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.
In his book Pack Saddles to Tete Jaune Cache, The noted Alberta historian, James G. MacGregor, related a story told to him by James Shand Harvey. Shand stated that Henry Kenny was a Sekani from Fort St. John who wanted to obtain Metis scrip, so he called himself Henry Kenny, when his real name was Eneesja.
The Grande Cache Henry Kenny was a Beaver or Sekani person from north of Grande Cache who migrated to the area with Thappe (1880’s or 1890’s). He was living in a teepee on Wanyandie Flats East in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, at the same time as Vincent Wanyandie was living there. According to the Macpherson database in St. Albert, there is no record of a Kenny family, but they do have a record of a Kaney family. This is probably another case of spelling a name phonetically. Henry, whose full name was Etienne Henry Kaney/Tozale married Marguerite Winimanisis in 1897. They had five children, all of whom had their births registered in Jasper. Adam was born in 1898, Betsy in 1902, Olive in 1905, Baptiste in 1908 and Maria in 1911.
Henry’s parents were Henry/Alitatian Kaney/Tozale and Nancy Wanyandie (1847-1896). For some reason, Henry used the Kenny name instead of Tozale. This could be the Henry Kenny mentioned by MacGregor, who changed his name to obtain scrip. Nancy was this Henry’s second wife, as he had been married to Marie Ann Beaver (they also had a son named Henry). Henry and Nancy had three children as well as Henry; Mary born in 1868, Michael born in 1869 and Peggy born in 1870 at Jasper House. Henry’s grandfather was a man named Tozale, while his grandmother was a lady named Chacochee. Of interest is the fact that only Henry used the Kenny name. His brother and sisters all went by Tozale, which is a variation of Desjarlais. It is a bit of a mystery as to why Henry went by a different name than his siblings.
The Kenny name has disappeared from Grande Cache, but the family has intermarried with the local people, so Henry has descendants living in the area.