KINOUSAKI (Qinousaki, Quinousaquy?), an Ottawa chief at Detroit; fl. 1700?; d. 1752.
Kinousaki was apparently one of the speakers at the war council that Charles Le Moyne* de Longueuil held at Detroit in 1700. Longueuil’s aim was to encourage the Indians to attack English traders who had penetrated the Ohio country. On behalf of the Potawatomis, Ojibwas, and Ottawas, a chief named “Quinousaquy” spoke in favour of the project to the Hurons.
Nothing more is known of Kinousaki until, as an “aged man,” he represented one of the two bands of Detroit Ottawas at a conference in Montreal in 1742. There he requested and received a new canoe. He assured Governor Charles de Beauharnois of his loyalty to the French and of his constant efforts to persuade his people not to trade with the English. Either then or within the next few years the French gratefully presented to him a fine scarlet coat with silver trimmings.
By early 1747, the Huron chief Orontony had successfully encouraged many of his tribe to abandon their French alliance and was apparently organizing a movement to drive the French from the western Great Lakes. The unrest spread to the Ojibwas, Potawatomis, and Mikinak’s band of Ottawas at Detroit. Of all the Indian groups in the area, only Kinousaki’s remained firmly allied to the French.
Working against his own people, Kinousaki won few friends among the other Detroit Ottawas. His attempt to bring back the Ottawas who had fled to join the dissident Hurons at Sandoské (Sandusky) was unsuccessful. During one phase of the crisis in late 1747 he and his followers appear to have been totally dependent on the French for protection and supplies. Fortunately for both the French and Kinousaki, the crisis eased with the arrival of troop reinforcements in late September 1747, and especially with the halving of the price of French trade goods in 1748.
In early 1752 smallpox carried away 40 persons in the Ottawa village at Detroit. Old Kinousaki died at this time, presumably of the same disease.