it such as hauling goods to the Lesser Slave Lake post in 1819 or wintering company horses in 1829.

Callihoo appears to have married two sisters from one of the Smoky River families of freemen. His first wife was Josephte Patenaude and his second was Marie Patenaude; with them he had two and seven recorded children, respectively, between 1822 and 1845. Throughout the 1820s and into the 1830s he is portrayed in HBC journals as the head of a small network of free trappers and hunters living along the Smoky River. He and his family are included in an 1838 census of freemen who traded at Lesser Slave Lake. By 1842 he had moved from the Smoky River area to Shaw Point on the lake.

Callihoo was probably brought up as a Roman Catholic. The first missionary to reach the Lesser Slave Lake area was a Methodist, the Reverend Robert Terrill Rundle*, who arrived in the early 1840s. Although Callihoo associated with Rundle, even calling the missionary to attend him when ill, he did not become a Protestant convert. All his recorded children were baptized and married by priests, including six baptized in October of 1845 by Joseph Bourassa, one of the earliest Roman Catholic missionaries to reach Lesser Slave Lake.

Callihoo died some time between 1845 and 1856. His nine children survived to produce families of their own. Notable among his descendants are Michel Callihoo (Calistrois), who as chief signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1878 and settled his band near St Albert, Felix Calihoo, a founder in 1932 of the Métis Association of Alberta, and John Callihoo, a founder in 1939 of the Indian Association of Alberta.

Trudy Nicks

Arch. of the Archdiocese of Edmonton (Roman Catholic), Sainte-Anne (Lac Ste Anne), reg. des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 1844–59. PAM, HBCA, B.8/a/1; B.94/a/2; B.115/a/3–9; B.239/z/10; F.4/32. Provincial Arch. of Alta. (Edmonton), 71.185 (O. J. Rath, corr., reports, and geneal. charts tracing hereditary condition in descendants of Louis l’Iroquois, 1954–55); Oblats de Marie-Immaculée, Forts des Prairies/1 (reg. des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 1842–59); Forts des Prairies/5 (index des reg. des manages, s.d.). R. T. Rundle, The Rundle journals, 1840–1848, intro. and notes G. M. Hutchinson, ed. H. A. Dempsey (Calgary, 1977). Trudy Nicks, “The Iroquois and the fur trade in western Canada,” Old trails and new directions: papers of the third North American Fur Trade Conference, ed. C. M. Judd and A. J. Ray (Toronto, 1980), 85–101. D. I. Buchanan, “Blood genotypes – D-/-D-and CDe/-D-; transfusion therapy and some effects of multiple pregnancy,” American Journal of Clinical Pathology (Baltimore, Md.), 26 (January–June 1956): 21–30.

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Cite This Article

Trudy Nicks, “CALLIHOO, LOUIS,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 7, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed February 24, 2024, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/callihoo_louis_7E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/callihoo_louis_7E.html
Author of Article:   Trudy Nicks
Title of Article:   CALLIHOO, LOUIS
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 7
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1988
Year of revision:   1988
Access Date:   February 24, 2024