(Or more properly, Tshé-'kéh-ne, "People on the Rocks", i.e., the Rocky Mountains).
A Déné tribe whose habitat is on both sides of the Rockies, from 52° 30' N. lat. By language they are an eastern tribe, and it is not much more than 130 years since a portion of their congeners, having come into possession of fire-arms through the Canadian fur traders, made such reckless use of the same that the westernmost bands had to cross the mountains to get out of their reach. These quondam aggressors originally roamed along the Athabasca and Beaver Rivers, and they are today known under the name of Beavers, claiming now the valley of the Peace between Fort Dunvegan and a point some distance from L. Athabasca. Another split in the Sékanais ranks, which was due to an insignificant incident, brought into existence still another tribe, whose members were admittedly into the Blackfeet Confederacy under the name of Sarcees. The Sékanais proper are not today more than 450; the Beavers, perhaps 550, and the Sarcees, 190. By natural disposition as much as from necessity the Sékanais are inveterate nomads. They have no fixed abodes, and therefore no villages, or even chiefs in the strict sense of the word. The best related among the fathers of families are their only headmen, and their rôle is restricted to directing the movements of their respective bands. Yet the Sékanais are scrupulously honest and moral, though theirs is the only Déné tribe in which polyandry is known to have existed to a degree, they received the Gospel without questioning; but their habitat and environment, with their consequent nomadic habits, have conspired to make the establishment of permanent missions among them difficult. However, most of them are today under the influence of the Catholic priest. Even the Beavers, who are less religiously inclined, have steadfastly resisted the advances of the Protestant minister.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online