Questions about the Renville-Mdewakanton bloodline

I got this email from Tamara St. John Tordsen. I thought I’d post it here in hopes others can help with the research as well as offer opinions.

I’ll answer her questions for us soon… hopefully by the end of the weekend. For now, I’ve got painting to do, since we’re trying to get our house on the market. (See our Wigley House For Sale weblog for more.)

I wasn’t aware of the book, Beyond Sovereignty: The Mdewakanton Identity Heist by Dr. Barbara Buttes mentioned in Tamara’s email. I see that the Morhman and Kaardal lawsuit webpage has put up PDF photocopied chapters of her book there.

Tamara St. John Tordsen writes:

I wanted to let you know how incredible I think your website is. A friend who watches the entire “cyber world” for relevant information pertaining to the Wolfchild Lawsuit had sent me the link and I was very impressed with the manner in which your family information was presented as well as the links for other documents and resources for people to learn more about the lawsuit issues.

I noticed that your family was descendant of Angelique Renville and was wondering what you thought of the references to the Renville family in Dr Buttes writing titled Identity Heist.

Myself, I have always taken issue with her interpretation of the Renville bloodline and her dispute with Gabriel Renville’s blood specifically. It would be important to note that the family tree information provided on your website also shows some references to the Thomas Edworthy database of Rainville and Associated Families. This is a most fantastic database and although I understand the founder has passed on, it continues to be contributed to by a family member.

I was a bit disappointed to find that some of the information recently contributed to the database was taken from Dr Buttes’ writing in Identity Heist and could be taken as factual. Personally I find that some references to persons such as Mr Renville and Susan Brown can’t possibly be taken as fact.

Example: the section where Susan Brown’s actions when being taken as captive in stating to her captors that she is a relative of “Standing Buffalo and Akipa” are taken as proof of her bloodline. I dont dispute her Sisseton blood or ties but don’t take this reference as proof of such. I think it might be a factor to consider what any person might say if their life were at stake such as Mrs Brown’s was in the event cited by Dr Butte’s!

joseph_renville_excerpt.jpgSuch references to historical books or similar are all subject to the same speculation as in the case of Gabriel Renville. Dr Buttes states that Joseph and Victor Renville’s mother is a Metis and therefore assumes that their bloodline is 1/2. I think it is not possible to assume in such a manner. I personally, can not take her reference to Mrs Renville as being Metis and 1/2 as any more factual that the reference to Mrs Renville being a full blood sioux woman in the book Lac Que Parle page 51.

This reference is taken from a source called “the first writing on joseph renville”, or the first documentation in print of the Mr Renville. I would think it could be considered as relevant as any source that would mention Mrs Renville to be a “metis”, if not more are the source is closer to the actual event than any other source.

Again I would be interested in hearing what your view of this part of the Renville family history might be.

Tamara St John Tordsen

I’ve enabled the comment feature here. All comments should be civil in tone.