In the old days, we had Cree names for most of the places in our territory.
We have inhabited this land for a long time.
The Joachim family has its roots in the Montreal area. In 1818, The North West Company hired Joachim/Tonatanhan, an Iroquois from the Montreal area to go to Alberta to trap. The Macpherson database lists his full name as Pierre Yehonnatahe Tawanatahan/Joachim. In 1822-3, the Hudson Bay Company tried to convince some Iroquois stationed in the Lesser Slave Lake region, to go to the Smoky River area to trap, but only Pierre went. On October 5, 1853, he married Marie Kalahash. The service was performed by Father Lacombe in Jasper. Pierre and Marie had eight children; Elisa, Anice/Nancy, Catherine, Marie/Marguerite, Suzanne, Lizette, Joseph and Alexis. Joachim ranged from Jasper to Grande Cache to the Peace River area.
Alexis married Madeline Fraser on October 7, 1861. They had six children; Louise, Marie, Martin, Charles, Adam, and Angele. Adam Joachim was born at Berland Lake in 1875. He was of Iroquois heritage, but was also a descendent of Colin Fraser of the Hudson Bay Company, as his mother was Madeleine Fraser. Colin Fraser ran Jasper House between 1835 and 1850.
Adam was a quiet, modest man who spoke Cree, French, Latin and English. He was educated at St. Albert by Father Lacombe, who was so impressed with this young man that he sent him to Montreal for religious training, but Adam returned to Jasper in 1896 due to a family crisis.
In 1910, the Adam Joachim family was living in Jasper, so Adam moved his family to the Grande Cache area as part of the Jasper Exodus. According to a government document, Adam was paid $1200 for his homestead, which consisted of two houses, three cultivated acres, a warehouse, two stables and fencing. The government recorded his age on August 21, 1909 as being thirty-two. Note that this does not quite match the birth date stated earlier. The family, which consisted of Adam, his wife and four children (ranging in age from two to eight) had been in residence on the site since 1900. The records indicate that Adam owned twelve horses and three head of cattle.
Adam Joachim was married twice. His first wife was Fresnine Moberly (daughter of Ewan Moberly). They had eight children (Adolphus, Angela, Clara, George, Sam, Flora, Henry, and James). Fresnine died in 1918. Adam's second wife was Caroline McDonald. They had nine children (Louisa, Joe, Lena, Milton, Alice, Emcie, Madeleine, Allan and Frieda)
Adam had a permanent residence at Victor Lake after leaving Jasper, but spent the summers at Muskeg. He maintained his devotion to the Roman Catholic Church while living there. At that time, a Roman Catholic Priest would visit Muskeg once a month for a week. Before the church was built at Muskeg, the services were held at Isaac Plante’s place. After the church was constructed in 1958, Adam looked after both the church and the priest’s cabin. After Adam’s death, his wife, Caroline performed these duties.
Adam Joachim was a trapper, prospector, guide and spiritual leader, who was respected for his honesty and integrity. As a guide, he once worked for Curly Phillips; one of the more famous Jasper outfitters. He guided in both the Jasper National Park area and in what was to become Willmore Wilderness Park. Adam was said to have tremendous endurance and to be very adaptive. He was respected both for his knowledge of the country and his knowledge of the local wildlife. It was fitting that Adam died at Muskeg in 1959, shortly after having been to Mass. He is buried in the Muskeg graveyard.
Adam’s brother, Martin Joachim, married Victoire Gauthier in 1893. They had five children; Henry, Paul, Virginie, Pierre and Marie.
Henry was born in 1897 in Jasper. He was one of many who left Jasper in 1910 when his parents settled in the Grande Cache area. He and two brothers spent some time in the Entrance area as packers as well as on the railroad. After about a year, they joined their parents in Grande Cache. They lived at the #1 Flats and also had a cabin at the Kakwa, where they trapped in the winter. Henry also outfitted. Glen Kilgor, a local outfitter, referred some of Henry’s clientele to him.
Alice (Granny) Joachim was born on the Horse Lake Reserve near Hythe about 1907. Her father, Pierre Shetler, was a chief on the Horse Lake Reserve. Apparently, Henry paid a handsome dowry for Alice. It is reported that Henry may have provided as many as fifteen horses and/or twelve to fifteen moose hides to obtain her hand in marriage. Although Henry and Alice did not have any children of their own, they raised over thirty children; some of whom still live in the Grande Cache area (e.g. Victoria Moberly, Audrey (Moberly) Printup and Leola Moberly).
Henry and Granny moved to Joachim Enterprises, in the mid 1960’s. Henry continued to outfit, while trapping in the winter. Alice passed away in 1996, a number of years after Henry. They are interred in the graveyard at Muskeg, which is just south of Grande Cache.